While Katrina Victims Die, eBay Sells T-Shirts

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Leveraging the misery of others, eBay has, according to Animax, purchased hurricane relief-related keywords on Google to hawk hurricane Katrine t-shirts. Like the stereotypically crass car salesmen of old, eBay, in the midst of a search results page full of Katrina hurricane relief fund listings, eBay is shamelessly selling t-shirts.

UPDATE: In comments, it is clarified that this is an affiliate ad placed by a party other than eBay itself. Still, the average consumer would never know that and would clearly see this as an eBay ad thereby placing the company in a less than respectable light. If eBay, or any other company, can't control how their brand is referenced in online advertising, it's clearly indicative something's very wrong with the system.

by Steve Hall    Aug-30-05    
Topic: Online



Jessica Alba to Launch Baby Clothing Brand

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Without kids and still doing the Hollywood singles scene, albeit with older men because she thinks guys her age are too immature, Jessica Alba has decided to launch a line of baby clothing to help style-conscious parents make their kids look as hip as they do. Naturally, as with all things celebrity, a portion of the proceeds will go to charity - in this case, orphanages and women's shelters. The brand is set to launch next April.

by Steve Hall    Aug-30-05    
Topic: Brands, Celebrity



Consumers Speak Out Against Website Registration

With the increase in websites that require registration to fill their databases with valuable demographic information which is used to properly target advertising, privacy advocates have increasingly spoken out against the practice and fake registration credentials web service, BugMeNot, continues to grow. Now, a site called Internet Advertiser Wakeup Day has launched a petition which vows to, on November 13th, have all signers register fakes details on sites the have deemed the top ten offending sites: nytimes.com, washingtonpost.com, latimes.com, ajc.com, chicagotribune.com, dallasnews.com, nypost.com, philly.com and mercurynews.com.

While no one likes to be interrupted with registration when all one is trying to do is read a simple article arrived at through another link, there is value to the registration process. In it's current state, though, it's a mess. Much work needs to be done and much explanation of the value of registration to the consumer needs to be done as well along with making the entire process far simpler. Shedding insight on the issues and suggesting a speedier, aggregated process, Underscore Marketing President Tom Hespos offers his opinion on MediaPost.

by Steve Hall    Aug-30-05    
Topic: Online



Word of Mouth to Battle Advertising in Blog Fight

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While we'd all have to agree that word of mouth marketing is part of advertising and not a separate entity, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association has forged ahead with the launch of the "Word of Mouth vs. Advertising" weblog where industry experts will come together to discuss the merits, impact and relationship of word of mouth to advertising in general. WOMMA says the blog is an experiment in participatory blogging and that 50 or so industry gurus have been invited to express their viewpoints on the topic.

by Steve Hall    Aug-30-05    
Topic: Weblogs, Word of Mouth



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Legalities of Brand Usage in Spec Spots Questioned

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Television commercial director and photographer Paul Papanek who, a few years ago, directed a couple of spec spots recently received several letters from Coke's in-house and out-of-house legal councils informing him he used Coke's logo without permission. His spots have been featured on his websites as well as on The Spec Spot and Boards Magazine. Each of the three letters Papanek received were increasingly threatening with the last one, dated August 15, informing him he must remove the spots from all the sites within 14 days or suffer nastier legal ramifications.

While Coke is well within their rights to protect their logo and brand, Papanek, writing in the WheresSpot Yahoo news group, wonders about the implications of Coke's request. Papanek cites the common practice of directors and production companies producing spec spots to promote their businesses, build their freelance careers or to pitch new business and wonders how this might affect spec creative. We wonder if new businesses pitches and creative reels will now be required to have logos digitized out. The two spots in question can be seen here and here. Papanek has commented and posted Coke's letters here.

by Steve Hall    Aug-30-05    
Topic: Brands, Commercials, Policy



'Country Home' Celebrates City-Style

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Country Home magazine will promote its upcoming October 2005 "Creativity Issue" with its first annual Be Creative! New York, a day-long, outdoor festival combining live performances and interactive seminars to "inspire creativity, passion and self expression." Country Home Editor-in-Chief Carol Sheehan and Creative Director Mary Emmerling will host the event, and Grammy award-winning singer-songwriter Mary Chapin Carpenter will perform songs from her acclaimed latest album, Between Here and Gone, as well as classics spanning her career. We can't think of a better place to celebrate Country than in the middle of the world's biggest City.

The event is open to the public and will be held in Central Park's Rumsey Playfield on Saturday, October 1st from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. More info here.

by Steve Hall    Aug-30-05    
Topic: Magazine, Promotions









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