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Wal-Mart Goes Conservative on Lad Magazines

Walmart has banned Maxin, Stuff, and FHM from it's stores after "listening to our customers and associates," said Melissa Berryhill, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart. "I know we've heard on at least one of those magazines, they weren't pleased with the offering."

Publishers had the obvious replies to the move.

"Maybe they think Tyra Banks should have been wearing pink instead of black," said Stephen Colvin, president of Dennis Publishing (Stuff and Maxim) of a recent cover model. "I don't think that these decisions are often rational; they are subjective. For any men's magazine to put a woman on the cover seems a bit troubling to them."

Wal-mart newstand sales account for about 3% of the two publication's newtstand sales.

And from the FHM camp: "We respect Wal-Mart's right to make a product decision, however we do not agree," said a spokeswoman. "FHM never publishes full frontal nudity and never will. And FHM is far more consistent in its adherence to this policy than Details, the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue and many women's fashion magazine's, which publish bare breasts under the guise of art."

by Steve Hall    May- 6-03    

Starcom's Jack Klues Tells Online Media Buyers Their Time Has Come

"It's time for us to use online as a way to deliver television commercials for our clients," said the chief executive of the world's largest media-buying company announcing his company's inclusion of online in this years upfront.

That executive would be Jack Klues of Starcom MediaVest Worldwide, my old boss. Great guy if I do say so myself.

"Offline arguably gets us more eyeballs," he said. "Online gets us more of the right eyeballs. Plus, more immediate and measurable results."

He said this to an audience of 500 at the recent iMedia Summit, a trade show for online buyers and sellers.

He knows what he's talking about. Starcom MediaVest has the most extensive media capabilities and research resource I have ever seen or heard of. Syndicated research is an afterthought at Starcom. The meat is in their proprietary research tools that make any and all syndicated tools pale in comparison. At the summit, he revealed some findings, based on those research tools, for their own online clients, Nintendo and the U.S. Army.

"We learned that young people actually lend greater credence to information they get online than they do from offline sources," he said.

If is refreshing to hear this from a big player in the media buying space. Surely, this bodes well for online media. Thank you, Jack. [via Ad Age]

by Steve Hall    May- 5-03    

Ad Age's TV Spots of the Week

Here's the weekly round up of spots this week from Ad Age. Nothing all that wildly amusing unless you consider a chainsaw that can unclog a toilet or a product that can replace a hammer (glue) or maybe Martin Scorcese babbling on about some photos in a drugstore only to predictably wip out the American Express card amusing.

OK, so some the spots were OK.

by Steve Hall    May- 5-03    

TBWA Wins $160 Million Nextel Account

Much to the chagrin of Mullen, TBWA has won the Nextel account. The media portion of the account is still in review.

by Steve Hall    May- 5-03    

Gen Y Says No to Some Reality Television

In a survey with a forgone conclusion, Bolt, Inc. found 68% of 12-24 year olds are getting tired of TV because of the rash of trash on TV. Reality shows that fall into the "observational" category like The Osbournes and Anna Nicole, are wearing thin. However, audience participation shows like American Idol and romance shows like The Bachelor seem to be doing OK.

"What our study shows is that you have to be very careful about not being too formulaic. One of the things that we did was to segment reality television itself. When you do that, you find viewer participation shows have more legs than do observational shows. Voting and viewer participation is critical for our demographic," said Bolt CEO, Aaron Cohen. [via Media Daily News]

by Steve Hall    May- 5-03    

Proof That Advertising Has a Serious (Sort of) Purpose

Advertising has been used to promote some pretty strange stuff. A Chinese business man has now placed ads for a "perfect virginla bride" . This Shanghai based rich business guy spent about $100K on the campaign and has received 5,000 responses. $20 cost per "lead". Is that good?

This is really personal advertising taken to the extreme. I wonder how a campaign like this would be received here in the states. Some politically correct right wing-nut would surely have something to say about it. I say if you have the money, go for it. [via Annanova]

by Steve Hall    May- 5-03    

Meatloaf Music Used in New GM Spots

Remember Meatloaf? The fat guy who had to suck oxygen while screaming out the lyrics to songs like "Paradise By The Dashboard Light"? Well, GM is using that very song in their new spots to promote the overnight test drive, a new way to test drive a car. GM dealers will let you keep the car overnight to really get a feel for it before you buy.

The buy consists of national broadcast and cable television, radio, and newspaper and kicked off May 1. [via Ad Age]


by Steve Hall    May- 5-03    

An Insiders Look at the Downfall of Dallas Based Berry-Brown Advertising

Mack Simpson, a Texas Ad Monkey as he likes to call himself, used to work for a Dallas based ad agency called Berry-Brown. Berry-Brown, you might recall closed near the end of 2000 after it's eccentric CFO killed himself and killed the agency by embezzling $6.5 million.

Mack was there when it all happened and tells us the inside story in three parts on his weblog. You can read it here. Another lesson in human nature that illustrates you never really know a person until it is, perhaps, too late.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-03    

San Francisco Ad Campaign Portrays Homeless as Druggies and Hurtful to Business

"Today we rode a cable car, visited Alcatraz and supported a drug habit"
"Today I adopted a cat, gave some change and shut down my corner grocer"

Those are the headlines of a new ad campaign for the Hotel Council of San Francisco. The campaign is designed to fight panhandling which has a long history in the city. The Council says the problem is growing and is tarnishing the city's image as a world-class travel destination. They hope they campaign can convince the general public that giving to panhandlers is hurtful to the city's image.

"I think that's really cold. I know a whole bunch of people who aren't on drugs or alcohol," said Carol Oyama, 60. "People give me $20s, $5s, $10s and they give it to me because they want to, not because they have to."

Mayor Wille Brown doesn't like the campaign either and said through his spokesman, "Negative publicity is just a poor way to drum up business, and this seems to be falling on one's own sword."

Hoteliers have a different opinion.

"It's been a major complaint of groups coming in, saying, 'Why don't you do something about this?"' said Robert Begley, the council's director. "When we're on sales trips, the first question we normally get today is, 'What has happened to San Francisco?"'

So what's the solution? Kick the homeless out? Make giving to the homeless illegal? Nobody really has the answer but to deploy an ad campaign that portrays all homeless people as being alcoholics or drug addicts or a general nuisance really isn't a very neighborly solution.

UPDATE: Read The Homeless Guy's take on this in the Comments section below.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-03    

Britney Spears and Christina Aquilera Pointless Post of the Day

Alright, it's been a while since I've made pointless use of Britney Spears and Christina Aquilera to spike visits to Adrants but serious news (as if I ever covered that here in the first place) is light today. What is so newsworthy about Britney and Christina that they should find their way to Adrants today? Absolutely nothing. Except that, oh, they have changed their hair color. Why does this matter? Does anyone care? Not really but then again, this is a pointless post.

So both Britney and Christina have gone from blond to, heaven forbid, brunette! Is there such a thing as a brunette bimbo? Oh sorry, that was mean.

And the importance of this news to the world of advertising? Hmm...Well...Umm... Oh, I go it. All those art directors and stylists out there really need to know this because they simply can't plan the next photo shoot or ad campaign without knowing these important details. After all, Christina will soon be featured in a new campaign for Versace. And Britney? Well, I'm sure some advertiser will be calling her again as soon as she is finished dwelling in the tabloid world and gets back to doing what she does best, pretending to sing and making men across the world wish they were sitting next to her here.

And thanks to ApeChild for giving me the excuse to do this.

Hey, it's Friday.

by Steve Hall    May- 2-03    

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