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GM Addresses LA Times Dispute

Recently GM pulled its advertising from the LA Times over some allegedly inaccurate editorial. Writing on GM's FastLane weblog, Communications VP Gary Grates addresses the action saying the company is working with the newspaper to explore the situation and praises the Times for its cooperation. But, he will reserve final comment on the issues until the Times has had a chance to tell its side of the story.

14-Apr-05 » (0)

Campaign Launched to Save Big Breasts

As only the Sun can do, the paper has launched a campaign (link NSFW) to save, as they call them, "two of Britain's most outstanding monuments - Jordan's (Katie Price) boobs." The famous model has decided her 32FF breasts are simply too big and she has announced she will have her implants removed. The Sun has enlisted the help of the country's National Trust but a spokesman for the organization declined, citing the non-natural qualities of Jordan's monuments, "Our remit is to preserve places of outstanding natural beauty – so we will have to pass on this." Undeterred, the paper is looking to its readers enlisting support via an email campaign intended to convince Jordan of the country's love and admiration of her assets.

14-Apr-05 » (2)

Ad Skipping A $27 Billion Loss

Ad Age reports chilling findings from consultancy firm Accenture which claims on demand and ad skipping will cost the television industry $27 billion over the next five years. Additionally, the company reports 70 percent of DVR users already skip ads and that DVR penetration will hit 40 percent by 2009. Combine this with Bob Garfield's recent manifesto on looming chaos in the advertising industry and the picture is far from rosy.

14-Apr-05 » (0)

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ZDNet Auctions Podcast Sponsorship on eBay

Jumping on two bandwagons at the same time, ZDNet, using eBay, is auctioning advertising time on its IT Matters podcast hosted by David Berlind. The winning bidder will receive a :60 sponsorship message on five of the podcasts. Graciously, ZDNet will donate the proceeds of this auction to Save the Children: 2004 Tsunami Relief Fund.

14-Apr-05 » (0)

Book Promoted With Sheep And One Hit Wonder

Seems book publishers are increasingly experimenting with new means to promote new titles. A book by Sam Apple, called Schlepping Through The Alps is being promoted with a comical "Who Let The Jews Out" Flash video crafted to the tune of Baha Men's Who Let The Dogs Out.

For an uglier version of the tune, check out this video.

14-Apr-05 » (0)

Celebrities Ask for Help in One Campaign

A cadre of celebrities have appeared in a new campaign for One: The Campaign to Make Poverty History. The television commercial, which debuted on MTV and ABC April 10, features Bono, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Brad Pitt and Al Pacino pointing out global poverty and other epidemics. The ad, which closes with the tagline "We're not asking for your money. We're asking for your voice,: directs viewers to One's website, a clearing hose for a collection of organizations headed by Bono's Debt Aids Trade Africa. Claiming the campaign is not about money is a bit of a misnomer given this statement on the One website which reads, "We believe that allocating an additional ONE percent of the U.S. budget toward providing basic needs like health, education, clean water and food, would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation of the poorest countries." OK, so it's the government's money but you know whose pocket that comes from.

while there's no question action is needed to fend off poverty and other worldly ailments but these celebrity focused ads just rub the wrong way. Viewing these commercials makes one want to scream, "Dude, just hand over 90 percent of your salary to those who need it and stop preaching!" Granted, no one should be penalized for making a lot of money and it's been proved celebrities are effective at shining the light on the world's problems but it still doesn't feel right.

14-Apr-05 » (0)

ANA President Offers Six Steps to Marketing Greatness

Writing on his weblog, Association of National Advertiser President Bob Liodice offers six platforms which create the foundation for successful marketing. From product and service quality to continuous improvement to creating one to one connections with consumers, Liodice offers positive fodder for improving a company's marketing efforts.

14-Apr-05 » (0)

Conde Nast Launches 'Domino,' Gawker Was There

Reporting in the glib tone as only Gawker can, the gossip site sent head honcho Lockhart Steele (who names their kid like that?) to the launch party for Conde Nast's shopping magazine Domino. With lots of pictures and ripe commentary, you too, can experience the self-importance of a magazine launch party. See Stuart Elliott bid up a storm on the silent auction tables. See actress Marcia Gay Harden (again, with the naming here) kick Stuart's butt outbidding him for a quilted bed sheet. See The Apprentice firees Michael Tarshi and Kristen Kirchner catch camera time. Collect candlestick and pillowcase-filled schwag bags. And revel in glee that now, yes, you too, can become an educated 30 year old homeowner armed with information to buy domestic goods from wallpaper to garden tools.

14-Apr-05 » (0)

Regal Cinemas' 'The 2wenty' Ad Pod Gets Panned

We've railed against pre-movie ads and we're sure to do it again today, we'll let someone else do it. Writing on MSNBC, Andy Dehnart explains Regal Cinemas' new "The 2wenty," a commercial pod that rolls prior to the movie start time. While well produced and entertaining, Dehnart explains how they ruin the movie going experience as we have come to know it.

14-Apr-05 » (0)

Wal-Mart Wastes $35 Million on Environmental Puffery Campaign

In a commercial filled with wildlife imagery, Wal-Mart has announced its "Acres for America" Plan which promises, through a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the retailer will sponsor the preservation of one acre of land for every acre on which it builds. The program attempts to appease the many complaints the company has received from environmental and labor groups.

