Nutella Retracts Brain Fart, Drops Cease & Desist, Life Goes On

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Yesterday, the marketing world was up in arms over Nutella sending a cease and desist to the brand's biggest fan, Sara Rosso. Seven years ago, Rosso created World Nutella Day which now has 40,000 followers on Facebook. Nutella claimed the page was an unauthorized use of their intellectual property and trademarks.

Oh how quickly the tide turns for brands when they realize lawyers are clueless and consumers run the show. Following the kerfuffle, Nutella has dropped its cease and desist order and issued an apologetic statement to Italian news site Corriere della Sera which the Huffington Post translated:

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by Steve Hall    May-22-13    
Topic: Brands, Policy



Nutella Has Brain Fart, Sends Cease And Desist to Biggest Fan

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You would think that after all these years of highly publicized social media screw ups and popular SXSW panels that highlight such screw ups, brands would finally get the message; Don't be a jackass and alienate your biggest fans.

Sadly, it seems there will always be an idiot in the mix. This time it's Italy-based Ferrero SpA, parent company to Nutella, a hazelnut spread loved by many The brand sent a cease and desist to Sara Rosso, founder of World Nutella Day, a 7-year-old event and organization that is all about the love of Nutella.

Rosso launched World Nutella Day in 2007 to "celebrate Italy's edible treasure with online and offline tributes." The event's Facebook page has 40,000 likes.

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by Steve Hall    May-21-13    
Topic: Brands, Policy, Social, Worst



Mountain Dew's 'Most Racist Ad in History' Pulled

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Following a litany of complaints, PepsiCo has pulled a :60 Mountain Dew commercial that social commentator Dr. Boyce Watkins dubbed, "arguably the most racist commercial in history."

The ad, indeed, carries racist overtones with a white women -- who appears to have been assaulted -- attempting to identify her assailant from a lineup of black men...and a talking goat who urges her not to spill the beans with various threats.

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by Steve Hall    May- 1-13    
Topic: Brands, Policy, Trends and Culture



Ford in Hot Water Over Ads Featuring Bound, Gagged, Barely Dressed Hotties

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An ad campaign created by an Indian agency for Ford has come under fire for its creative approach. Three ads, which tout the brand's Indian-made Ford Figo, feature cartoon characatures of women (and men) bound and gagged in the vehicle's trunk.

Ford has issued an apology which, in part, reads, "We deeply regret the publishing of posters that were distasteful and contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within WPP Group. These were never intended for paid publication and should never have been created, let alone uploaded to the internet. This was the result of individuals acting without proper oversight and appropriate actions have been taken within the agency."

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by Steve Hall    Mar-25-13    
Topic: Brands, Policy, Racy



Why 'Do Not Track' Will Hurt Many Brands

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This guest post on the topic of Do Not Track is written by Tim Stoute, Co-CEO & CTO of Toronto-based eyeReturn.

Online advertising is appealing because it is effective and measurable. The "Ad Tech" industry is a competitive and innovative space, where disruptive new techniques are frequently introduced to provide advertisers new tools, reports, and efficiencies for their advertising dollars. One of these new technologies is behavioral advertising. Behavioral advertising allows online systems to classify web-surfing habits and target specific advertisements based on the classification - this, as you know, makes the advertising more efficient for the advertiser, and more relevant to the end user.

While behavioral advertising is both anonymous and a benefit to all parties, some people perceive the practice as intrusive and infringing on user privacy. Recognizing these concerns, the online advertising industry has worked together to form standards, regulations and opt-out systems. One of these standards is called Do Not Track (DNT).

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by Steve Hall    Mar- 7-13    
Topic: Opinion, Policy



MTV's Wrist Slapped For Airing Racy 'The Valleys' Ad

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Much of what we see on reality shows is a sad representation of the human race, or at minimum, the sliver who doesn't mind their inner most idiocy broadcast to the world. MTV's The Valleys is no exception. But we're not here to debate the finer points of reality TV programming. We're here to share with you an MTV UK ad promoting the network's The Valleys.

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by Steve Hall    Jan- 9-13    
Topic: Policy, Racy, Television



Car Dealer Accused of Sexually Assaulting Teen Employee

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This past April, we highlighted some typically twisted car dealer advertising from Cosby, Texas-based John Keating Chevrolet. The dealership is owned by Rick Melartin who, in the ads, referred to himself as The Finnisher (he's from Finland and competed in the Olympics) because he caught three robbers at gunpoint over the course of 15 years.

The ads are, indeed, strange but he was hailed locally as a hero for his neighborhood protection efforts. That, however, may no longer be the case. Melartin, 51, and his assistant, 37-year-old Maroun Koutani have been accused of plying a 16-year-old female employee, the dealership's receptionist, with alcohol and sexually fondling her in a dealership office.

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by Steve Hall    Jan- 3-13    
Topic: Policy, Strange



Michael Moore Gives Romney A Cock Punch

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In what is both hilarious (old people swearing) and utterly lame (poor copywriting and direction), Michael Moore taps the Greatest Generation to advocate for Obama. In a nursing home scenario, five old farts peer into the camera and tell us why we should vote...and vote for Obama. The work comes from MoveOn.org and its Voters Rising effort.

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by Steve Hall    Oct-31-12    
Topic: Policy



Clint Eastwood Advocates For Romney in New Ad

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In an appearance far less awkward and devoid of empty chairs, Clint Eastwood appears in an American Crossroads ad touting Governor Mitt Romney for President. In the ad, Eastwood says, "Obama's second term would be a rerun of the first, and our country just couldn't survive that. We need someone who could turn it around fast, and that man is Mitt Romney. There's not much time left, and the future of our country is at stake."

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by Steve Hall    Oct-24-12    
Topic: Celebrity, Policy



Panties Bunched, Men Favor Porn, TV Trumps Online Video

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- One million moms get panties in a bunch, protest Ragu commercial.

- This just in! Men favor computers over television for entertainment. Um, yea. That's where the porn is!

- Why online video remains in TV's shadow.

- Why social media agencies are a farce.

- Taylor Swift gets all dolled up for Wonderstruck Enchanted Fragrance.

- Olympic super hero Michaels Phelps can be seen lounging in a bathtub for a new Louis Vuitton campaign.

by Steve Hall    Aug-20-12    
Topic: Policy, Research, Trends and Culture










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