In really important news today, WOMMA's Andy Sernovitz has, reportedly, called BzzAgent CEO Dave Balter a dick. Read all about it here. It seems Sernovitz is miffed by all the publicity BzzAgent gets but Balter says that is no fault of his. It's just lazy journalists who hold BzzAgent up as the only practitioner in the space which, of course, is not true and Balter acknowledges that.. Ever since buzz marketing and word of mouth marketing started and back to the days of Justin Kirby (who seems to have disappeared off the face of the planet) there have been these in explicable tiffs among people in this space. I don't know if it's a young industry trying to define itself or the personalities of the people involved but I do know it's dumb and unproductive.
Aren't we tired of Brokeback Mountain parodies and rip offs yet? Apparently, the folks at McCann Lisbon aren't and have created this Brokeback Mountain-themed commercial to promote the Lisbon appearance of CowParade, an art tour that features fiberglass cows painted by artist, designers, advertising creatives, students and the public.
When one thinks of Maine, one usually envisions beautiful mountain landscapes, endless coastline and a land made for vacationing. That all may be true but recently, at least in the ad industry, things have been pretty ugly. A blogger, Lance Dutson, has been sued by Warren Kremmer Paino Advertising for defamation, libel and copyright infringement. Basically, Dutson called attention to an ad he found on the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development website which carries a telephone number that, apparently by mistake, leads to some sort of dating/phone sex operation. The Maine Office of Tourism and its agency Warren Kremmer Paino weren't too pleased Dutson called attention to the ad which, according to Dutson, was publicly available on a website. While we don't claim to have intimate knowledge of all the details (there summed up here) the saga, it seems, is yet another example of how poorly large organizations react to having their dirty laundry aired when a simple, "Oops, we're sorry, we goofed," would suffice.
On April 26th, the Boston-based Prescription Access Litigation Project will present four Bitter Pill Awards to pharmaceutical companies that have engaged in outrageous advertising tactics to over-market their product to consumers. The Bitter Pill Awards were created to call attention to the many problems caused by direct-to-consumer advertising conducted by the drug industry.
CareerBuilder, the job site that has a love affair with chimps, has had a feature called Monk-email for a while that lets people create video messages to send to their friends. Usually when companies engage in this sort of send-a-message-to-a-friend thing, the assumption is that the message will be private and only viewed by the intended recipient. Well, it seems that's not the case with CareereBuilder's Monk-e-mail. As Adrants reader Taariq Lewis tells us, one can very easily view any of the thousands of the individually created messages simply by changing a few of the numbers in the URL.
The future of the American Legacy Foundation's Truth campaign could be in jeopardy following a Delaware Supreme Court case next Wednesday, April 26 during which Lorillard Tobacco Company will appeal an earlier ruling which found the American Legacy Foundation Truth campaign did not, as Lorillard claimed it did, vilify the tobacco company. If Lorillard wins, the tone of the campaign may have to change dramatically and Lorillard has asked the approximately $1.5 billion in money provided by manufacturers to American Legacy Foundation be returned to an escrow account making it, the organization claims, impossible to continue with its anti-smoking efforts.
The American Legacy Foundation claims the Truth campaign is crucial to maintaining and lowering youth smoking. The Foundation claims the campaign aided the decline in youth smoking 22 percent from 2000 to 2002 resulting in 300,000 teens choosing not to smoke in 2002. There are simple truths here. Every human knows this. Smoking is bad. If a person wants to smoke, they can make that choice. But cigarette makers should not be able to stifle organizations that are trying to provide information that helps a person decide whether or not they will take up smoking. That's just wrong.
Software developer Teletype has filed a suit against the Audit Bureau of Circulation alleging the organization turned a blind eye to Laptop magazine's inflation of its circulation. The suit, filed last week according to Newsday, names Laptop publisher Bedford Communications, Bedford executives Edward Brown and John Jay Annis, defunct distributor Inflight Newspapers and former Inflight executive Remy Lehner. In the suit, Bedford is accused of paying Inflight "to accept delivery of tens of thousands of copies of Laptop magazine each month in return for paperwork showing that Inflight had 'accepted' the copies for distribution" but were never delivered.
We can't possibly be the only ones sick of seeing this upon visiting the many sites who for some odd reason insist upon using slow ad servers. In all honestly, we're not out to trash Falk but we've seen this particular slowness for years. Not months. Years. One would think after all that time, someone might say, "Hey, something's not right," and actually do something about the problem. Just as bad is AdFreak's use of CheckM8's Applet thingy that makes it impossible to do anything for about 15 seconds after visiting the site. We're sure our ad server sucks too but that's besides the point. After all these years of ad serving, why do we still have these issues?
Once again, Bucky Turco finds laziness in advertising. It appears outdoor companies are unable to or unwilling to provide even the lest bit of common sense when it comes to competitive ad placement. First, Viacom placed two vodka ads next to each other. Next, two beer brands appear next to each other on buses. And now, Van Wagner has two airlines right next to each other. Hello? Media buyers? Sales reps? Do you care what happens after you send/receive the IO?
We wonder why we had to wait so long for a spoof of the Honda Choir ad to make it's debut and now we know. This spoof from 118 118, the same people that spoofed the Honda Cog spot, is so horrifically bad, they had to re-shoot it over and over and over to make it even worse so it good then be released as "so bad it's good." What a waste of time. View it, if you have to, over at Adland.