Adverganza picks up on a story about a former Dentsu employee, Steve Biegel, who while employed as a creative director for the agency in its New York office claims he was sexually harassed and has sued the agency. The suit claims Biegel's boss, Toyo Shigeta who heads Dentu's US operations "forced him into visiting brothels, distributed lewd pictures of, among other females, tennis star Maria Sharapova (specifically of her crotch), which Shigeta took on a Canon shoot in October 2004 and also insisted that Biegel and others hang out nude in a hot tub with him."
Aside from the fact that sounds like every day, normal behavior for a horny Japanese dude (OK, any dude), excepting, perhaps, the hot tub thing, Biegel says the events left him humiliated and degraded. Biegel complained, got fired and unleashed the legal eagles on Dentsu.
Today, a group of privacy groups declared war on advertisers by asking the Federal Trade Commission to establish an online Do Not Track list similar to the offline Do Not Call list. The Consumer Federation of America and the World Privacy Forum, among others, want marketers to stop using cookies which enable behavioral targeting.
There has been much debate on the merit of cookies and their use to track online behavior. Marketers argue it makes the online experience better because ads are more closely targeted to the individual. Privacy advocates claim advertisers have no business collecting information about where on the internet someone has gone unless consent has been given.
We like checking up on the BBC, mainly because its home nation seems really nervous about the internet (whose merits and demons we were comparably quick to embrace).
In the last few weeks, the BBC has furnished vigilant parents with terror-stricken warnings about Cyber Bullying and ID theft (social networking's mainly to blame), the "worsening" state of child porn, and the denigration of basic human values resulting from virtual worlds. (Well, we could've told you that.)
But we can't hate that hard. NY state is home to investigators that posed as kids to tempt sex predators on Facebook. Nice.
BoingBoing via Beppe Grillo reports that Italian politician Ricardo Franco Levi has proposed a law that requires anyone with a blog or website to register with the government and produce certificates or pay a tax.
This holds even if the publisher has no intention of making money with the site.
The draft was approved by the Council of Ministers on October 12th.
Grillo vows, "My blog won't close. If I have to, I'll transfer lock stock, barrel and server to a democratic State." There's the hot-bloodedness we know and love.
In a thoughtful post-script, he provides Levi's email address to "anyone wishing to express their opinion" about the draft law.
The Nolita ad at left features Isabelle Caro, a French actress suffering from anorexia.
Guess who's responsible for it? Oliviero Toscani, the guy who fell out of Benetton shortly after his controversial "We, On Death Row" campaign in 2000.
Over two years ago, Bernard Urban rebranded his URBANadvertising company to become GIGANTIC. In April, agency We Are Gigantic was born out of an MDC consolidation of its MFP and Kirshenbaum Bond & Partners agencies. We Are Gigantic is headed by Niel Powell who formerly was a partner at the now defunct MFP which suffered significant client loss.
Both GIGANTIC and We Are Gigantic are located in New York. Urban has taken issue with MDC naming its new shop We Are Gigantic and has filed suit against We are Gigantic, L.L.C. and Neil Powell claiming trademark infringement.
Here's a great way to maintain staying power in a market: make the product illegal, and ensure enforcement is next to impossible.
Word has it that an Oakland-based business called Tainted, which pushes weed-laced candies and other food products to "cannabis clubs," got raided last week.
Business was apparently thriving: the company has ordered almost four tons of chocolate in two years to support a sweet tooth for Mr. Greenbud and Buddafinga bars.
A store manager and two couriers have been arrested, but the firm's owner Michael Martin is still at large. He faces charges of federal conspiracy.
There's something wrong with this picture. Can you imagine a bunch of pot-laced kids trying to overthrow The Man? They can't even get up off their couches. Legalizing cannabis might be the best thing that ever happens to our government.
- Even fashion models can sound intelligent. Especially when they steal their lines from an MIT professor.
- Paddington Bear creator Michael Bond and fans are angered because Karen Jankel, Bond's daughter gave the go ahead for the character to be used in a Marmite ad when it's well known Paddington likes marmalade.
- As more and more nudity becomes readily and freely available online, Playboy has decided to cut back paid circulation 13 percent to 2.6 million as well as offer more free content online.
AdFreak calls our attention to this freakishly weird video for England's Plug TV which features a Jesus fatty taking a trip down from the heavens to visit the dirty, raw wold of human beings. It doesn't take long before he's drinking and magically turning flat chested librarian types into large-breasted, bikini-clad hotties whom he takes with him for a ride in his mega-stretch limo. That is until Dad gets angry.
Predictably, the Catholic church is a bit miffed.
Once again, advertising has caused an uproar over nothing. CNN's Mike Galanos covers the new (and really great if we do say so ourselves) Clearasil campaign and is upset over the ads which show a guy trying to pick up his friend's mom and a daughter who says "You should see me now" while her mother shows naked baby pictures of her to her boyfriend. While Galanos prudely prattles on, Melissa Henson from the Parents Television Council talks about how marketers use too much sex to sell and Debbie Wolf from the People Against Censorship says the moral minority shouldn't control what gets seen on TV and everyone should just lighten up and laugh.