There's probably not a soul alive who's actually read through an entire annual report. If there is, we feel pity because they are written horribly and contain some of the most bland, verbal irrelevancy ever produced. Here to celebrate that annual expulsion of verbal diarrhea is Fighting Bull's 2005 Manure Madness Annual Bull Tournament. It's been underway since Early March but, last week, the Tournament entered the Final four leaving McKesson and Lockheed standing tall as the two companies spewing the finest annual report drivel.
If your looking for some enjoyment at the expense of a few bloated Fortune 500 companies and the poor copywriters forced to write this stuff, visit the Tournament's standings site, revel in the inanity of corporate America and cast your vote for the "Shining Beacon of Business Idiocy."
Today, Pamela Anderson has joined Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliott, Linda Evangelista, Chloe Sevigny and Boy George as spokesmodel for VIVA GLAM V lipstick and lipglass, the fund-raising arm of M.A.C. Aids Fund.
Upon joining the campaign, Anderson said, "M.A.C. VIVA GLAM V is a great campaign to be involved with," Anderson said in a statement. "I feel privileged and empowered to help raise funds and awareness of the importance for getting tested. After being diagnosed with hepatitis C, I knew the importance of knowing your status. Only then can you make informed and wise decisions for your health and life."
Writing on his blog, ANA Marketing Musings, ANA CEO and President Bob Liodice takes issue with recent political attempts to blame advertisers for society's ills, namely, childhood obesity. Liodice thinks government regulation of advertising would be bad. Not that it really supports the point, but Liodice lists a litany of great things the ad industry has done for society, in general, from Ad Council work to Partnership for a Drug Free America to the self-regulatory work of the Children's Advertising Review Unit.
While forcing crap down people's throats via advertising might not be a good thing, perhaps advertising isn't completely to blame. If there was no crap to force in the first place, there'd be no crap pushed to the public via advertising. In a capitalistic society, companies will do whatever is best for their financial bottom line - even if it makes American's bottom line obese.
There may be no solution to this problem but Liodice's commentary brings to light to notion of "don't shoot the messenger." While advertising may be a much easier and more visible target to complain about, if 750 calorie mega-burgers weren't manufactured in the first place, there's be no ad selling that crap. Perhaps the gun barrel needs to be aimed elsewhere.
While Jennifer Lopez tries to play down her big buns, KFC in the UK is trying to play up the buns of its MiniFillet chicken burger in a new commercial for the chain's in which, according to complaints, the burger appears bigger than it does in real life. Apparently, KFC found a female model with very small hands to hold the burger in the spot so as to play tricks with viewer's eyes. The UK Advertising Standards Agency has banned the ad based on complaints.
One day after dumping Goodby Silverstein & Partners, eBay, whose new President Bill Cobb has lengthy ties with BBDO, has proved, once again, it's not the work you do but the people you know. That's right. Cobb, yesterday, handed his company's $74 million (TNS measured media) account to BBDO. Indicating, maybe, Cobb has a thing against Goodby, in the late 90's, he fired Goodby when he was marketing SVP for Pizza Hut and handed that account to BBDO.
In a say nothing press release, Cobb gave lots of BBDO love calling the agency the "best agency in the business. Continuing, he uttered the PR cut and paste, "To generate the integrated marketing efforts we undertake today, we needed an agency that could deliver creative excellence across our marketing mix."
Well, at least the Omnicom holding company big boys are happy it's all staying in-house. By the way, WTF? The BBDO site is "under construction." Didn't that excuse go out in the mid 90's? Instead of using a lame-ass "under construction" page, just leave the old site up until the new one is done. How hard is that?
While watching this week's American Idol on which Jessica Sierra's booty was booted, Jossip's David Hausliab, saw a commercial for the 2005 Ford Escape and couldn't contain himself. Writing as only David can write, he trashes the spot, saying, "...the 2005 Ford Escape, carrying the tagline "100% SUV." C'mon, are they just trying to convince themselves? 153 horsepower? We've taken shits with more thrust. This thing is the girliest, tween SUV we've seen since Toyota's RAV4, and Ford's attempt at persuading otherwise is insulting."
A new Entertainment Weekly subscriber experiences the desperation publishers go to to maintain circulation levels. After subscribing to Entertainment Weekly by responding to a 26 issue offer, Jodster, after receiving just one issue, received a promotional piece to renew his subscription. After the third issue, he received a second promotion and after the fifth - still with 21 issues to go, he received the pictured "Last Chance!" offer. To those of us in the business, this is not unusual but the perception it creates among subscribers should be of interest to us.
Writing on his blog, after receiving the second renewal notice, Jodster wrote, "I still have 23 issues to go, and yet they want to get me to renew my subscription. Is the circulation department so inept that it would require more than twenty weeks to process a subscription renewal?" While keeping circulation up is, most assuredly, a nightmarish job, appearing inept to subscribers is probably not the perception publishers should create.
For discount junkies, Coupons, Inc., a U.S. provider of consumer-printable coupons, has rolled out an RSS feed to deliver advertisers’ coupons directly to consumers' desktops. The new all-coupons feed is available on the My Yahoo and My MSN services from www.coupons.com and for stand-alone RSS readers via www.coupons.com/rss.asp.
Apparently, the growing popularity of RSS feeds could not be ignored. Not an all bad idea for those that hate schlepping pounds and pounds of newspaper coupons to the dump each week, the coupons delivered to RSS subscribers are also updated simultaneously on Coupons, Inc.’s recently introduced CouponBar, - a toolbar directly installed into Web browsers that features an updated list of available offers. Combine this with A9 and no one ever has to leave their desk again to shop anymore. Here's to an even fatter America.
Commercial Alert sent a letter today to PBS, criticizing it for partnering with Comcast in a 24-hour cable channel for children that will carry advertisements. The letter follows.
Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer
Public Broadcasting System
1320 Braddock Place
Alexandria, VA 22314
Via fax: (703) 739-7500
Dear Mr. Godwin:
The New York Times reports today that PBS and Comcast are partners in a new 24-hour digital cable channel for children that will play commercials along with programs such as Elmo and Sesame Street. Other co-owners will be Sesame Workshop and HIT Entertainment.
Public broadcasting is supposed to be an alternative to the commercial networks and a refuge from the huckstering that assaults children there. It is supposed to give kids, and parents, a real choice in this regard – a choice where kids won’t be seduced with junk food, junk entertainments and noxious commercial values with which parents may disagree.
In case you somehow haven’t noticed, American children already are subject to an unprecedented barrage of commercial propaganda. And, not surprisingly, they suffer from an epidemic of marketing-related diseases, such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Recent research by Juliet Schor found that “High consumer involvement is a significant cause of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and psychosomatic complaints” in children. Why would you want to make this any worse?
Your descent into commercial predation has been swift. In 1998, PBS first ran national commercials before and after Sesame Street. And despite shocking rates of childhood obesity, in 2003, PBS began running ads for McDonalds before and after Sesame Street. What’s next? A partnership with Philip Morris? If there’s enough money in it, why not?
Children need adults who will stand up to the commercial culture. They need adults who will put their health and development above the interests of money. It looks as though they aren’t going to find these adults at PBS any more.