Bill Wins 'The Apprentice'

Bill beats Kwame. Chooses to work in Chicago building a Trump tower over the Sun Times building. Omarosa still looks like a liar. Donald learns how to read a teleprompter. Blah, blah, blah. It all starts again this Fall.

Read Oliver Willis's excellent summary and many reader comments over at his "Aprentice Watch" weblog.

by Steve Hall    Apr-15-04    

Anheuser-Busch Caves to Puritanical Right

We may never see another beer babe or bathroom humor beer commercial from a brewer again and we can blame (or thank) Janet Jackson. The King of Beers has decided it's time to tone down its commercials in response to the sudden increase in sensitivity to anything outside the perfect world of political correctness. Given the sad state of beer commercials, this may not be a bad thing in the long run. Some agencies just might be forced to actually be creative rather than make a horse fart or a dog bite a crotch.

by Steve Hall    Apr-15-04    

Thalia Magazine Launches

Today marks the launch of Thalia's new magazine. Titled "Thalia," the magazine will target Latina girls with the usual topics such as beauty, fashion, celebtity gossip but carry an "inspirational" tone. The magazine is a joint venture between American Media Inc., Tommy Mottola and Thalia Sodi herself.

by Steve Hall    Apr-15-04    

Opinions On School Advertising Divided

A recent survey on the hot topic of in-school advertising show opinions are sharply divided. While half say schools should be ad-free and half say it's OK, the study, by Harris Interactive/Kid Power Poll of Youth Marketers, found 64 percent think targeting kids in schools is "not very" or not at all" important yet 74 percent say in-school advertising is bound to increase.

It's the cash-strapped position of many schools that's the driving force behind schools considering the acceptance of advertising. School districts are being forced to reckon with faltering budgets and allowing the partiality of advertising in the door is one, albeit questionable, method of budget survival.

Opinions on the kinds of in-school adverting vary. For example, 84 percent believe sponsorship of sporting events is OK, 73 percent say school newspaper advertising is OK, 65 percent say corporate logos on school sports teams is OK. On the other hand, 69 percent say school bus advertising is not OK, 65 percent say text book cover advertising is not OK, 61 percent say lesson plan product integration is not OK and 54 percent say advertising in school event publications is not OK.

The debate over in-school advertising boils down to, like anything, whether it's done right or not. The ability of advertisers to "save" failing school curriculums with sponsorships is a positive but the execution of that sponsorship is the critical piece. The messaging has to be chosen and vetted very carefully.

by Steve Hall    Apr-15-04    

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Interep to Offer Radio and Online Combo Package

Interep, a sales rep firm, has announced plans to sell combination buys across its radio and online properties. The firm claims radio and online work well together as the two media are commonly consumed in tandem. Interep sales reps will be trained to embrace and sell this new integrated offering and be tasked with selling directly to the client.

This end-run around the agency combined with the natural tendency of most media buyers to break up combos to suit their client's individual needs, makes this offering, while admirable, shaky at best.

by Steve Hall    Apr-15-04