Today at 11 EST, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association announced Dell would be the first company to adopt the organization's Ethics Adoption Toolkit which companies can use to create their own word of mouth ethics policies and then share them with employees, vendors, and consumers.
From he release, "The Ethics Adoption Toolkit includes all the elements that companies need to make word of mouth marketing ethics an official policy within their organization -- including sample letters, contracts, press releases, and more. They are all customizable and can be modified to suit individual companies' needs and priorities."
Dell? Weblogs? Ethics? Ballsy move considering the computer maker's less than pleasant relationship with the bloguverse.
Perhaps in reaction to a recently launched company that pays bloggers to write positive things about brands without disclosure and the spread of stealth blogs and flogs, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association has released for industry discussion Ten Principles for Ethical Contact by Marketers, a document that basically amount to 1. Don't lie; 2. Be nice and 3. Don't manipulate. The ten points in full are below:
Gawker reports a Swedish gentleman by the name of Jonathon Lundqvist returnd fom a trip to Iran with copies of several western magazines he purchased at a newsstand. All of the magazines are manually censored blocking out areas of the ad which are deemed to be too risque. It's not the censorship that's surprising but the manual labor involved in black inking all the "too revealing" content
Now that Electronic Artists has more fully integrated advertising into its games, it has sent out a new End User License Agreement and Adrants reader Dario Meli tells us most aren't happy with it pointing to an ars tchnica gaming forum. In the forum, most are displeased with EA's collection of user information (though anonymous) but more so with the company's perceived double dipping. Forum members think it's unfair for EA to collect ad revenue without using it to offset the cost of games as is usually the case in other media.
We're sure everyone's just beginning to learn here and that most of these seemingly illogical practices will be weeded out as the marketplace matures. Though, for now, EA has a few gamers up in arms over its integration of advertising into its games.
- Alluding to porn star Houston's apparent record of having had sex with 620 men in one day, Copyranter marvels at the capabilities of this True dating service model who can seemingly get 1,000 new singles an hour.
- Adverbox has a nice set of Virgin Money print ads which claim "Bling is King."
- Commercial Alert's Gary Ruskin says Disney's recent announcement of new food guidelines are weak and still allow for the marketing and advertising of to much junk food.
- Nielsen Media Research is launching GamePlay Metrics, a new rating service for video games. The service hopes to establish new metrics for the buying and selling of advertising in video games and to track the activities of gamers across other media platforms, such as TV and the Internet.
The discourse about ethics in advertising is getting picked up by people who'd like to help draw out that imaginary red line in a way that doesn't sound so whiny. Under the premise that society (and not just irate marketing bloggers) can now contribute to media messages, After These Messages does for the opinionated audience what Yelp did for hipsters who get their kicks bitching out posh restaurants. You log in, post an ad and then - get this - scale its ethical weight and relevance. The gauge includes questions like the following: If you created it, would you sleep well at night? Does it contribute to society? Will it bring good karma? Is it an effective piece of communication?
In a hilarious bit of satire, George Simpson tells the ad industry we should be very careful what we wish for when it comes to supporting minority-owned media as we knee jerk react to having our asses plucked like a chicken. George goes on to tell us minority groups have staged protests in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Detroit in reaction to ad agencies over reaction and subsequent purchase of every last bit of minority-owned media's inventory. Reportedly, commercial minutes on minority-owned television stations has risen to 49 minutes leaving only 2 minutes for actual programming.
Protesters are reacting angrily as the same over reaction seems to be occuring in monority-owned print as well. One protester is said to have said, "The News is like reading one of those fat fall preview issues of fashion magazines where you have to flip through a hundred pages of ads before you even find the table of contents. It took me over an hour to find the editorial page yesterday."
As agencies hurriedly ran to prevent their asses being plucked like a chicken in response to the New York City Council knocking on their door, media departments got very busy. One agency exec said. "We ran, alright, straight to our media departments--and bought up every pod, flight, column inch and pixel of minority-oriented inventory"
We're quite sure Absolut won't think this ad campaign is funny but neither will the Bucharest Traffic Police who are riffing on the long running Absolut campaign to deliver a powerful "don't drink and drive" message. Basic. Simple. Honest. We wonder what Absolut's legal department thinks. See two other versions of the ad here.
With this new patented invention from Colin Davies, the marketers vs. DVR ad skippers war continues to heat up. Davies' system allows for full frame, still images to be placed on screen while a person is fast forwarding through ads. This is almost kind of funny. It's so amusing to see what each side of this battle comes up with to usurp the other side's efforts. TiVo already does something similar to this during its fast forward process. Although we don't mind watching a still ad while fast forwarding, sometimes we actually do want to see what we're fast forwarding past so we hope this system allows for some method of accomodating that.
Back in May, we reported Nike had co-opted the logo of London borough Hackney for use on a line of World Cup sportswear. Hackney didn't take kindly to the giant retailer "borrowing" what little the downtrodden borough had in order to profit from and asked Nike to share in the profits of the line. Luckily, the story does have a happy ending and Nike parted with £300,000, apologized to Hackney and covered all legal costs.