The UK just extended a TV ban on junk food ads to magazines, newspapers, billboards, film and the Internet. The restrictions, which apply to virtually all foods but fruits and vegetables, are for ads targeted at those under 16.
Chairman Andrew Brown of the Committee on Advertising Practice states, "These comprehensive new rules are designed to help protect children's health while still allowing advertisers an appropriate degree of freedom to promote their products."
Let's latch onto this "appropriate degree" thing for a minute and ask ourselves to what degree it's appropriate to put milkshakes (which continue to colour our happiest sunshiny days) on a par with cigarettes. Hello? Parents? Hello?
Vancouver agency smashLAB has launched Design Can Change, an initiative that urges designers to become aware of the affect they have on the environment. On his blog, Eric Karjaluoto offers some stunning numbers, writing, "...if you are a member of the AIGA, you take part in purchasing or specifying over $9 billion of printing and paper per year. At the risk of sounding obtuse, I have to say, 'That's a lot.' Let me give you another number: 81 million tons. That's the amount of paper waste you and I helped generate over the past year. How about this one? More than a million. That's how many species are expected to be at risk of extinction by 2,050 as a result of global warming. Another? $11 billion. That's the average cost of climate-related disasters in Europe during the 80s and 90s."
- In Guatemala, Super Glue is affixing branded boots to car wheels to promote its sticky stuff.
- Advertising Age reports, "Both sides are claiming victory as Martin Sorrell's libel action ended today after several days of debate behind closed doors over new forensic evidence. Mr. Sorrell dropped his claim that Marco Benatti and Marco Tinelli were personally responsible for scurrilous blogs and an e-mailed photo. And the two defendants agreed to payments to the WPP Group chief executive and Daniela Weber, WPP's chief operating officer for Italy, apparently because of evidence that FullSix, the Italian media company Mr. Benatti founded and Mr. Tinelli ran, may have been involved in disseminating the material online."
- Animax Entertainment has been nominated for its second Emmy Award for its work on "Off-Mikes," a weekly original animated series the studio produces for ESPN.com. Last year, Animax and ESPN won the first-ever broadband Emmy for its debut season of "Off-Mikes."
Apparently MySpace cracks down on super spammers. And they're damn stern about it, too: "Individuals who try to spam or phish our members are not welcome on MySpace," says chief security officer Hemanshu Nigam.
But we thought that adding madd friends and spamming the crap out of them was how you leveraged your networking potential? Now we're completely confused about what MySpace is for. We can't help but wonder when they'll crack down on provocative profile pictures whose subjects are self-consciously staring just left of the camera. Or 13-year-olds who blow our bulletins section up with surveys. Or weak local bands who tell us about every cocktail party they're strumming for.
Monsieur Wallace, the unlucky phisherman who'll be banned from Web 2.0 mecca and made an example for bulletin whores at large, runs a company called Feeble Minded Productions, which, while possibly not related to his spam game, is just sort of amusing in this context.
Now here's the problem with all this crap surrounding obesity in children. Everyone has it backwards. Marketers and the media are continually blamed for somehow forcing food down the throats of children. Here's a little factoid. As powerful as some might think marketers and the media are, they don't have arms attached to the bodies of children which mechanically force feed them the brands they manufacture and advertise. No. Kids put food in their mouths with their own arms.
Certainly, kids are greatly influenced by what they see on TV but, again, they have brains. They aren't robots with mouths. Learning to eat is something that needs to be learned. Asking a marketer, whose sole purpose is to sell shit (and it is shit), to tell kids to stop buying shit just isn't going to happen. Here's a radical concept in the form of a question. Who is the one person that is most influential in a child's life and who is charged with that child's education and upbringing? Any guesses? Not sure? We'll tell you. The child's parent. Yes, parents. Parents are the primary person in their child's lives and the ones who should be charged with educating them on proper eating habits. And yes, we know all kids don't have parents and that there are many broken homes out there but the primary responsibility for a child's eating habits is the parent.
