In a move to avoid embarrassment during Advertising Week, several Interpublic and WPP agencies, have promised to set goals for increasing black representation at their firms and signed agreements with the City of New York that call for the agencies to provide reports on hiring, promotion and retention and to develop recruitment programs. The City's Human Rights Commission has plans to hold hearings beginning September 25 at which agency executives would have to testify to their company's position in the area of diversity.
While it won't effect Times Square, New York's Bloomberg administration is moving forward with efforts to enforce Local Law 31, a 2005 law that restricts certain types of outdoor advertising structures which were built after 1979. The City wants to dismantle 50 to 60 percent of the boards, reduce the size of others and place restrictions on those that remain. Reacting to the move, OTR Media Group President and CEO Ari Noe said, "Banning billboards and scaffolding signage will cause a significant financial loss for many different sectors of the economy - property owners, local businesses, union labor, advertising agencies and advertisers," Particularly hurt by this move would be stores who are undergoing renovation and who advertise on the scaffolding to make sure people know they are still open for business. While it might be everywhere, outdoor advertising to us is the least invasive and annoying ad medium of them all. They just sit there, You don't have to look at them and they don't interrupt programming as literally every other form of advertising does. isn't there still crime here in the city that needs to be dealt with instead of this minutia?
Ariel tells us RyanAir is getting sassy and points to a Boing Boing piece which discusses a lawsuit the airline filed against the UK government in response to its increased airport security measures. Apparently, it's all a bit much for the airline which placed on its website an image of a crowd of naked people standing by their clothes with the tagline, "New Airport Security Procedures Put Fun Back Into Flying."
Gawker brightens our morning with some legal frivolity of the illogically stupid kind. Not that any lawsuits are ever overflowing with intelligence but when a magazine that glorifies women as sex objects sues a strip club that, oh, glorifies woman as sex objects, we just stick that in the WTF category, Yes, Maxim Magazine is suing Tampa-based Maxxim Men's Club for trademark infringement because it claims "an establishment that allows women to perform sexually explicit dances has hurt the magazine's trademark and Dennis' reputation." Alrightly then. And showing women in a constant state of undress for the masses to droll over doesn't hurt anyone at all? It's time for an Agency.com fist bump and a collective "dude!" between the two parties in acknowledgment of their "glorification" of the female persuasion.
The tobacco industry was dealt a big blow yesterday in a 1,742 page document by a federal court judge who said tobacco companies have engaged in racketeering and has banned the sale of light and ultralight cigarettes as reported in Advertising Age. Among the edicts in the judgement"
-the use of the terms "low tar," "light," "ultra light," "mild" and "natural" are banned;
-for two years, big tobacco is required to buy full-page corrective advertising monthly in the Sunday editions of more than two dozen major newspapers with the schedule alternated so the ads appear at least weekly;
-major tobacco makers are ordered to run 15-second corrective TV spots once a week during prime time for a year;
-packaging and in-store signs must carry new corrective advertising.
If we ran a tobacco company today, we'd be pretty close to saying, "Fuck it. This sucks. Let's go sell paper clips. That sounds like less of a hassle."
- West coast ad agency Ralston360 has a new, nicely done section of their site that aims to educate clients and potential clients on the merits of podcasting.
- Sans Amanda Congdon Rocketboom has landed its second sponsorship with Rechargeable Recycling Battery Corporation.
- Adrants reader Chris Kieff informs us he was told by Google he cold not use the fairly generic phrase "leaps and bounds: because it had recently been trademarked. He wonders how long before "Hello," "Welcome," and "Dear Customer" are trademarked.
- Ads is Japan are just plain weird. Then again, they probably think ours are strange too.
- This Master Lock commercial is bad. Really bad.
- Susan Kirkland tells the story of a politician who blamed the graphic designers who created his ad for the use of a doctored 9/11 photo as if to ignore the "Hi, my name is Pete Politico and I approved this ad" that's affixed to every political ad created.
- Anything called Manwash would, of course, have to be from the cheeky folks over at Lynx/Axe.
- Amputation might be an odd method to use in an animal protection PSA but Euro RSCG, Thailand thinks it's workable.
- Paul Levine, GM of Yahoo Local will appear Wednesday on a Kelsey Group teleseminar a teleseminar on local online advertising. Yahoo is covering the $39 registration fee for the first 300 registrants.
While visiting the Kaiser Family Foundation, New York Senator Hillary Clinton said "At the rate that technology is advancing, people will be implanting chips in our children to advertise directly into their brains and tell them what kind of products to buy." Well, of course we will Hilary. How else are we going to shield kids from your pompous blather and insure our advertising messages get to the central cortex of every child's brain unfettered by your politically-motivated babble?
BoingBoing points to a Wired Music Blog post that highlights some changes to YouTubes terms and conditions that could give them complete control and ownership over anything that is uploaded to their site. In theory, the blog points out, YouTube could sell any uploaded video or take a musical track and sell it, royalty-free. This change will make certain organizations think twice before handing over all revenue making ability derived from created content. It's nice to get wide distribution of your work but it's also nice to maintain some control over it as well.