- Cynopsis reports, "The retransmission rights payments disagreement between MediaCom Communications and Sinclair Broadcast Group came to a head late Friday and into Saturday with MediaCom being forced to drop 22 Sinclair stations from its cable system in 12 states as of 12:01a January 6."
- Time Magazine is getting into the blog game with a site makeover, a news aggregator and topical blogs.
- Ecommerce hit the 4100 billion mark in 2006 and continues to charge ahead.
- Brands should know by now an angry mob of bloggers is something to steer clear of lest you want amplified what you intended to be hushed.
- Time says you are the Person of the year. Advertising Age says the consumer is the Agency of the Year. Jonah Bloom explains they really didn't copy Time.
- The free 411 services are catching on with advertisers. Aegon Insurance and Absolut are the latest brands to become advertisers on 1-800-FREE411.
- Heavy.com has closed on a second round of financing, $20 million from Polaris Venture Partners. The financing will be used to expand the network internationally.
Steve's Take: Surprise. Well, not really. You, yes you are the Agency of the Year! Mirroring Time's footsteps they promise they thought of it before Time published), Advertising Age has named the consumer the Ad Agency of the Year. Cool but we're sorta feeling sad for all those hard working agencies and any number of social media companies that made this possible in the first place. Of course, that's a pointless chicken and egg analogy but the notion of consumer control in the marketing space is, for sure, a powerful one.
We could list all the fun stuff that led up to this (Mentos, LonelyGirl15, etc.) but we're sure you've heard it all before. Agencies, we feel your pain at getting ripped off this year but take solace in consumer's love for marketing. Or something like that. But also note the slap upside the head you just got and realize you can't keep doing the same old thing lest their won't be any agencies left in the future to consider for this top spot. (Doesn't Jonah look imposingly hip in that pic? :-) )
The alleged first e-governor, Jeb Bush, had his beloved Blackberry included in a portrait that'll go down in Florida governor history.
If you're curious about the whole e-gov moniker it's because he often responds to his thousands of e-mails, which is pretty rare for our high-profile political chums.
We don't think anybody should be called an e-anything until they've started a blog of some sort but we're sure Jebbie probably has some officially sanctioned one somewhere.
Thanks Boing Boing for tipping us off on the Blackberry thing.
Packaging Girlhood lists the best and worst 2006 marketing campaigns aimed at girls and their sometimes less-than-savvy guardians.
Worst includes the Dora the Princess campaign for turning an educational show into a stock purveyor of pretty-in-pink stereotypes. The Bratz Party Plane with juice bar also made the cut.
We always thought Bratz' eclipse over Barbie apt. Barbie was inspired by a German doll named Lilli, actually meant for adult males. That our 21st-century improvement over the Nordic sex kitten was a multi-ethnic series of skanks with DSL lips just kills us.
The list for Best include the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty whose crowning glory was the oft-spoofed Evolution ad of '06, and the transformation of Super Mario's Princess Peach into an entity capable of making her own rescues.
So cheers to real girls who say no lip gloss and aren't afraid to stomp in puddles.
Just as search engine marketing was undervalued earlier this decade but turned out to dramatically exceed all growth estimates, Right Media CEO Mike Walrath, in a post on his company's blog, contends the industry just might be in the same place with online display advertising. While acknowledging the existence of unsold display inventory, Walrath argues a confluence of events - traditional media moving online, improved metrics and open ad platforms - may fuel display as search was fueled earlier by its own confluence of events. To be clear, Walrath's Right Media plays in the area of open ad platforms making his argument appear to be self-serving but his arguments are sound and worth considering.
Ad Freak contends France made serious media history yesterday when at the stroke of midnight they officially lifted a ban preventing gaudy supermarket ads from chafing the eyes of its chic denizens. The moment was consummated when, moments after the ball drop into '07, an ad for cheap Systeme U washing powder debuted on the TF1 and M6 channels.
Opinions range from optimism as France makes a friendly leap toward the 21st century, and outraged notions of culture bastardization and handicaps for small businesses.
Cheery allies for the lift include Serge Papin, chairman of Systeme U. "This is a great opportunity," he said. "We have everything to gain from it." Well, obviously.
The release of the ban comes shortly after publicized concerns over the rampant commercialization of the Champs-Elysees, a wonderstreet rapidly devolving into strip mall fare. Looks like the charmed sophisticate haven is losing ground to, dare we say it? McDonaldization? Or is that a battle that's already been lost? Sometimes we fall behind.
Inspired by the enduring Willy Wonka, First Flavor builds on film strip technology to create little taste samplers for food and beverage products for use in media kits, promos and soda machines.
The description of apple cinnamon oatmeal strips didn't bring the Wonka wallpaper scene to mind, which is what founder Adnan (himself somewhat Wonka-esque, though we can't quite say how or why) credits as his inspiration. Instead we recalled the three-course-meal gum, where Violet describes the flavors in vivid detail and then expands into a blueberry.
We don't think First Flavor does that but it's still pretty neat. The newscaster in the ABC video got to try some and not only was she impressed; she couldn't stop talking about the dieting possibilities of a zero-calorie taste explosion.
Yes, there is an actual medical ailment called "mouse rage syndrome," The term was coined by the Social Issues Research Centre in the United Kingdom which recently conducted a study of 2,500 web users who were found to exhibit negative cardiac function, profuse sweating, altered immune and nervous system function and, yes, "mouse rage" defined as furious clicking and bashing of the mouse.
Guess what causes the syndrome? Fat Flash sites, poorly designed sites, bad navigation, pop ups, banner ads, unnecessary graphics and just about everything else our industry foists upon the helpless public who only want quick access to the relevant information they need and have no need for "site loading..." bullshit or sites that look great in a presentation but perform like a turtle crossing the road when launched. Wake up and smell the consumer, people. We want them to be our frinds. Not our enemies. Make nice.
Sometimes you need to go vintage to remember how far we have (or haven't) come. Before cowboys, Marlboro marketed with that other lovable doe-eyed mom-melter: kids. The text just kills us.
We only wish we could have invited our moms to light up pre-punishment without getting thrown into next year. See the complete ad here. - Contributed by Angela Natividad
Oh the horror! AdPunch points to recent news Zara Phillips, the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, has appeared in a Land Rover ad wearing a white gown covered in mud with the headline, "Beautifully Poised." Nice ad but it's apparently against royal protocol. Her appearance is part of sponsorship deal with Land Rover which sponsored her during her recent competition in the World Equestrian Games where she won a gold.
While the Queen might be angry, many other are just fine with her land Rover appearance. Labour Glascow East MP Ian Davison said, "Miss Phillips is to be commended for making her own way in the world. If she is cashing in on her success as a sporting star as other people do, then she is making something of herself."
Is this the end of royalty as we know it? Or is this just the natural way of things? Those in the U.K., please enlighten us.