While saving an acre of land for wildlife is an admirable thing to do, this program is simply a smokescreen for the real issues at hand. Employees want better pay and towns don't want a Wal-Mart on every street corner. Wal-Mart's "Acres for America" addresses neither. It simply employs the tried and true, squishy, aren't-we-great-because-we-love-nature approach to deflect attention from the primary issue.

According to Ad Age, it's spending $35 million on this deflection. If Wal-Mart simply allocated that $35 million to payroll, it would make great strides towards solving at least half its problems.

14-Apr-05 » (0)

Bob Garfield Lays Out Advertising's Future

Ad Age Columnist Bob Garfield has, as you have undoubtedly heard, written a lengthy piece, finally online, about the future of advertising and the chaos that future holds as the industry morphs into something very different from what it is today. While no one can truly predict the future, Garfield has concisely and accurately put forth argument after argument pointing to a future that, left unchecked, will crumble beneath us like a meteor devouring the planet.

13-Apr-05 » (0)

Yao Ming New Pitchman For GPS Company

The 25 year old, 7-foot, 6-inch Houston Rockets NBA player has been signed by GPS equipment maker Garmin to appear in two new television commercials as well as a print ad campaign. The work breaks mid-May with Ming's contract extending through 2007. Ming has already appeared in ads for Apple, Visa, Tag Heuer and Reebok.

13-Apr-05 » (0)

New Female Focused Manga Magazine to Launch

Ypulse reports VIZ Media will, in July, launch a new manga magazine for young women entitled Shojo Beat. The magazine will cover art, style, design as well as romance, comedy and adventure.

13-Apr-05 » (0)

Book Promoted With Street Art

While strolling down Ludlow street in New York's Lower East Side, Flickr user ichbinjenny snapped this photo of a book promotion in the form of street art and wrote, "Now this is book promotion." The ad is a promotion for the book, Angry Black White Boy, "an incendiary and ruthlessly funny satire about violence, pop culture, and American identity," according to Powells.

13-Apr-05 » (0)

Britney Spear's Pregnancy Celebrated With Magazine Cover

Goldenfiddle has provided us with a photoshopped image of the pregnant Britney Spears adorning the cover of Vanity Fair just as Demi Moore did years ago. Just as it was then and certainly is now, it's not an image we really want to see. But, in the name of news coverage, however questionably related to advertising or media, we're sharing it for those who just can't get enough of this stuff.

13-Apr-05 » (0)

Volvo Sponsors MSN Blogs, Few Have Content

A quick review of weblogs listed as recently updated on MSN Spaces revealed few, if any, containing more than a post or two. Many simply state, "There are no entries in this blog." Apparently, Volvo, in its decision to sponsor MSN Spaces weblogs, did not see this as an issue. The car maker has entered a sponsorship deal with MSN Spaces whereby it will receive ad placement on the MSN Spaces homepage as well as at the top of each MSN Spaces weblog.

Ad Age reports MSN has indicated Spaces has been "wildly popular" and now has 4.5 million users. That's all the blogosphgere needs - 4.5 million more empty, useless, pointless weblogs. Boing Boing also reported in December, when MSN Spaces launched, the blogs are heavily censored which, as Microsoft should know, really negates the entire point of publishing a weblog.

Volvo, seemingly unable to realize MSN Spaces is filled with newbies with nothing to say when a plethora of intelligent, quality blog content is right around the corner at the BlogAds blog advertising network, BlogAd Founder Henry Copeland informs Adrants the car manufacturer has not yet used the network commenting, "these MSN Spaces bloggers are writing about random stuff rather than specific, publicly useful information niches. Spaces bloggers are newbies on the fringes of the blogosphere. MSN may well have promised Volvo 100 million page impressions a month, but these are impressions seen by nobody -- or more exactly "nobodies" -- people who are viewed as influentials only by their moms and ex-girlfriends."

Further questioning Volvo's absence from the BlogAds network, Copeland made an analogy to Volvo's well known brand position of safety saying, "If you want safety, wouldn't you rather sponsor name-brand bloggers like Markos Moulitsas, Glenn Reynolds, Josh Marshall, Andrew Sullivan and hundreds more in blogospheres ranging from law to music to baseball? Why advertise on blogs of the anonymous once-a-monthers, when you can associate your brand - probably for lower cost - with star bloggers, folks who have national reputations in their respective fields and are the hubs for rabidly loyal communities?" Very good question, indeed, Volvo. Perhaps Volvo should speak to Audi who has fully embraced "real" weblogs with a substantial buy on the BlogAds network.

13-Apr-05 » (0)

Tags And Tagvertising to Grow

Writing on iMediaConnection, CooperKatz & Company VP Steve Rubel discusses the growing usage of tags to categorize content using keywords. Tagging sites such as del.ico.us, Flickr and Wists have popped up specifically to store content tagged by those who submit content, be it pictures, news stories or blog entries. Rubel posits the next logical (inevitable?) step as tagging grows: tagvertising. With tag aggregation sites, it will be very easy for companies to monitor what is being said about them as well as to advertise on tag term specific pages thereby achieving interest-based targeting.

13-Apr-05 » (0)

Former Gucci Designer Tom Ford to Rebuild Estee Lauder Brand

To resuscitate itself, Estee Lauder has signed a deal with uber-designer Tom Ford to create a line of Estee Lauder branded fragrances as well as a Tom Ford brand. Estee Lauder Brand President hopes Ford can do for his company what Ford did for ailing Gucci, turning Gucci around from near bankruptcy to a $4.3 billion powerhouse. WPP Group's JWT will be on hand to help.

13-Apr-05 » (0)

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