While no official word has handed down by the International Olympic Committee regarding Michael Phelps' appearance in leaked photos of a Louis Vuitton ad inside the Rule 40 window barring appearance in non-Olympic sponsor ads between July 17 and August 15, the media has its panties in a bunch over the kerfuffle.
The ads, shot by Annie Liebowitz, feature Phelps in a bathtub wearing a Speedo and swim goggles and on a couch sitting next to Russian Olympian Larissa Latynina whose medal winning record Phelps just broke.
This Olympics-focused editorial series is written by Ronald Urbach, Chairman of law firm Davis & Gilbert LLP and the co-chair of the Advertising, Marketing & Promotions Practice Group at the firm.
Much of what we hear as we read the reports of the Olympics is: how many medals? It appears that the media is compelled to quantify success, sort of like an Olympic box score. Is the US leading in the total medal count? Is the US leading in gold medals? How many medals does China have? Will Great Britain, the host country, finally begin to rack up the medals? As I write this article, the US is leading in total overall medals, though not in gold. Great Britain is coming on strong - now in third, and Andy Murray beat Roger Federer for the coveted gold in men's tennis.
But to advertisers and agencies, the medal count pales next to the critical question - who will be the breakout advertising spokesperson of the 2012 Olympics? Will anyone rise to the level of a true advertising superstar?
Well here's a first. An Australian Suziki Swift Sport ad was banned not because it showed some hot chick's sweaty cleavage but because...wait for it...it promoted "reckless or unsafe driving." Really? How...oddly logical.
The ad in question has a couple racing through a parking garage in the Suzuki. Apparently, the car is so hot, it causes the fire sprinklers to go off and, of course, allow for a gratuitous shot of sweaty boob cleavage.
So here we are bright and early Monday morning reviewing all the ads from last night's Super Bowl and, wait, what? Chrysler's Clint Eastwood ad has been removed from YouTube because of a copyright claim by the NFL? We're guessing it has something to do with the reference to the game (halftime in America) that irked the NFL.
Oddly, Chrysler doesn't seem to be hosting their own ad on their website. They just have YouTube embed code which, of course, just delivers the copyright notice. What gives, NFL? Angry the company took U.S. tax dollars? Miffed Chrysler gave your big game publicity? Hmm.
It appears the NFL hasn't asked Hulu to remove the ad which you can view below.
UPDATE: The ad is back up but no explanation has been given by Google, the NFL or Chrysler for its mysterious disappearance.
Ford is demanding that rival General Motors pull a Super Bowl commercial that implies the Chevrolet Silverado pickup is more dependable than the Ford F-Series. But GM stands by the ad and says it will run during Sunday's game.
In the ad, a driver in a Silverado navigates a post-apocalyptic scene. When he meets up with some friends, he notices one is missing. It turns out that friend was driving a Ford.
GM says R.L. Polk data shows Silverados remain on the road longer than other pickups. But Ford says it has the most pickups with 250,000 miles on them.
Ford may have the last laugh. The F-Series has been the best-selling truck in the U.S. for 35 years, and outsold the Silverado by nearly 70,000 trucks last year.
A recent rape prevention ad campaign from Pennsylvania's Liquor Control Board has been pulled because critics claim the ad puts the blame on the victim. The ad, which shows a woman's legs on a bathroom floor with her underwear around her angles, reads, "She Didn'y Want to Do It, But She Couldn't Say No."
The intended message, of course, is don't drink so much you can't make decisions for yourself. Nothing worn with that message, of course. One should never gets o drunk that one can't maintain control. But dovetail that messaging with rape and the scenario is a bit different.
It's easy to see why critics interpreted this ad as victim blaming. After all, the ad could be interpreted as saying she got drunk so she deserved it.
Well everyone else has written about this so we might as well too. The Advertising Standards Authority, a UK-based entity that will ban ads even if they get as little as a couple of complaints. This time around, panties are in a bunch over a cosmetic surgery ad that promotes bobs jobs. The ad, which looks very much like the cover of Cosmopolitan, takes the form of a bus shelter and reads "Cosmetic" across the top.
Other text call outs include "Boob Jobs," Same Day Surgery," "get more, pay less" and "more affordable than you may think." A model with substantial breasts graces the cover as well.
The ASA has taken issue with the ad because it makes light of cosmetic surgery and targets young women. The ASA said the ad's image of "the woman with large breasts and a top which accentuated that conveyed the message that breast surgery was a straightforward, risk-free lifestyle decision" and that the ad did not promote the procedure "in a sufficiently responsible manner."
The great Advertising Standards Authority has spoken. If you hadn't heard, the organization recently banned a Lynx campaign which featured Lucy Pinder in a series of, some say, sexually suggestive videos. Reacting to an army of complaints, in this case, 15, the ASA asked the brand to pull the campaign. Praise be the power of the vocal minority. Yes, just 15 people lodged official complaints and those 15 people got an ad campaign pulled.
Not one to sheepishly drag its tail between its legs for too long, Lynx produced yet another video featuring Ms. Pinder apologizing for...well...whatever it was she did to get 15 people to complain. In the video, she returns the props she used in the video campaign while dressed in a baggy top that reveals zero cleavage.
- President Obama kisses China's Hu Jinto all in the name of Benneton's campaign urging the end of hate.
- See Matt Damon talk shit.
- Remember when Abercrombie & Fitch offered to pay The Situation if he would stop wearing their clothing? Well A&F may end up paying big as The Situation just filed a law suit against the brand.
- Here's Ubisoft's Tom Clancy Ghost Recon Future Soldier promotional video.
- Curious about the curious nature of Altoids? Check out the brand's Hall of Curiosity from Energy BBDO.
Back in the day, marketers had significant barriers to overcome when creating programs to market their products to consumers not the least of which was cost. Creating a TV commercial and buying media were and are very expensive. Today, with little to no money at all, a company can launch a website, create a Facebook page, tweet to their heart's content on Twitter, become and "expert" on Quora, publish their opinions and sales pitches on blogs and, generally, do whatever the hell they want to get people to buy their stuff.
The internet has become a Wild West of marketing and little has been done to control what a marketer can and will say to get people to part with their hard earned cash. To quell the craziness, the FTC a couple of years ago updated their guidelines to address what can and cannot be claimed online.
The guidelines were not well received by most bloggers who called the rules impossible to enforce and a great hindrance to free speech. In other words, it was just too painful and difficult.
A new company, CMP.LY. aims to address concerns regarding compliance and disclosure and to simplify the entire process. This, of course, is not new. IZEA, formerly known as PayPerPost was slapped upside the head when it first launched its sponsored post offering mostly because there was no disclosure in place and anyone could say whatever they wished - for money - without having to disclosed they were paid to say it. Well, that quickly changed and now IZEA has some of the strictest compliance guidelines on the market today.