Rogers Communications Eaten By Bell, Doesn't Like It, Sues

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There's always a fine line between humor and brand emaciation and Canada's Rogers Communications thinks Bell stepped over that line with an ad that shows a cartoon cheetah representing Bell eating a cartoon rabbit representing Rogers. Rogers has no problem with competitive and comparative advertising, "but when someone crosses the line and tries to disparage our brand, which is worth billions and billions, enough is enough. We have to do something to stop it," said Rogers Wireless Chief Marketing Officer John Boynton.

While the ad can, no doubt, be seen as a humorous approach to comparative advertising and a nod to eating your competition for lunch, watch the ad yourself and let us know what you think.

by Steve Hall    Feb- 8-06    
Topic: Commercials, Policy



Commercial Alert Launches Anti-Direct-to-Consumer Website

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Today, Commercial Alert launched StopDrugAds.org, a site devoted to ending direct-to-consumer prescription drug advertising in the United States. Commercial Alert says the purpose of the website is to educate the public about the dangers of prescription drug advertising, and to recruit Americans to voice their opposition to the ads.

by Steve Hall    Jan-23-06    
Topic: Online, Policy, Television



Subway Ads Find Way Into Game Without Game Maker's Knowledge

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The Internet has done many wonderful things but it's also enabled some elaborate, not completely above board marketing efforts such is the insertion of geographically targeted Subway ads into an online game without the knowledge of Valve, the game's creator. Read the convoluted story and the intricate chain of agencies and vendors involved in this campaign which, while Valve wasn't happy about it, was an admirable effort, legal issues aside.

by Steve Hall    Jan-23-06    
Topic: Games, Policy



'The Postal Service' Complains to Apple For Copying It's Video

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AdPulp points us to The Postal Service website on which band member Ben Gibbard posted a statement complaining about Apple's copying of its "Such Great Heights" video for use in the company's new Apple/Intel spot. In the statement, Gibbard writes writes, "We did not approve this commercialization and are extremely disappointed with both parties that this was executed without our consultation or consent." Eminem. Lugz. Apple. Intel, TBWA/Chiat/Day. What's the deal?

by Steve Hall    Jan-22-06    
Topic: Commercials, Policy, Worst



Couple Gets Years in Prison For Planting Finger in Wendy's Chili

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As you may recall, early last year a couple reported finding a finger in a cup of Wendy's chili and then went all ballistic on Wendy's with legal threats and insurance claims only to be called out for planting the finger themselves after paying $100 to a construction worker who lost it in an industrial accident. Well, payback's a bitch and the couple has been slammed with years of jail time. Anna Ayala, 39, was sentenced to nine years and her husband Jaime Placencia, 43, will serve 12 years, four months. While a finger may have been lost, it was the couple's moral compass that was lost according to Superior Court Judge Edward Davila who said, "Greed and avarice overtook this couple."

by Steve Hall    Jan-19-06    
Topic: Brands, Policy, Strange



Interpublic Files Suit Against Frank Lowe, Pointlessness Ensues

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It's sort of pointless for an agency to take legal action against a former employee if they end up going to another agency or starting their own agency and a few clients and former employees follow. First, no one forces an employee or a client to shift from the previous agency to the new agency. Agency people are big enough to make that decision on their own. Second, once a client makes the decision to leave, it's not like legal action is going to make them go back. And when the agency decides to somehow legally force an employee to stay when they've decided to leave and join the new agency, that's kind of pointless too. Short of shackles and a police escort, if someone doesn't want to show up for work, there just not going to.

more »

by Steve Hall    Jan-13-06    
Topic: Agencies, Opinion, Policy



Four Hour Erections No Longer Topic During NFL Games

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How we went from a society that used to just go to their doctor when they couldn't get a hard on to one which, apparently, no one can get hard and everyone wants to talk about it, one will never know. Perhaps the NFL's recent move to end its $18 million contract with erectile dysfunction company Levitra will help the country alleviate its obsession with the four hour hard on and the penis as the only redeeming quality in men. Without belittling a very serious and unfortunate situation, the whole erectile dysfunction thing has gone from offering serious medical solutions to making a joke out of the situation along with turning some perfectly healthy men into pill-popping, 24 hour-a-day marathon pelvic thrusters.

In announcing this move, we've got to hand it to Ad Age for its cheeky third paragraph reporting that the NFL's decision "is a blow to Schering-Plough, which co-markets Levitra in the U.S. with Bayer..." Cute.

by Steve Hall    Jan- 9-06    
Topic: Policy, Sponsorship, Television



Unheard of Country Bans Foreign Models From Ad Campaigns

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Not that anyone's heard of Belarus nor is there any worry it will affect the world's modelling and advertising industry in any way, the country's president has introduced a law that prevents foreign models from appearing in any of the country's ad campaigns. Why do we even report this stuff?

by Steve Hall    Dec-21-05    
Topic: Campaigns, Celebrity, Policy



Family Group Forces Retailers to Say 'Merry Christmas'

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Oddly, the American Family Association thinks everyone in America is Christian and celebrates the Christmas holiday. Certainly the vast majority are and do and the recent politically correct shift from labeling everything formerly known as "Merry Christmas" to "Happy Holidays" may have gone too far but we're not sure we need an organization to force companies to say "Merry Christmas" in their marketing. But, unsurprisingly, in our overly issue-oriented world, there is.

The American Family Association has been boycotting stores such as Sears and Target for not including "Merry Christmas" in their signage and advertising. Apparently, the AFA is quite powerful. Both retailers have relented and added "Merry Christmas" to their messaging. We don't know what's more stupid; forcing a retailer to adhere to one particular religion over another or the politically correct insanity that got us here in the first place.

by Steve Hall    Dec-15-05    
Topic: Opinion, Policy, Strange, Trends and Culture



BzzAgent Word of Mouth Disclosure Policy Enhanced

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Boston-based buzz marketing firm BzzAgent has strengthened its stance on transparency. While the agency has always asked its bzzagents to disclose their involvement with BzzAgent, the agency now requires all new BzzAgent community registrants to verify that they have read and accepted the company's Code of Conduct which requires campaign participants to make certain others are aware they have volunteered to be involved in a word-of-mouth campaign.

So that existing bzzagents are also adhering to full disclosure, BzzAgent has added a check box to its reporting template, a section where members describe their interactions as they buzz products, which must be checked off to participate as a member of BzzAgent. BzzAgent is also saying it will require members who do not properly disclose their BzzAgent status to those they interact with to complete an online training course before participating in the company's future campaigns.

more »

by Steve Hall    Dec- 5-05    
Topic: Policy, Word of Mouth










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