New York Times' New Ombudsman Sadly Out of Touch

The Kicker's Elizabeth Spiers, back from a week of jury duty hell, gives Daniel Okrent, the new ombudsman for the New York Times, a warm Kicker-like welcome. Commenting on Okrent's assumption that everyone still reads the newspaper for news and commentary "critically erroneous," Spiers wonders why Okrent doesn't know that everyone now gets their news from Geraldo Rivera and The Daily Show. Or, I ask, maybe this thing called the Internet?

Okrent says he's been reading the newspaper for 37 years. Perhaps, with all the changes in media over the last 37 years, it might be more appropriate to have someone in the position of ombudsman that might actually have a closer connection to today's generation and their media consumptions habits.

OK, I admit, I liked New England Monthly when he was editor.

by Steve Hall    Dec-12-03    




NRA To End Run Campaign Finance Ad Rules

Following the recent court ruling limiting political broadcast advertising within 30 days of a primary and 60 days of a general election, the National Rifle Association has snubbed the ruling and is looking to buy its own broadcast outlet to skirt the ruling. The NRA is taking advantage of a loophole in the law that allows station owners to broadcast stories and commentary on issues such as, you guessed it, gun control. So, the NRA is out shopping.

"We haven't bought anything yet, but we are actively exploring the option," said Wayne LaPierre, the group's executive vice president. "It's one of the ways under the bill that we'll be allowed to speak up until Election Day."

by Steve Hall    Dec-12-03    




Paris Hilton Tops 'Media Person of the Year' Poll

Either Americans have given up all pretense of appearing to care about important issues like Iraq, Africa and South Korea's nuclear threat or we just want a vacation from the incessant bad news flying through the media. It's probably both as typified by our voting Paris Hilton the number one media star on iwantmedia's/The Week's online "Media Person of the Year" poll. Paris is followed closely by Bonnie Fuller. No mention was made of those old farts who actually discuss important news issues on Sunday mornings.

by Steve Hall    Dec-12-03    




Ad Agencies Pat Self On Back, Look For Self-Approval

Really, Advertising IS Important!

Suffering from chronically low self-esteem and always in need of a good party, the ad industry is self-congratulating itself with what it hopes will become an annual event on par with The TriBeCa Film Festival or The New York Film Festival. The Advertising Association of America announced Advertising Week, to be held in New York City next September 20 - 24, as a means to celebrate the industry's contribution to society and to bring together other industry related trade associations with seminars, panel discussions and, oh my God, it's own Advertising Awards For Excellence and even an Advertising Hall of Fame. Mark your calendars! This is an event not to be missed.

The week long event will also feature a Madison Avenue "Advertising Walk of Fame" that will forever embed the likes of Tony the Tiger, the Energizer Bunny and the Jolly Green Giant into the sidewalk so that passers buy can stomp on the logos while yelling, "Stop making me buy your shit!" The best part is that the public gets to choose which logos and slogans they want to stomp by voting on Yahoo and USA Today. There may also be a parade of inflatable brand images to further allow consumers to express their love for advertising by, oh, I don't know, shooting darts at the inflatables.

Some serious stuff will be discussed too like the self-importance, I mean importance advertising has to the culture and economy of the country and how it has and will continue to change the country's social fabric.

AAAA and Advertising Week President and CEO O. Burtch Drake blustered, "We've been through several tough years. We seem to be coming out of it, and we think now is the time to showcase what we do and how well we do it. We're here to reassert Madison Avenue as one of the pre-eminent industries in New York City."

by Steve Hall    Dec-12-03    




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Blinking Billboards Seen As Advertising Pollution

New York City's Upper West Side resident are banding together against Clear Channel Communications' proliferation of blinking billboards that, as residents claim, are turning their neighborhood into Times Square North. Over the past four years, in a deal with the financially struggling Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Clear Channel has erected 800 backlit displays near subway stations through out the city with the newest in the Upper West Side. Residents feel the signs are distracting and intrusive to neighborhood life and they want them gone.

by Steve Hall    Dec-12-03    










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