A British Muslim activist group, Muslims Against Advertising, is fed up with sexually charged ads and has begun defacing and tearing down billboards that show scantily clad women revealing "offending" body parts. The group has set up a website (a lame geocities site down, apparently, due to all this news) listing advertisers it feels are offensive and offers tips to vandals.
Thong-maker Sloggi, which runs provocative billboards specifically to push limits to garner press coverage, is one of the groups biggest targets.
The European Commission has warned fast food companies to stop advertising junk food to children and suggests the industry self-regulate itself or face legislation which would limit advertising. Along with America, Europe is getting fat. A recent study predicts 50 percent of British children will be obese by 2020. In Southern Europe, one in three kids are clinically obese, 36 percent of Italian nine year old are overweight and 27 percent of Spanich children are deemed overweight.
Australia has dubbed its obese kids Generation O. Writing in Ad Age, Executive Editor Jonah Bloom says the obesity scare is blown out of proportion and food giants are not entirely to blame.
UPDATE: Association of National Advertiser CEO Bob Liodice wrote an editorial in today's Ad Age arguing the recent issuance of the Center for Science in the Public Interest's "Guidelines for Responsible Food Marketing to Children" is an infringement on free speech. He posted the editorial on his weblog.
Created by 72andSunny, trendy sports fashion brand Quicksilver has launched a collection of television spots that feature X Game medalist Todd Richards and Danny Kass.
The Richards and Kass spots use kitschy surf movies from the 1960s (like Gidget and Beach Blanket Bingo) as visual inspiration. The ads incorporate music produced and composed by Tom Baxter, grandson of Les Baxter, who scored many of the surf movies of that era. For the humorous dialogue scenes between the two athletes, Kass and Edwards were shot against a rear projection screen, which created the purposefully low budget look and effect of Kass and Richards ¬≥snowboarding¬≤ against a park background when, in actuality, they were goofing off on a Burbank sound stage. The director then interspersed these dialogue segments with cutaway trick shots culled from stock footage.
The spots break January 20 on ESPN, FOX Sports and ABC, with additional ads created for viewing on the Quicksilver website.
Ripping apart a current television campaign for Jamster Ringtones which employs the visual of a dancing guinea pig to promote its new Hampster Dance ringtone, Claymore, writing on Adland, points out the crude animation was basically stolen from a Doner Advertising created 2002 Super Bowl spot Blockbuster ran called "Kung Fu" featuring a guinea pig and a rabbit.
With side by side comparison, Claymore makes it quite clear the visual was obviously ripped right out of the Blockbuster spot and slammed, badly, into the Jamster spot. Hmm, do we hear the lawyers making calls today?
For the introduction its new cold water laundry detergent Tide Coldwater, Procter and Gamble has launched a website to promote the product, give away free samples, allow visitors to tell their friends and add their zip code which places them on an American map to illustrate how product usage has spread. Signing up to receive the free product leads visitors to a data gold mine-building optional survey which queries laundry detergent brand usage, feelings about Tide, temperature used when washing clothes and Tide Coldwater purchase intent.
A social network of sorts and a real world demonstration of the six degrees of separation concept, the Tide Coldwater site is powered by Eyebeam's Forward Track, an open source project designed to promote online activism.
Following the January 15 launch of its 5 second television campaign to promote its V-Series cars, Cadillac is set to announce a contest wherein amateur filmmakers can submit their own 5-second spots, with the winner driving off in a CTS-V. The contest will be announced at Sundance, with submissions taken between Super Bowl Sunday and Feb. 17. Submission will be made through CadillacUnder5, a site which features John Travolta in his Chili Palmer character from the upcoming MGM movie Be Cool.