Australian Virgin Mobile Campaign With Flickr Photos Stirs Debate


There's a storm brewing over Virgin Mobile's use of a Creative Commons-covered photographs from Flickr users in a recent Australian print campaign. While Virgin Mobile clearly notes in the ads, created by Glue Society, where the photographs came from, some are concerned the people in the ads should have been given the chance to sign a model release and the Flickr users and photographers should have at least been asked permission to use the photographs.

With everything just a right click away, the issue of fair use, attribution, copyright or whatever name you want to apply, is a slippery slope indeed. Three days ago, one Flickr user who, apparently, has legal connections says he's sent a cease and desist letter to Virgin Mobile but has not yet received any acknowledgment regarding the letter. Flickr users, including the older brother of one of the girls who appears in one of the photos, are debating the issue here.

We've contacted Glue Society for comment and will report any response we receive as soon as we receive it.

UPDATE: Following an avalanche of complaints, Virgin Mobile has canceled this campaign.

by Steve Hall    Jul-19-07    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Consumer Created, Policy, Social

Adrants Targeted by Miami Serial Killer


Holy shit! It seems we've been targeted by a Miami serial killer according to a WBFX news report. Curiously, all five of the serial killer's victims have been male, in their 30's and work in the media industry. Chillingly, our name has been scrawled in blood on a wall in Miami and on a piece of paper found by the police naming us the killer's next victim. Even more chillingly, we were just in Miami for a conference.

In fear, we've barricaded ourselves into our offices with one inch thick back issues of Vogue and blocked the the windows with the hundreds of Casale Media bags we've collected at ad:tech conferences over the years. The police have been called and we hope the industry's prayers are with us.

OK, OK. It's all just one of those personalized video promotions, this time, for the Showtime series Dexter which will begin airing on FX in the UK.

by Steve Hall    Jul- 5-07    
Topic: Good, Social, Strange, Video, Viral

Cherry Coke Does Colorful MySpace Page, Back Button Still Useless


In one of the better makeovers of the horrific-looking MySpace, Juxt has created a Cherry Coke MySpace Page Design contest that places the winning design on the MySpace homepage. As part of the contest, there's all sorts of Flashtastic goodies for people to embed within their own sites, screensavers, wallpapers and all the rest of the usual stuff.

Unfortunately, as with most Flash creation, the browser Back button is rendered useless causing one to continuously back off the promotional page by mistake. Would it really be so hard for Flash to enable or for designers to make possible the use of the browser back button within a Flash page? Or to prevent the entire Flashurbation from also rendering useless the right click menu? Flash can make beautiful things but it also has a nasty tendency to fuck with established web navigation methods.

by Steve Hall    Jun-29-07    
Topic: Online, Social

NBCU Goes Whor- er, Networking to Push Cheadle


These days it's not enough to appear on a social networking site; you have to be, like, married to one.

On that note, NBC Universal has inked an agreement with to promote Talk to Me, a new Don Cheadle film.

And like all online community courtships, the hope is to build a loyal network of people that will hopefully lift their asses off their ergonomic computer chairs and schmooze at prearranged promotional gatherings in cities like New York, Boston and San Francisco.

But unlike MingleNow, which is pretty loyal to Anheuser-Busch, is a promiscuous bedfellow. Le gasp.

by Angela Natividad    Jun-25-07    
Topic: Online, Promotions, Social

Yawn. Blogosphere Up In Arms Over Microsoft Federated Media Campaign


Oh, the horror! Here we go again. It seems the blogosphere - that square, internally mirrored box in which opinionated blowhards spew forth mindless drivel, their commentary ricocheting off the inner wails of the enclosed box for every other blogger to see and respond to while everyone else outside the box ignores it like children in a sandbox at a backyard cookout - is up in arms...up in arms, we say, over...over...wait for it...comments bloggers have made about - and as part of - Microsoft's new "people-ready" slogan.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jun-23-07    
Topic: Opinion, Social, Weblogs

Samsung Upstage Lip Sync Contest Gets Impressive Entries


Last month, Samsung launched its Upstage Contest which asked people to submit videos of themselves lip syncing Melody Club's Destiny Calling. The judging will begin next week and the lengths to which peole will go to win a video contest is impressive as indicated by these two submissions. Nice work. See them here and here.

by Steve Hall    Jun-19-07    
Topic: Consumer Created, Good, Social, Video

More Book Publishers Take to Social Media


It seems book publisher are getting in social media more and more every day. Simon & Shuster has hooked up with online video producer TurnHere to create a collection of videos that showcase the authors behind the publisher's books. The videos will live on a dedicated YouTube page and on a newly-created Book Videos site.

