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Ad Age Agency Income Report States Revenue Up 3.4 Percent

Ad Age's annual Agency Report is out and reports U.S. agency and media revenue rose to $10.66 million. Media agency revenue was up 5.4 percent and agency revenue was up 3.4 percent.

by Steve Hall    Apr-19-04    

Jaguar Apologizes For Sex-Laced Promotion

Perhaps attempting to break out of its own stuffy British brand purgatory, Jaguar launched a direct mail campaign for its XK8 that included a letter sent to 35,000 in England laced with sexual innuendo. Unfortunately, one of the letters landed in the hands of a 14 year old girl whose Dad wasn't too pleased thinking it was from a pedophile.

Complaints where passed on the Britain's Advertising Standards Authority and is now being investigated. Jaguar has already reacted to the mistake and has sent out flowers, wine and chocolates to upset customers. Tomorrow's headline will be, "Bottle of Wine Finds Way to Three Year Old's Crib."

by Steve Hall    Apr-19-04    

Jeff Jarvis Leads Discusion on Making Money With Weblogs at BloggerCon

Saturday, I went to BloggerCon, a conference discussing weblogs in journalism, education, science, business and politics. Advance.net President & Creative Director Jeff Jarvis spoke at one of the sessions about ways in which blogs can create revenue streams. Some of the topics discussed are here.

Among the potential channels for revenue are selling advertising, becoming a media property, selling products from the blog, selling blog skills as a "product," selling services and selling premium memberships. Adrants already has a revenue stream from advertising both through BlogsAds and through advertising on the Adrants Daily newsletter.

A revenue channel that is being experimented with here is what I've termed an AdverPost. They occasionally (continually for a day or two so all can see) appear at the top of Adrants and look just like a regular blog post. Examples are here. Since these are ads that look like content, it begs the question - does this cross the line between church and state? Is it misleading to have an ad look that similar to editorial content. Is the disclosure at the bottom of the AdverPost enough? Please offer your thoughts in the comment section.

by Steve Hall    Apr-17-04    

Group Says Ad Shows Too Many Potato Chips

The Children's Advertising Review Unit has asked P & G to pull a Pringle's commercial, called "Pop music," from children's programming which shows teens quick-cut-video-style eating out of more than one Pringle's container. Since one Pringle's container has six servings, the group claimed one can would be enough for all the kids in the ad.

Has the ad industry gone so insane that we can't even show product now? Do we have to be so literal and assume every viewer is an idiot and can't determine the difference between an ad and reality? Sure, kids are obese but last I checked, most kids have parents who should be able to provide proper guidance on eating habits. Actually, if that were true, Pringles would be out of business.

by Steve Hall    Apr-16-04    

Donald Trump Fires George Bush

Capitalizing on the popularity of Donald Trump's "The Apprentice," is this spoof commercial from TrueMajorityACTION PAC, an anti-Bush group. In the spot, footage of Bush and "The Apprentice" are cut together to illustrate Bush's "giant mistake" of overspending, lying, and ruining the economy.

The ad ends saying, "Unfortunately, 'The Donald' can't fire Bush for us. But, we can do it ourselves. Join us at TrueMajorityAction. We'll fire Bush together, and have some fun along the way."

by Steve Hall    Apr-16-04    

Outdoor Goes Digital

In one of the more brilliant comments about a segment of the media industry, Clear Channel Outdoor Chief Executive Officer Paul Meyer had this to say about the future prospects of outdoor advertising, "Until we're all flying around with backpacks, our business is going to be there."

Clear Channel is taking action following years of futuristic blather from the outdoor industry and has hired digital media guru and former AdSpace Networks President and CEO Michael Hudes to put all that blather into action. Hudes has been charged with placing existing technology into existing Clear Channel holdings, explore new technologies and determine appropriateness for Clear Channel and create partnerships with technology vendors who can help shift Clear Channels static signage to more efficient digital formats.

Much of the technology to create an advertising world similar to that seen in the Tom Cruise movie Minority Report exists today but implementing it is a long and costly venture. Clear Channel hopes Hudes is the man to make it happen.

by Steve Hall    Apr-16-04    

British Bank Ad Encourages Cash Strapped to Skip Work and Spend Money

The British, for years, have made fun of the U.S. for our ridiculous turn towards political correctness and lack of humor. Now, it seems, the British have become just like Americans now and can't even have any fun any more.

British Internet bank Egg sent an email newsletter out encouraging customers who have hit the negative category in their bank balance to skip a day of work, grab an Egg bank credit card, and spend, spend, spend. Newsletter copy reads, "Can't face the thought of work? Then throw a sickie and bed down for the day, where all you need to think about is how to pamper yourself next," and suggests this as a means to overcome financially induced depression.

The increasingly PC British Advertising and Standards Authority said, "The tone of the newsletter was irresponsible and could encourage recipients to incur debt at a time when they could least afford it." Egg bank cowered and agreed not to make similar statements in the future.

Is there no longer a place in the world we can depend on for dry wit and humor? If not from Britain, then where? Forget financially induced depression. This will lead to PC induce depression.

by Steve Hall    Apr-16-04    

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    

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