UK Agency Takes Ethical Position

"Advertising is a heinous industry in many ways, and the people who work in it have a poor reputation," he explains. "I hate advertising that talks down to you, or shouts loudly. And a lot of laziness has crept in � the number of so-called copywriters who can't write drives me mad."

That's how Eighty Twenty founder and chairman, Loz Simpson sees it. His agency's position calls for them to deal only with ethical clients, to never create advertising that offends, and to donate one fifth of their time and profits to good causes.

"I firmly believe that the world is ready for more ethical behavior," co-founder, Max Burt explains. "Social responsibility is fast moving up the corporate agenda. Why shouldn't this extend to advertising and agencies, too?"

He's right.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




Dell Dude Busted For Pot

According to the ever watchful Smoking Gun, Benjamin Cross, the 22 year old actor who played the Dell Dude in the computer manufacturer's ad campaign, was arrested for marijuana possession last night. [via Gawker]

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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




Rance Crain's View on Tivo: A Minor Irritant

Ad Age's Rance Crain thinks that Tivo will amount to no more than a minor irritant for TV executives and that the :30 spot will continue to thrive as the major creative unit for TV.

I'm not so sure he is right. Certainly, a wholesale, overnight change is not going to happen. Everything takes time. But, once the Tivo technology become resident in cable set top boxes it will just become another ubiquitous device that people will have to "manage" how they view TV. It will simply become habit to view TV on your own terms and on your own schedule.

Ads will certainly be skipped but new "embedded" ad technology will arise. The ad business will never die. But, if we don't think about what the future will bring now, believe me, some one else will and they will replace the ad agency as we currently know it.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




Ad Age Creative Round Up

This week's Ad Age creative round up begins with a spot promoting a novel by BBDO's Jimmy Siegel that uses the typical sex sells imagery and accompanying rise to crescendo soundtrack to imitate the result of what usually happens when a man and a woman get to gether like this. [Video clip courtesy of Ad Age]

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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




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Buffy Spin Off: The Return of Faith

For all you fans of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Eliza Dushku, it looks like your dream has come true.

There are talks in the works for a 'Buffy the Vampire slayer' spin off which would be centered around the Faith character. Faith is the loner slayer that first made an appearance on the show in the third season. Her character went over to the dark side and helped the series bring in one of its most watched episodes of all time: the Sunnydale High graduation day episode.

Dushku has made a name for herself playing hot babes in films such as 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back', 'Bring It On', and 'Soul Survivors'.

Sarah Michelle Gellar is expected to leave the series at the end of this season but has made no official announcement yet either way. The producers of the show would like to see it continue and hope that a deal can be made between all parties.

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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




MarketingFix Online Advertising Headlines

From MarketingFix:

Terry Tate Born as an Internet Film
Packaged Goods Advertisers Bless the Web
Winners of Clickz Marketing Excellence Awards Announced
Amazon Stops TV Ads
NYTD to Super-Size Ads
Gator Settles Lawsuit
Two States Considering Introducing a "Do not email" List
Dr. Pepper and Seven Up Team with eBay on Marketing
Overture Profit Margin Slips, Minimum Bid Price Rises
Student Foreheads the New Ad Platform
Compromise in Affiliate Land?
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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




Mike Darnell: The Man Behind Reality TV's Success

Mike Darnell is the man that brings us such high quality programming such as 'When Animals Attack' and 'Who Want to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?'. But he has also brought us the more successful 'American Idol' and 'Joe Millionaire'

Darnell is Fox's head dude in charge of reality programming. When confronted with those who question the morality of his creations he says, "My reaction is, Why not ask about the social responsibility of 'Seinfeld'? What was socially responsible about that? Nothing!"

And in further defense, "My responsibility is to entertain, to get you away from your problems for a few hours," he says. "It's just about having fun. Is a mediocre sitcom or drama somehow better than a great reality show?"

"I'm enormously proud of what I've put on," he says. "The bigger the ratings, the more proud I am of the show. That's not meant to be cynical. That's just the goal."

"I like to make noise," he says, smiling, his feet propped up on a table in his small, cluttered office. "I like making anything that will get a number. I just want to create big TV. I want it to get noticed and talked about. The thing that gets my excitement level up most, bar a few things, is when the buzz gets going. That's all TV is about. I want people to think, 'Oh, I have to go home and watch that!' "

His next project is a show called 'Married by America', which will debut in March and have couples matched for marriage by viewer's votes.

Read more about Darnell here.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




New Tool to Analyze Media Pricing Trends

Agentsmith, a Baltimore based company, has come up with a technology solution to give sellers instantaneous pricing history for use when negotiating with a buyer. The product connects to existing back-end systems to moniter and extract the historical costs for a spot on a particular show, how fast it sold, and the audience delivery figures.

"The challenge was, [media companies] were looking for ways to improve their bottom line. They wanted to be more quantitative . . . and were looking for ways to simplify [pricing] for sales reps," said Michael B. Cooper, Agentsmith's chief executive. "The question for the owner is, 'Is that the right price? Could we have done better?' It's a judgment call by the sales manager. You're leaving it up to humans who use their gut feel."

Look out buyers. Your negotions just might become more intricate.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




Agencies Reevaluate Approach to Advertising

When times are tough, reevaluation is the in thing to do and that is exactly what agencies are doing today. As outlined by David Ward in a MediaPost article, agencies are examining everything from targeting to branding to product placement to accountability.

A good read into the insight of today's advertising minds.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




Amazon to Drop Television Advertising

One of the biggest dot com advertisers, Amazon, has decided to drop televison from its media mix.

CBS MarketWatch Story (Audio)
New york Times Story
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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




Building Wraps: The New Outdoor Medium

Bold Outdoor Media
MediaLife Story


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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




Tough Times Ahead For NBC

With Fox and other network's reality shows crushing NBC, the network will need to move quickly to find winning replacements for its aging series if it wants to stay alive in the ratings game.

"Developing a reality franchise that can replicate the cultural phenomenon of programs like American Idol, The Bachelor and Survivor is imperative for all the networks, but for NBC in particular," said John Rash, svp/director of broadcast negotiations for Campbell Mithun.

But is a reality show the long term solution or just the quick fix? There was an article today's New York Times that questions the future of the whole reality genre since, if we go to war and TV becomes 24/7 news, reality will really become reality. In other words, will "fake" reality shows become a bad taste in everyone's mouths when all we see are body bags coming home?

Reality programming is a popular fad right now. There will always be a niche for it but many networks are putting too many eggs in one basket right now in my opinion. But, hey, I just right a stupid weblog. The network execs and agency big wigs are the top honchos so they must know best, right?


Facing Up to the Fall
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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




Reality Show Gets the Big Advertising Buck

The success of 'American Idol' has put Fox in a comfortable ratings positions and is allowing it to charge $950,000 for a :30 in the season finale. And media buyers are willingly paying that price as well as $550,000 for the finale of 'Joe Millionaire'.

I say pay it while the audience is there. I also say the audience will be there about as long as the 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire' audience was.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    




Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Online Advertising

This, and other topics of importance where discussed at the iMedia Brand Summit in Coconut Point. The event, spoonsored by iMedia Connection, brings together luminaries in the online advertising space to discuss the state of the industry. There is a two part summary that will quickly bring you up to speed if you are interested. Part One. Part Two.
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by Steve Hall    Feb-10-03    










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