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.
This one's a toss up. It's either it's a child crying over spilled milk or it's a kid standing up to a towel-snapping bully. Boston-based Modernista is suing Reebok's Rockport claiming the footwear company owes the agency $500,000 for work it did during 2007 contract negotiations and, inclusively, a $225,000 early termination fee Modernista imposed when Rockport suddenly dumped Modernista and hired Hill Holiday.
Modernista claims it continued to work in good faith while 2007 contracts talks were underway during which the agency claims Rockport had nothing but kind words for the work. The sudden firing on February 28 took the agency by surprise. Modernista claims Rockport strung the agency along as it searched for a new agency and had no intention of maintaining its relationship with Modernista.
There's nothing dirtier than a self-righteous agency that dips into unarguably unethical practices to nail, uh, unethical practices.
So with that completely objective introduction, we present you with Miivi.net. "Hey," you say. "That site doesn't exist." That's because it was taken down after a "D'oh!" by the MPAA, which realized, the hard way, that pirates - real pirates - stick together.
With help from an equally pompous agency called Media Defender, the MPAA launched fake movie torrent Miivi, which promised "fast and easy downloading all in one great site." The real purpose of the great site was to catch sinners in the act of sinning. There was even an app that simplified the downloading process.
Pirate Bay called shenanigans, leaking news of the gross deception to ZeroPaid. The site got pulled shortly thereafter.
- During the Cannes Festival, AdWeek's AdFreak will be publishing LeFreaque, a blog written by jury members and general delegates who will share their experiences with readers.
- Davis Freeberg questions Forbes' and Business Week's acceptance of ads promoting a questionable penny stock.
- Pepsi shareholder launches Pepsi Planet, a site on which can find, or no apparent reason, a gallery of hot/sweet/beautiful/cute women , some posing with a Pepsi can or bottle.
- If you simply can't stand it and absolutely must know the Cannes shortlists - which are far from short - for direct, promotional, media, press, outdoor and radio, they are here.
- Win fame and publicity with Adobe's "Take Creative License" contest which will award publication in the September issue of Graphic Design USA for the designer who creates the best mash up from the Adobe Stock Photos library.
The folks over at Commercial Alert don't like the fact Jack Daniels has signed on as a major sponsor of AMC's upcoming series Mad Men which will display the brand and the product prominently in the show with a character getting drunk on the stuff at a bachelor party in the first episode. Drunk at a bachelor party? That never happens.
With Mad Men taking place in the sixties, the height of the three martini lunch, to us, it makes all the sense in the world for liquor sponsors to be all over this show and for the show's characters to, heaven forbid, get drunk once in a while. Remember, this was the era of pre-political correctness, pre-cause group, pre-well, everything. People had unfettered, guilt-free fun back then.
- Massachusetts, as has been discussed for some time, is considering a proposal that would create commercial free zones within public schools.
- Dunkin' Donuts and Mapquest have partnered for offer MyIcedCoffee, a site that helps travelers plan trips while making sure a Dunkin' Donuts is close by.
- George Parker meets advertising's New Kids on the Block at the PSFK London Conference and realizes there's hope for the business.
- Though not to the extent of the full on female bodybuilder freak show, Boddington Beer seemingly wants us to believe its beer gives women bulbous curves where we don't usually expect them.
- Ad spending in gay and lesbian publications in 2006 reached a record $223.3 million, an increase of 5.2 percent over 2005 and an increase of 205 percent since 1996, according to the 2006 edition of the Gay Press Report, the annual survey produced by advertising agency Prime Access Inc. and gay media representative firm Rivendell Media.
The ongoing uproar over the Saatchi and Saatchi London-created ads for Dr. Martens which showed various rock artists sitting in heaven wearing the brand's steel toed boots has resulted in Dr. Martens parent company AirWair Ltd. firing Saatchi. The ads, which Saatchi claims Dr. Martens approved to run once in the UK's Fact Magazine caused a bit of controversy and complaint. Dr. Martens claims the images in the ads were not approved stating the work is "counter to our current marketing activities based on FREEDM, which is dedicated to nurturing grass roots creativity and supporting emerging talent."
Saatchi says it stands by the work, feels it is not offensive, promises to investigate why the ads were released beyond their intended destination and to "consider the ongoing employment" of the person who may have released the ads to the public. Oh my how things escalate.
UPDATE: Potions of this item have been changed to reflect corrections received from Saatchi & Saatchi UK and Dr. Martens.
It seems the iPod is becoming a very popular sex toy enabler. First, it was Soft Paris which released its Oh My God-inducing OhMiBod iPod plug in that, well, plugs in to a woman to deliver that special Oh My God feeling. Now we have sex toy retailer Ann Summers marketing a similar device, called the iGasm, with posters that look identical to the famed Apple silhouette campaign.
Apparently Apple doesn't want to be associated with female pleasure and have gone all legal on Ann Summers' ass with cease and desist orders. In an effort to lighten things up over at Apple, Ann Summers' Jacqueline Gold said, "Perhaps I can send them an iGasm to put a smile back on their faces!" Indeed.
Google bought DoubleClick. Yahoo bought Right Media. WPP bought 24/7Real Media. Microsoft, always the follower, never the leader, just bid $6 billion to acquire digital giant aQuantive. It's an information grab as companies wake up and realize their prized and proprietary information is increasingly in the hands of their very own competitors.
Here's a billboard we haven't seen before.
"Imagine a modern metropolis with no outdoor advertising: no billboards, no flashing neon signs, no electronic panels with messages crawling along the bottom.
Come the new year, this city of 11 million, overwhelmed by what the authorities call visual pollution, plans to press the 'delete all' button and offer its residents unimpeded views of their surroundings."
City officials in Sao Paulo, Brazil just passed a law that may see the end of ads in public display. Billboardom tips us off, but the above quote comes from the International Herald Tribune.
"I think this city is going to become a sadder, duller place," says Dalton Silvano, an ad guy who cast the one dissenting civil vote. "Advertising is both an art form and, when you're in your car or alone on foot, a form of entertainment that helps relieve solitude and boredom."