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Remember back in 2005 when Paris Hilton donned a black bikini and slid her hotness over a Bentley for Carl's Jr.? It was pretty hot. There was a lot of skin and a lot of suggestiveness. It got talked about. It got Carl's Jr. some notoriety. But there wasn't much backlash.
Shift five years to a Brazilian Devassa Bem Loura beer campaign . In the campaign's commercial, Hilton does her sexy, sultry thing for the benefit of a voyeuristic photographer...and everyone else outside her window. She knows she's being photographed. She knows everyone is looking at her. No harm done, right?
Wrong. No less than three investigations into the campaign have been launched. It's too "sensual." It encourages excessive consumption. It's sexist and disrespectful to women.
All of this from Brazil. Where booty is supposed to reign supreme. What gives?
Ladies, if you possess the pulchritude necessary to form a significant amount of cleavage, you may not be welcome in Colorado Springs. Well, at least your cleavage isn't. So, cover up, wear an old lady bra or get a breast reduction.
That would appear to be the message Lamar Outdoor has sent the community when it banned a transit poster that showed cleavage. But get this. It was puppet cleavage. Not even human cleavage.
OK so the fact the cleavage belonged to the Muppet-like character Lucy the Slut, star of the Broadway show Avenue Q, might have something to do with the decision but seriously? What's next? No more Smokey the Bear ads because he's not wearing a shirt?
So yea. Another copycat accusation. As malicious as these things can be, most of the time, they are pure coincidence. Most people aren't stupid enough to blatantly rip of another's work. Well, at least we like to hope that's the case.
Anyway, the current copycat of the month is, allegedly, Weiden + Kennedy which has been accused of copying a 2002 Israeli Yotvata milk commercial created by Young and Rubicam. The ad in question is W+K's Sleepwalker ad for Coke.
For its part, Weiden + Kennedy said, "When we created the Coca-Cola 'Sleepwalker' commercial we and our agency were unaware of this other ad," Coca-Cola representative Susan Stribling wrote in an email. "Now that we've seen the ad, we think both commercials are equally entertaining. While the two share a few common elements, any similarities are coincidental and unintended."
So here we go again. Someone claiming a big brand stole their idea for a commercial. Occasionally, this stuff has merit. Occasionally, it's just sour grapes. In this particular case, we're going with sour grapes. After all, it's not like showing a collage of images is a patented idea or anything. Although we will admit the Pepsi commercial is quite derivative of the original video.
Bryan Chang, who submitted both videos, wrote, "When ad agencies rip off work, is there an obligation to inform the client where the ideas are coming from? I imagine so."
What do you think?
In a continuing effort to fend off government regulation, the advertising industry will, today, add to its arsenal of self regulation tools. Working with the Future of Privacy Forum, several WPP divisions worked together to create an icon which, when placed in an ad along with the text "Why did I get this ad?"and clicked, will take a person to a page explaining how web surfing history, demographics, phychographics and behavioral targeting where used to deliver the ad.
The efforts is aimed at addressing privacy concerns about data marketers use to target their advertising.
Future of Privacy Forum Co-Chairman Jules Polonetsky explained the creative effort - while snubbing associated legal efforts - saying, "We said, let's turn to creative people whose job it is to sell things, to communicate, instead of to lawyers whose job is to create highly accurate things that mean only what they mean and can be highly complex."
The IAB is behind the effort as well but there's no legal requirement any marketer or publisher adopt the icon.
God help us. If you hate political advertising as much as we do, you might want to consider relocating to Mars. Or, if you're not partial to space travel, the North Pole where we hear not too many media outlets call home.
Yesterday, the Supreme Court overturned federal legislation which limits the amount of money corporations can spend to support or oppose a candidate. The decision also made unconstitutional a hefty portion of the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform act.
You've been warned. You may hate watching more political ads but you might also make a lot more money creating crappy ads pimping candidates and hyping issues. Of course, more ads featuring Paris Hilton or Obama Girl might not be such a bad thing.
In Spain, certain dieting and beauty ads may be banned from advertising before 10PM. A new law states, "Broadcasters cannot carry advertisements for things that encourage the cult of the body and have a negative impact on self-image - such as slimming products, surgical procedures and beauty treatments - which are based on ideas of social rejection as a result of one's physical image or that success is dependent on factors such as weight or looks."
No word on banning ads that make you fat like, oh, say, McDonald's and Burger King.
A recently granted patent has given Google the ability to sell ad space on billboards through its Street View map product. Rather than a Street View user seeing the actual billboard image - in many cases months old - captured by the Google Street View vehicle, the person would see a digitally placed image purchased through the new system.
The patent explains how advertisers can replace their old images with digitally created new ones. It also describes a bidding system which could possibly allow for an advertiser who isn't using the board in real life to buy and apply a digital billboard over the advertiser who is using it in real life.
Those Obamas are everywhere. Whether they like it or not. This time around, it's the President, himself, appearing, without consent, on a Times Square billboard for the garment company Weatherproof. It's an image of the President wearing one of the company's coats when he was standing on the Great Wall of China.
Weatherproof President Freddie Stollmack, who recognized the coat, told the New York Times, "With a magnifying glass, we saw our logo and zipper pull, and we said, 'That's our coat,'"
The image was properly licensed from the Associated Press but Weatherproof failed to obtain necessary permissions from The White House, which has a policy against using the President's image for commercial purposes, for use of the President's image.
From Boston Public Health Commission comes Ethan "Smizzy" McCoy and Talkin' 'bout the flu. You gotta love rap that works the word diarrea into the mix and includes outtakes along with Twitter and Facebook links. Kleenex on... the... mic. (Below.)