Oh please. Do we really need to know what Julie Roehm and alleged lover Sean Womack said to each other over email? Reading other people's email is never a good thing. Especially when it has to do with interpersonal relationships. It's like watching your parents have sex. Some things should never be shared.
Having to read Roehm gush things like, "I think about us together all the time. Litle moments like watching your face when you kiss me. I loved your voice mail last night and love the idea of memory and kept thinking/wishing that it would have been you and I there last night. So there's a little head action for you," is just not necessary. And it's especially not necessary to read Womack reply, "That was some good head action for me." Ew. Please. This stuff just belongs between two lovers. Not in court documents.
Step aside Julie Roehm. The international big shots are taking the stage now with libel, money-laundering and love triangles. Big shot WPP Group's Martin Sorrell, in the midst of a libel suit in London's High Court against former WPP country manager Marco Benatti and Sorrell-founded FullSix CEO Marco Tinelli, has reportedly been having a relationship with WPP CEO Daniela Weber since late 2004. Prior to that, Weber was, apparently, having a relationship with Benatti. Now, Sorrell and Webber are suing Benatti for leaking "vicious" images of them to the Internet. Do we sense a bit of jealously here from Benatti? Or perhaps it's a bit of vengeance in reaction to Sorrell's firing of Benatti (and Tinelli) for the above mentioned apparent libel.
Adding to the drama is Sorrell's spectacular multi-million dollar divorce from his wife two years ago and his relationship with Weber being referred to, apparently by Benatti and Tinelli, as "the mad dwarf and the nympho schizo." Can it get any more delicious than this? Yes. Weber, 44 and referred to as "hot lover" on some blogs, has worked for Benatti since she was a student and by 2005, she had a director position and a 20 percent stake in Tinelli's FullSix. Apparently, over the 20 years Weber and Benatti worked together, Benatti was "frustrated with his position and his lack of power and authority." Again, jealous much?
It is said Benatti and Tinelli were behind the creation of the blog that circulated the "vicious" photo of Sorrell and Weber but involvement has been denied. The case, and its drama, continue today.
Pity the poor female who, according to the Seattle Times, isn't allowed to pursue the perfect orgasm recently offered by British Columbia's Victoria in its tourism campaign. The city recently submitted an ad with the headline, "Your Search for the Perfect Orgasm is Over," to the Seattle Times' Northwest Life Sunday magazine but the ad was deemed too racy. Ultimately the ad did run but with the much blander headline, "Your lust for fine fare can now be satisfied." The ad is part of a Trapeze Communications-created campaign which created the campaign's theme, "Victoria, B.C, Full of Life."
Come on America! You know need all the relaxation we can get. Let Canada offer up it's fun for all of us to experience.
Boing Boing reports some news that bummed us out. The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals just upheld a new Alabama statute that bans commercial distribution of sex toys, comparing such stimulation to prostitution.
It is "unlawful for any person to knowingly distribute any obscene material or any device designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs," says the statute.
We hang our heads for any state stripped of the right to experience Lelo, more a high culture bearer than detractor by any measure. Boing Boing also points out that while the gentle vibrator has gone into exile, guns are still A-OK. What a consolation!
Balendu draws our attention to this promotion for Beyonce Knowles' upcoming tour in Australia, which is drawing controversy from the usual slew of anti-smoking groups and mean PC people. One such group actually contacted the Federal Dept of Health to say the ad acts as a tobacco promotion, thus breaching the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act.
We're surprised by the lifelong groomed artist's decision to use the old-fashioned cigarette holder, particularly because of strong negative sentiment about tobacco's effects (as if nobody knew before). Nonetheless, the act makes a statement and we're impressed by B's gumption. The untouchable Audrey would appreciate the political hat-tip, even if her immortal pose with the long cigarette is decidedly more chic.