Gawker is Live Today

Gawker is a new ad-supported weblog that focuses on New York Society. This new addition to the thin-media world of the blogosphere will no doubt be a healthy hit for Spiers/Denton/Kottke, Inc. And, another early indicator of potential business models for weblogs.


Gawker is a Manhattan weblog magazine edited by Elizabeth Spiers, designed by Jason Kottke and published by Nick Denton. It is a live review of city news, and by news we mean, among other things, urban dating rituals, no-ropes social climbing, Cond� Nastiness, downwardly-mobile i-bankers, real estate porn -- the serious stuff.

Rick Bruner, a MarketingFix partner, has the scoop and more details.

by Steve Hall    Dec-18-02    

Uh Oh...Too Many Teens See Alchohol Ads on TV

Alcohol Ads on TV Find a Young Audience

Although brewers and distillers say their television pitches are aimed at those age 21 and older, teenagers are receiving a disproportionate share of those messages, said the report from the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Georgetown University. Of the 208,909 alcohol commercials on television in 2001 studied by the researchers, they found that nearly a quarter were more likely to be seen by teenagers than by adults, despite the voluntary guidelines minimizing the number of ads viewed by minors.

Problem is, try finding a TV show that only has a viewership of 21 plus. The fact that most kids today are couch potatoes who watch hours of television every day unsupervised by a parent doesn't help either.

by Steve Hall    Dec-18-02    

TV Guide Trys to Refresh With New Publisher

TV Guide Mission: Rejuvenation

�The brand is certainly tired and certainly needs an infusion of freshness,� says Horizon Media VP/director of planning Eric Blankfein, whose agency buys print for clients such as NBC, A&E, History Channel, Game Show Network, and Fine Living. What has Blankfein most concerned is the magazine�s recent declines in circulation. Since 2000, TV Guide has cut its rate base twice. While it presently sits at 9 million, it is a far decline from the 20 million subscriptions it counted in the mid-1970�s. �We�re buying people, and we have seen less and less people there, so we are questioning if we want to use it as a vehicle,� he says.

J. Scott Crystal will fill the publisher position which has been empty for a year.

�Our mission will be to reinvigorate this flagship magazine brand,� says Crystal, who joins TV Guide from Gruner & Jahr, where he served as president/CEO of its Business Innovator Group, which included Inc. Magazine and Fast Company. Prior to that, he was the publishing director of the consumer magazine group at Ziff Davis Media. He is also the former publishing director at National Geographic.


by Steve Hall    Dec-18-02    

Staples: The Advertisement is a Joke Stupid

Where have people's sense of humor gone? Seems these days, you can't say even the remotely humorous thing in an ad without some whiney, overly-reactive group complaining and stating that you are insensitive this particular groups blah, blah. We've heard it all before. Have a backbone. Laugh at yourself. See the humor in life.

Apparently the latest television commercial from Staples has made some people mad. Over what? Knitting, Yes, that's right. A rouge band of knitters in Massachusetts has complained to Staples that it portrays knitting in a bad light. The ad itself is harmless. It just pokes fun at those crazy knitted sweaters, hats, and scarves we have all received when what we really wanted was some cool electronic toy. I mean come on. The ad doesn't say knitters are idiots or that they have some inherent psychological problem.

This is like PETA complaining about the California Milk Advisory Board's Happy Cows campaign.

Repeat after me, people: R E L A X....yes RELAX. It's called humor. It's called a joke. It's suppose to be funny. We are all so over the top PC these days that we can't even understand a good joke when we see one. Do we have nothing better to do then to complain about innocuous, harmless and ever so unimportant things such as television commercials? It's a TV commercial. It isn't the President's new defensive missile plan! At least that is worthy of discussion. But a TV commercial? Please. Nothing could be less important in the greater scheme of things.

Here is an opinion on the commercial straight from a Knitter: The Knitting Curmudgeon

Staples Commercial
"Who gives a rat's ass? Honest to God. Sincerely stupid idiots who worry about commercials, that's who. I know what my "image" as a knitter is. Bite me."

Now, there's a healthy outlook. Someone who knows that commercials do not define who you are. You do! So, quit complaining and go live your life.

by Steve Hall    Dec-18-02    

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