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The Product Placement Debate

There is a good article over at MediPost discussing the current debate on product placement. Some consumers see it as too in your face while others greatly prefer it over traditional advertising. The debate, no doubt, will continue for a long time.
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by Steve Hall    Mar-28-03    




New Gateway Ads Urge 'Rip, Burn, Respect'

Gatway's new ad campaigtn urges consumers to have fun ripping and burning their music but to also be mindful of copyright issues.

"Our concern is that some in the recording industry have created a real sense of ambiguity and confusion among consumers as a consequence of (the industry's) antipiracy efforts," said Gateway spokesman Brad Williams. "We agree that piracy is a major problem. But we're very concerned that consumers' fair use rights can be swept up and lost in the antipiracy debates."

Ads launch tonight. [via CNet]
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by Steve Hall    Mar-27-03    




Telemarketers Must Comply With New Do Not Call Rules

An Oklahoma federal judge said Wednesday that telemarketers must comply with new rules even if they are in the process of suing over it.

Tough luck, I guess.
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by Steve Hall    Mar-27-03    




Yikes! Big Layoffs at Coke

Up to 1000 people face layoff from the Cola giant. Many of the layoff, not surprisingly, will come from within the marketing department.

Read more in this Ad Age article.
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by Steve Hall    Mar-27-03    




TV Viewing Patterns Fairly Normal

Despite the war in Iraq, most Americans are watching their usual favorites after having switched to news for a while. This event has not changed viewing habits nearly as much as 911 or the first Iraq war did.

Viewers are "very set in their patterns," says David Marans of the MindShare media-buying firm. "They can be affected for a few days, but by and large they stick with what they normally do. They know that if something dramatic happens, they will be told about it."

It just seems too easy but how long can you sit on the edge of your seat watching a conflict unfold? We naturally need diversions to the stress that war induces as well as a sense of normalcy in these far from normal times. [via USA Today]
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by Steve Hall    Mar-27-03    




Ms Magazine Gets New Editor

Elaine Lafferty is the new editor of Ms. Magazine. Lafferty previosly wrote for The Irish Times covering international issues. She replaces Tracy Wood who was with Ms. for a short period of time from last July to October.

More...
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by Steve Hall    Mar-27-03    




Happy Cows Wins and PETA Loses

In a pleasing display of what is right, a superior court judge in California has thrown out a PETA claim that an ad campaign for the California Milk Advisory Board called "Happy Cows" portrays cows as happy when they, according to PETA, lead miserable lives.

Cows are cows. They don't sit at tables to eat. They live in fields and barns. And not fields "devoid of vegitation" as PETA claims.

You can read all about the backgound here.

PETA needs to crawl back into the hole from which it came.
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by Steve Hall    Mar-26-03    




PUMA and Victoria's Secret: Observations on Reactions to Spoof Ads

It's always interesting to see how a company will react to spoofs done on their behalf. Some take it lightly and hope that it helps the company in some way and other go all out and try to stop the spoof.

Recently, there were two spoofs that illustrate this point. There was the Fake PUMA Ads and the WhatIsVictoriasSecret Bulimia Web Site. Both spoofs were quite graphic in how they portrayed the two company. Neither were what the companies would prefer to see as a spoof.

With the PUMA spoof, the company caught wind of the fake ads and reacted by trying to stop the spread of the spoof across the Internet. Right. That's like an ant trying to stop a bulldozer. There were threatening emails, denial press releases, and cease and desist letters. What did this accomplish? Not much for PUMA's cause. All it did was to force the spoof and the conversation about the spoof to race around the Internet even faster. It's everywhere. It's now a permanent fixture on thousands of websites.

On the other hand, Victoria's Secret reacted in a polar opposite. What did they do? Nothing. Nada. No press releases. No cease and desists. The result? It's a dead issue. Sure you can find it on a few web sites and mentioned in a few discussion groups but that's it.

Moral of the story? If you want something to go away quickly, ignore it. Don't fan the flames. Of course there is always the minute possibility that the whole PUMA thing was engineered. We may never know.
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by Steve Hall    Mar-26-03    




The True Use of TiVo is Revealed in Post Oscar Study

TiVo reports the most re-watched segments of the Oscar ceremony where the Adrian Brody acceptance speech and Michael Moore's anti-war rant. Not surprisingly, the most paused segment was Julia Roberts walking onstage in that hip-swinging way she has. Just what were viewers doing while they paused the TiVo? [via Ad Age]

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by Steve Hall    Mar-25-03    




Oscar Ratings Lowest Ever

Maybe it was the war, maybe it was Michael Moore. But this years Oscars had the lowest ratings to date at about 37 million.

More...
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by Steve Hall    Mar-25-03    




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