This Flu Season Got You Sneezin'?

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From Boston Public Health Commission comes Ethan "Smizzy" McCoy and Talkin' 'bout the flu. You gotta love rap that works the word diarrea into the mix and includes outtakes along with Twitter and Facebook links. Kleenex on... the... mic. (Below.)

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by Bill Green    Nov-16-09    
Topic: Announcements, Policy, Television



Vacant or Not, Paris Hilton Doesn't Like Being Called Vacant

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Apart from the photo usage rights issue which Adland covers here, is it really any wonder a witty wannabe designer at an outdoor company selected a picture of Paris Hilton and slapped the word "vacant" underneath her to promote the fact the billboard is available? Of course not.

Whether or not Paris Hilton is actually vacuously vacant in the head is beside the point. She (with a lot of help from the media) portrays herself that way so it is without surprise she's become the poster girl for celebu-stupidity.

Hilton has voiced her displeasure with Wellington-based Media5 for using her image without permission. Hilton's manager, Jamie Freed, told Stuff the billboard company could expect to her from Hilton's legal team.

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by Steve Hall    Nov- 9-09    
Topic: Celebrity, Outdoor, Policy



Yawn. American Apparel Pushes Boundaries Again. Oh Wait, Was That A Boob?

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So yea. Britain's Advertising Standards Authority has received several complaints about a new American Apparel ad in Vice Magazine which features a young girl wearing shorts and a hoodie which, in one shot, almost exposes her nipple. The ASA upheld the complaint dubbing the ad "offensive and irresponsible" as the girl in the ad appeared to be under the age of 16.

According to American Apparel, the girl in the ad is 23 and the ad was meant to depict her relaxed in a "home" environment. But the ANA says the ad is inappropriate and must not appear again in its current form.

Inappropriate? How so? Hasn't everyone heard all girls sit around the house self shooting themselves? Have these complainers never visited a Facebook page? Or Webshots? Or Photobucket? Never seen a mirror shot? This is hardly racy compared to what's out there. Oops, this is an ad. Not some 14 year old boys afternoon "motivation."

OK so yea. Cover a bit more of the boobs and everyone will be fine with this.

by Steve Hall    Sep-24-09    
Topic: Brands, Policy, Racy



Self-Absorbed Hipsters Angrily Unbutton For Levi's

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OK so for all you hipsters...no wait...emo...no wait...hmm...losers with nothing to do but screw around in the trashy side of town, these new Holland and Belgium-based Levi's commercials are for you. Can't you see yourself in them? trying really, really hard to be ever so hip and cool while jumping in mud puddles and throwing chairs buildings and otherwise kicking the shit out of everything around you like a bored eight year old?

Are we supposed to feel sorry for your lame-ass life? Actually care you think what you're doing somehow makes you today's version of James Dean? That you somehow don't think you look like a slob and should really be reading GQ rather than moping around like a self-absorbed little brat?

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by Steve Hall    Sep-17-09    
Topic: Campaigns, Commercials, Creative Commentary, Policy



iLike's Acquisition, Sue-Happy Citizens, and a Wee Bit of Magic

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- People dig sharing stuff on Facebook, more than via email, or via MySpace, or via Twitter, or via anything else, really.

- "Life Guard" tees get Ralph Lauren sued. (Via.) Just for giggles, we ran a search for [ralph lauren lifeguard] on Google and clicked on "Lifeguard Cotton Tee - RalphLauren.com," which comes up first in search results. That link now leads to this beach patrol tee. But if you hit "Cached," you'll find it used to lead to that really boring sucker at left.

- Canadian model Liskula Cohen wins landmark case that will force Google to unmask an anonymous blogger who posted slutty pictures of her and, logically, called her a skank. Sigh.

- The least interesting man in the world probably won't sell any beers. He may, however, contribute to the sales of many geeky t-shirts. "Stand back. I'm going to try SCIENCE."

