U.S. Army Banner Recruits Arabs to Hunt Arabs

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Creature of culture, Bucky Turco sent along this U.S. Army banner and noted its edgy but odd message. The banner reads, "Use Your Arabic to Help Build Your Future." Of course, innocently, that just means, "hey, one who speaks Arabic, consider joining the Army." Not so innocently, it might mean, "Hey one who speaks Arabic, consider joining the Army and let us use your language skills to hunt down and kill those Arab fuckers." Take your pick but we're sure both notions passed through the minds of those behind this recruitment effort. See the full banner here.

by Steve Hall    Feb-11-06    
Topic: Bad, Creative Commentary, Online



Sean John Wants You to be Unforgivable

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These new posters shot by Bucky Turco for Diddy/P. Diddy/Sean Combs/Sean John or whatever the hell he calls himself promoting his fragrance "Unforgiveable" are just that. Who exactly aspires to become the multi-chained, tongue-wagging, multi-female bedding man portrayed in this ad. Oh wait. Sorry. Every guy does. Carry on.

by Steve Hall    Feb-10-06    
Topic: Bad, Celebrity, Outdoor, Poster



David Hasselhoff Humps Pepsi Bottle Cap

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Apparently, in Australia, it's acceptable for David Hasselhoff to hump a bottle cap Elvis-style for Pepsi on a billboard. I thought he was banned to Germany. Experience the full size image of this abomination here.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-06    
Topic: Bad, Outdoor



Toronto to Get It's Own Times Square Ad Monstrosity

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Looking like a Times Square wannabe, this design for a new building, the Metropolis, to be built at Younge-Dundas Square, a tourist mall, in Toronto is causing big debate among Canadians in the area. No marketer has yet lodged a complaint.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 9-06    
Topic: Bad, Outdoor



Emerald Nuts Super Bowl Ad Stupid

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OK, the Emerald Nuts Super Bowl ad was just stupid. There's not much more to say about it. Unless, of course, you have a thing for druids and Asians with machetes. If you simply have to see it, you can see it here.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 5-06    
Topic: Bad, Commercials, Super Bowl 2006, Television



CBS Offers 'Survivor' For Download Then Takes It Back

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Calling it a first, CBS has announced it will make the hit reality series Survivor available for download from its site for $1.99 per episode. The episodes will only be viewable for a 24 hour period after purchase and we're told CBS will use some sort of digital rights management to prevent a downloaded video from playing after the 24 hour period. While other networks and producers are selling episodes outright for the $1.99 price, CBS, by asking a person to buy something for $2 and then taking it back a day later, isn't quite what we had in mind for this new on-demand world we're in. They'll call it renting. We'll call it a rip off, We'll stick with our ad-skipping DVR and our big screen TV over the laptop and a slow download.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 1-06    
Topic: Bad, Online, Television



IKEA Dresses Filipinos As Swedish Maids In Kuwaiti Ad

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Kuwaiti Art Director and Ad Blogger Tata Botata (or whatever his real name is) pointed us to this Kuwaiti IKEA ad on the back of a local dining guide that shows Filipinos, apparently the predominant wait staff in the country, portrayed Swedish maids. While Botata tells us its very common to see Filipino wait staff in Kuwait, he took issue with IKEA dressing them up in stereotypical Swedish garb and headlining the ad with, "Enjoy the Swedish hospitality at IKEA store."

We don't pretend to understand all the cultural ramifications of this but we prefer our Swedish maids blond, buxom and holding beer St. Pauli Girl-style. Then again, that's got its own nasty, sexist, stereotypical baggage.

by Steve Hall    Jan-30-06    
Topic: Bad, Brands, Magazine



Ad Community Slaps Down 'Ad-Free Blog' Movement

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Yesterday we shared our opinion on the Ad-Free Blog movement commenting "until aliens land and introduce an entirely new economic system, advertising will continue to make the world go 'round." Today, the inimitably more adamant Bucky Turco has weighed in on the topic, sending a letter to the folks over at Ad-Free Blog writing, in part, "The whole reason a lot of brands are going online is because they like the openness and frankness which the blogs bring. I mean look at Gawker for Christ sake. Huge blog, lots of advertisers, and their editorial wall is thick like the Great Wall of China. Not to mention it forces brands to come up with quality stuff or they will get slammed, whether they are paying customers or not."

While the effort was not well received within the ad community, there's no doubt the two people behind Ad-Free Blog, Keri Smith and Jeff Pitcher are fine human beings. After all, Smith is an accomplished author and Pitcher is a devoted musician and artist but, as Turco points out, they aren't marketers, "Again it [Ad-Free Blogs] is a good idea for someone who knows nothing about the subject, but the bloggers will definitely call you on your bullshit. Key is keeping up a strict editorial wall and attracting and selecting only cool advertisers that get it. And trust me, plenty of them "get it."

While we might all be uppity over the effort these two have launched, everyone, after all, is entitled to their opinion.

by Steve Hall    Jan-25-06    
Topic: Bad, Opinion, Weblogs



Starcom Founder to Head Review of Starcom-Held Miller Account

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We've had the pleasure of working for Bob Brennan but when we learned he would be co-presiding over the $300 million Miller media account review, currently handled by Starcom which Bob Brennan founded and has since left, we couldn't help feeling a bit odd about the whole thing.

It seems to us an account review manage by someone who founded an agency involved in the pitch is about as unbiased as a parent judging their own kid in a ice skating competition. Miller says the review is just part of their normal "best practices policy" but as far as we know, best practices doesn't include nepotism.

by Steve Hall    Jan-20-06    
Topic: Agencies, Bad, Opinion, Strange



Urban Outfitters Highjacks Brand...Again

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Back in May 2005, we reported on an incident in which clothing company Crown Farmer claimed Urban Outfitter had stolen its designs and sold them without proper license. It appears the retailer is, again, up to no good, this time, with Johnny Cupcakes which claims the retailer has produced designs very similar to Johnny Cupcakes' which Urban Outfitters had previously seen but declined to license. It appears Urban Outfitters has borrowed heavily from a Johnny Cupcake bomb-dropping design. One time is, perhaps, a coincidence. Two times and it's time for Urban Outfitters to come clean.

UPDATE: Someone's started a blog called Urban Counterfitters taking Urban Outfitters and other retailers to task for their "borrowing" of other's designs.

by Steve Hall    Jan-18-06    
Topic: Bad, Brands










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