Dear Carat Staff: Layoffs Are Coming. To Everyone Else: Be Nice

These things happen. Everyone's done it. It's just too easy what with all the mailing group features in Outlook that make it so simple to send email to entire groups of people with one click. That's apparently what Carat Chief People Officer (can we stop with these idiotic titles?) Rose Zory did today when she sent an email about upcoming layoffs intended for select senior management to the entire agency.

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by Steve Hall    Sep- 3-08    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion



Idiotic Levi's Commercial Ignores Innate Appreciation of Beauty

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This Cutwater-created commercial for Levi's is stupid. Yes, it's not polite to stare and objectify by either sex but come on! We are all human. We are all sexually attracted to one another. It's natural. It's innate. It's normal. Just admiring the beauty of another human doesn't mean we are all lecherous sex maniacs deserving of a body slam. Sometimes it's just nice to look at and appreciate pretty things. It isn't always about dirty thoughts

And by the way, the pretty things who get looked at, male or female (which, by the way, that stupid PC ending in the commercial is just stupid), shouldn't always assume the onlooker is out for anything more than the pleasure one derives from looking at a beautiful painting in a museum.

Cut the scrap, Cutwater. Your sunglasses idiocy was better than this!

by Steve Hall    Sep- 1-08    
Topic: Bad, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Opinion



Hot Blogger Calendar, 90210 Strip-Searched, Buffy Increases Church Abandonment

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- Because what the world needs now is a hot blogger calendar.

- The CW's decided to let advertisers see snippets of 90210's content after all. I guess this means the PTC will be throwing itself a self-congratulatory cocktail party.

- OMG, OMG, a Facebook movie? ...by the co-creator of West Wing? Does that mean there's a parity of significance between Mark Zuckerberg and the ruler of the free world?

- MySpace was the top display ad publisher in June; Microsoft the top display advertiser. Most of its ads were for Live Search.

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AMC Asks Twitter to Remove 'Mad Men' Accounts

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AMC didn't take too kindly to the onslaught of Mad Men characters appearing on Twitter and sent a Digital Millenium Copyright Act take down notice asking Twitter to remove @Don_Draper and @PeggyOlsen. The accounts are currently suspended. There are other accounts on Twitter for the Mad Men characters Roger Sterling, Pete Campbell, Joan Holloway, Paul Kinsey, Sal Romano, Bertram Cooper and Bobbie Barrett. Many are still active though @joan_halloway has recently been suspended as well.

AMC was not behind the appearance of the characters on Twitter but its legal maneuverings may go down as the single worst use (misuse?) of social media. One of the characters, @paul_kinsey, was created by Mario Parise. When he created the account, he immediately contacted AMC to tell them what he was doing and if they had any problem, he'd immediately cancel the account. AMC never contacted him; it chose instead to take the legal route.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-26-08    
Topic: Opinion, Social, Worst



In Response to That Casey Jones Dell Probation Thing

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It's clear, Enfatico is the industry's current whipping boy, whether or not anything for which we are whipping the boy is true or not. This industry can't live without a continual dose of ego-boosting schadenfreude and the security it offers allowing us to say, "At least we aren't as screwed up as those fuckers over at Enfatico!" As long as someone else is screwing up, it's all good.

AgencySpy is having a field day on this one lambasting Dell VP Casey Jones and claiming he's on probation for "lackluster performance" in his creation of the Enfatico machine. Unsurprisingly, there's bound to be some strife when a giant brand attempts to consolidate its work from 800 agencies to one. It's to be expected.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-15-08    
Topic: Agencies, Brands, Opinion



Objectified Nude Men Need Cause Group Righteousness

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Oh the horror! The double standard! The blatant sexism! Wait. What are we talking about? Oh yea. Nudity in advertising. Put a few nude or barely dressed women in an ad and everyone cries OBJECTIFICATION! Place a few nude guys in an ad and the whole thing becomes a squirmy laugh.

Of course, the guys in this ad for the Norwegian Automobile Federation aren't quite the objects of desire we see in the usual "hot chick sells stuff" variety of ads but still. Where's the outcry? Where's the cause group supporting the rights of these men? Why are we laughing when we should be raging against the machinations of a clearly sexist piece of work? Oh the horror! Will someone please call a cause group!

by Steve Hall    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Commercials, Opinion, Racy, Strange



HMS Enfatico Headed for Titanic-Style Destiny?

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Yawn... Oh, wait. Not yawn. This continuing Enfatico fuckery is just too precious to leave alone. Besides, like elementary school bullies, we in the ad industry simply can't bypass a chance to pick on anyone who, well, isn't - through an unfortunate confluence of events (or is it intentional idiocy?) - just begging for a lashing. And today's whipping boy is WPP's Enfatico. Crispin Porter Bogusky must be very thankful Enfatico has taken the stage.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-14-08    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion



Mushrooms Marketed, Frumputantes Invade, Olympics Opening Ceremony Trashed One! More! Time!

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- At left: a French mushroom ad! OMG cute. Caption: "Paris mushrooms: it's when they're in your mouth that they're the happiest." Go make them happy. Our resident expat PT Ford isn't so amused.

- Nothing starts the day off better than a kung fu drink ad.

- Dario at Invoke sent us this shot of the Newfoundland-based Hits 99.1 FM van.

- Worthless but interesting tag cloud tool. This one lets you pick fonts and colors. Pop in a URL, see what your homepage mentions most. (Adrants loves itself some Leigh.)

- Public School Intelligentsia learns us a new word: frumputante. Think cash-money bag ladies in Juicy Couture sweats. Streaky hair a plus. Ugh.

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Coke Learned Nothing From the Diet Coke/Mentos Phenomenon

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Because Coke's My Coke Rewards was performing dismally, some employees - all of whom were expressly forbidden at the outset - were asked to participate in the brand's My Coke rewards online promotions. Seemingly to boost activity on the site, the request seems to have backfired for employees who exceeded a pre-set limit of 2,000 points.

When one employee, Frank Grant, who did what he was told and participated in the program noticed he had accumulated more than 2,000 points and was made aware of the 2,000 point limit - likely buried deep within the fine print, he offered to return the merchandise he acquired from his points. Sounds fair enough, right? Wrong. Rather than rectify the situation in a normal fashion, Coke told Grant to resign or face getting fired. According to the Vellejo Times, many other employees faced the same situation.

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by Steve Hall    Aug-12-08    
Topic: Brands, Opinion, Social, Worst



Sneak Peek into the ad:tech Chicago Press Room

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Here's a wee throwaway video I took in the ad:tech press room, which is where we hole up from morning 'til the first party of the night.

Featuring Brent Terrazas, Steve Hall and Really Loud Guy Who Asks for Business Cards and Puts You On Annoying Mailing Lists.

Seriously. He doesn't even ask for your name. It's just "Miss, got a business card? I HAVE A NEWSLETTER."

by Angela Natividad    Aug- 7-08    
Topic: Industry Events, Opinion










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