- MySpace swallows iLike.

- Talking Quizno's oven drives guys to therapy for what should be obvious reasons.

- Something that has nothing to do with advertising, but everything to do with "geometry, light and a wee bit of magic."

by Angela Natividad    Aug-20-09    
Topic: Brands, Campaigns, Policy, Trends and Culture



OfficeMax Pranks, Sausage Titillates, Bikinis Stimulate

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- OfficeMax is out with even more Penny Pranks foolery. They've added seven videos featuring improv actor Matt McCarthy and a "billionaire" boy who attempt to buy expensive items with pennies.

- The UK's Mattison's has got itself in trouble with the Advertising Standards Authority over some suggestive sausage ads. But come on. You can't even say the word sausage without conjuring some sort of innuendo so why try to regulate it?

- Yawn. Women wearing bikinis read Star Wars script to pimp 1690 Swimwear.

- it's official and it's sad. Vogue's September issue has 36 percent fewer ad pages this year.

by Steve Hall    Aug-17-09    
Topic: Policy, Video



Post Office Refuses to Mail 'Obscene' Postcard For Movie

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Adam Rifkin is trying to promote his new movie, Look, an examination of how pervasive video surveillance cameras have become and the sometimes shocking footage they capture. The movie's producers intended to mail postcards with scenes from the movie and the copy "Will you be watching? May 5, 2009" on the back.

One of the postcards carries an image from the movie which shows a man having his way with a woman in a storage closet. Technically, there's no nudity but the Post Office has called the promotional piece "obscene" and won't allow it to be mailed.

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by Steve Hall    Apr- 8-09    
Topic: Celebrity, Direct, Policy, Promotions, Racy



Drug Taking Trivialized! No, Wait. It's an Anti-Drug Ad!

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"I was absolutely outraged when this was brought to my attention. To trivialize drug-taking in this way is completely irresponsible and unacceptable. I am shocked that advertising could sink to such low depths. I find it unacceptable that a local magazine aimed at young and impressionable people would stoop to such a level in an attempt to gain readers." So said Bedford (in the UK) borough councilor Andrew McConnell to the Advertising Standards Authority.

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 5-09    
Topic: Cause, Policy



Facebook Begs Users to Stay

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This just gets better and better. No, wait, stupider and stupider. Apparently freaked out over Facebook's change in TOS, the lame explanation of it and the return to the old TOS, droves of people are canceling their Facebook accounts. And it must be droves because why else would Facebook show a message that pleads people going through the deletion process to stay.

The message reads, "Are you deleting because you are concerned about Facebook's Terms of Service? This was a mistake that we have now corrected. You own the information you put on Facebook and you control what happens to it. We are sorry for the confusion."

Please. Make it stop!

And if you really want to understand the issues surrounding this; ownership versus licensing, data usage and other stuff, be sure to watch Alisa Leonard-Hansen explain it all on her I'm Just Saying Show.

by Steve Hall    Feb-19-09    
Topic: Policy, Social



Facebook Reverts to Old TOS. Never Owned You, Just Licensed You

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Well the firestorm over Facebook's new terms of service which everyone (including us) read as Facebook owning your ass when, in reality, they were only licensing it is over...for now. The social network, in reaction to the outcry, has reverted to its old TOS for the time being.

A message on the homepage reads, "Over the past few days, we have received a lot of feedback about the new terms we posted two weeks ago. Because of this response, we have decided to return to our previous Terms of Use while we resolve the issues that people have raised. For more information, visit the Facebook Blog. If you want to share your thoughts on what should be in the new terms, check out our group Facebook Bill of Rights and Responsibilities."

Writing on Socialized, Alisa Leonard-Hansen explains how it was never about ownership but about licensing and delves into a few other issues surrounding the use of people's information online. She's written several other informative pieces on the topic here and here.

by Steve Hall    Feb-18-09    
Topic: Policy, Social










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