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SBC Communications Says Goodbye to Goodby

SBC Communications has taken its $100 million account away from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and will spread the account over several other agencies it has on its roster.

"We have been with Goodby for the last six years, and they have done a terrific job," said Larry Solomon, the SBC spokesman. "They have some great talent at the agency, but moving forward, we decided we would move in a different direction."

Yea, right. That's code for "someone screwed up".

by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-03    

Optimism Among Business Magazine Publishers

As reported below, technology marketers plan to ramp up in 2003. On the publishing side, things are looking better too. In fact, publishers say that the bad times of the past 2 years really were not as bad as reported. Technology was the one category that dragged everything else down, say publishers. Yet the technology spend level is still more thean $1B and that is helping the business books stay alive and actually see business increase. [via MediaDaily News]

by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-03    

Technology Marketers to Increase Budget and Staff in 2003

As reported in eMarketer, the CMO Council reports 40% of senior level marketers at technology companies plan to increase their marketing budgets in 2003. Additionally, 93% say they will either increase headcount or keep it the same.

The study was done by GlobalFluency and the Aberdeen Group who together surveyed 350 senior level marketing executives working at tech firms with aggregate annual revenues of over $100 billion.

Let's just hope this prediction comes true.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-03    

Forehead Advertising: Idiotic Joke or Ingeneous New Medium

Here's a little press release that found it's way to Adrants:

Students wishing to ease the pressure of mounting debts are being urged to use their heads as billboards to advertise brands such as FHM.

Creative marketing agency, Cunning Stunts, which is best known for projecting Gail Porter's bottom onto the Houses Of Parliament, is offering students a fee of �88 pounds a week to use their foreheads as advertising space.

Nial Ferguson, group marketing manager at FHM, commented: "We are constantly looking for new and impactful ways to communicate to men. If we can do this and pay for the next round at the union bar at the same time, then it seems like a good idea to us."

Youth pay-TV channel, CNX, has also signed up to the new initiative and Richard Kilggariff, head of the channel, added: "We want to hit our viewers right between the eyes so what better place to place an ad than on their foreheads."

Although some students will be unwilling to see their faces temporarily disfigured by a semi-permanent transfer, others have no qualms about becoming walking adverts. Oli Merrrel, a design student at Falmouth College of Arts, commented: "Advertising is everywhere you look, you can't get away from it. I don't see the difference between an advert on a billboard and an advert on my forehead, except that I'll be earning money from it being there."

Cunning Stunts views the initiative as a creative way for students to alleviate their cash-flow problems. According to John Carver, director of the company: "A number of our employees have recently left university and these massive student debts are a real yoke for them. This initiative gives brands a unique advertising medium as well as giving something back to students."

What's next? Ass cheek advertising for thong wearing beach goers?


by Steve Hall    Feb- 7-03    

The Cult of Blog

January 29, 2003 - Los Angeles - Rhizome.LA today announced the speakers and agenda for "Live from the Blogosphere!" on February 15, 2003, in which renowned bloggers and technologists will explore the online phenomenon of weblogs and their impact on American popular culture.

Co-producers Susannah Breslin, Xeni Jardin, and Beverly Tang--in conjunction with Rhizome.LA, the Electronic Orphanage gallery, and the Southern California Wireless Users Group--present this evening of panel discussions and a live "town hall" meeting on the past, present, and future of blogging.

Recently, blogs have been written about in The New York Times, Newsweek, and The Washington Post, featured in PBS television specials, deconstructed at conferences held at Yale University and the University of California at Berkeley--and new blogs continue to spring into existence every day. So, what's all the fuss about? Why is the Blogosphere expanding so quickly? How will blogs change the ways in which we relate to each other on and offline?

"Live from the Blogosphere!" brings together six innovators in blogging: Mark Frauenfelder, Heather Havrilesky, Evan Williams, Susannah Breslin, Doc Searls, and Tony Pierce. The panel will discuss the birth of blogging, the emergent tension between blogs and traditional journalism, innovations in blogging such as video-blogging, audio-blogging, and mobile-blogging, the shifting roles of race and gender in the Blogosphere, the state of the blog economy, and the way blogs may be reshaping contemporary media.

'Live from the Blogosphere" will be held on February 15 at the Electronic Orphanage in LA.

More on the event here.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-03    

Berlin Cameron/Red Cell Becomes Lead Creative Agency For Coke Classic

Coca-Cola gave it's North American Coke Classic creative business to Berlin Cameron/Red Cell, the agency behind the new 'Real' campaign. The WPP agency, Berlin boots aside McCann-Erikson, which handled the Coke Classic account since 2000.

"Berlin Cameron has done an excellent job helping us create and express the 'Real' marketing platform," said Chris Lowe, chief marketing officer for Coca-Cola North America. "They've become an invaluable partner, and we're looking forward to working together with them to develop and evolve the next phase of 'Real' as we integrate the concept throughout all our Coca-Cola classic marketing initiatives in the U.S."

McCann will keep all other Coke business around the world. [video courtesy of Ad Age]

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-03    

DOJ Believes It Has Enough Evidence to Arrest Martha Stewart

WNBC in NYC reports the Department of Justice believes there is now enough evidence to charge Martha Stewart.

"We have a solid criminal case against Martha Stewart," said one Justice Department official.

A WNBC Poll shows 77% think Stewart did something illegal. [via Gawker]


by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-03    

Ventura to Host Talk Show on MSNBC

Jesse Ventura, former Govenor of Minnesota announced on NBC's "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" that he will host a political talk show five nights a week.

"I don't know if they're ready for me yet", Ventura said.

He will focus the show to the younger 18-34 demo which he credited as largely supporting his election in 1998.

"A lot of young people came out to vote who don't normally [do so]," he said. "I believe right now they are not paying attention to government and politics because there is no one to entertain them. . . .

"I'm going to try to educate them, entertain them and tell the people the truth."

Just sounds like more idiotic grunting and groaning to me.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-03    

Things Not Going Well at the Wall Street Journal?

"To say that morale is low here is an insult to companies with bad morale. I think you'd be hard pressed to find an employee happy to be here. We receive our 'bonus' checks for being unceremoniously dumped here in Elba . . . oops, I mean South Brunswick, N.J., on Thursday, Feb. 13. It will be truly interesting to see how much of the staff gives notice on the 14th. There are people here who would rather quit and take their chances than spend another minute under such blithering boobs."

Internal email via PageSix.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-03    

Gannett Co. Q4 Earnings Up 40%

MCLEAN, Va. (Reuters) - Gannett Co., the No. 1 U.S. newspaper publisher, on Thursday said fourth-quarter earnings jumped nearly 40 percent as increased advertising boosted its print and television operations.

At its flagship USA Today newspaper, the best-selling newspaper in the country, advertising revenue rose 2 percent from a year earlier, the first year-over-year gain since the 2000 fourth quarter.

Record political advertising contributed to a 27 percent jump in Gannett's television revenue in the fourth quarter.

The company, which publishes 94 newspapers and more than 400 non-daily publications in the United States, earned $347 million, or $1.29 a share, in the fourth quarter, up from $248.4 million, or 93 cents a share, a year earlier.

Analysts, on average, were expecting $1.28 per share, with estimates ranging from $1.26 to $1.29, according to a poll by tracking firm Thomson First Call.

Operating revenue in the quarter rose 7 percent, to $1.73 billion from $1.61 billion a year earlier.

Gannett stock, up 6 percent over the past year, closed at $71.51 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 6-03    

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