The branded channels feature authors from each of the company's divisions, including Adult, Children's and Audio. Viewers will see two minute feature pieces focusing on the behind-the-scenes stories of authors' lives, the content of their books, and the inspirations for their latest works.

by Steve Hall    Jun-15-07    
Topic: Good, Social, Video

Barely Political's 'Obama Girl' Sexes Up Obama Campaign


Anytime you stick a stunningly beautiful, hot looking, busty girl in a video and have her coo alluringly into the lens, wide viewership is not far behind and that's exactly what happened with this BarelyPolitical-created video featuring Amber Lee Ettinger, known here as "the Obama Girl," lip syncing the song "I Got A Crush on Obama" written and performed by Temple University student Leah Kaufman who also wrote and sung (but did not appear in) the famed My Box in A Box video. The whole stunt was orchestrated by 32-year-old advertising exec and My Box in A Box creator Ben Relles. So far, the song has achieved 56,000 views on YouTube to date with more sure to come.

In the song, the hottie dances, prances and gushes lustfully about her love for Obama, singing, "I never wanted anybody more than I want you" and "you can Barack me tonight" while giving the camera "the look." It all points to where you can drink in even more of Obama Girl's beauty - including ubiquitous bulging bra shot - and more on the spreading story behind the phenomenon that took Obama campaign officials quite by surprise earlier this week which distanced itself from the movement claiming it had nothing to do with the creation of the video.

by Steve Hall    Jun-14-07    
Topic: Good, Online, Racy, Social, Video

Widgets Measured, Upfront Begins, eBay Yanks AdWords


- Cynopsis reports ComScore will now begin measuring the reach of widgets, used more and more buy brands as a commercial platform.

- Cynopsis also reports the first major upfront deal has been struck between NBC and Group M. The deal is reported to be between $800 million and $1 billion and was based on live plus three ratings.

- There's a bit of a bitch fight going on between Google and eBaby over Google's courting of unhappy eBay merchants who Google would like to have as Google Checkout customers. In an apparent reaction to that, eBay has pulled all its AdWords advertising

- When NBC's Heroes returns this fall, Nissan will be all over the show like Syler on Hiro with increased product placement and exclusive sponsorship of the season opener.

- Ford Models has hooked up with MySpace for its International Model Search. MySpace will be home to the search for both aspiring models and those who just like to look.

- It seems the iPhone is too big for some over at Apple and they want to make it appear smaller in their ads.

by Steve Hall    Jun-14-07    
Topic: Online, Social, Television

VIA (The Small One) Rebrands As Plaid, Launches Brand Aid '07 Tour


Perhaps to avoid confusion with much larger shop, Portland-based Via, or simply to reflect the agency's model of bringing in outside talent, smaller, lesser-known VIA (Visual Intelligence Agency) from Connecticut is re-branding itself Plaid. In doing so, the agency is launching Brand Aid 2007, a three week summer road tour during which agency personal will hop in a van, travel across the country to visit clients, prospective clients and share the social media love with all while web 2.0ing the whole thing with videos posted on YouTube and other content published on social media style sites such as Twitter. Twitter Tripping. That's a new one.

Rather than going it alone and funding it on it's own - though the agency promise it will take the trip regardless of funding, Plaid is looking for sponsors who, they promise, will reap the benefits of publicity that is sure, they claim, to shower this tour. While we're not so sure about that, we can't fault an agency for going about promotion a bit differently with at least the intent towards using emerging media to do so.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jun-13-07    
Topic: Agencies, Good, Guerilla, Social, Sponsorship, Video

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