House Approves National Do Not Call List

You could hear the cries of agony today as the House of Representatives voted 418-7 in favor of a national "do not call list". The Senate will need to approve as well. If approved, the list could be in effect this Summer.

Telemarketers reacted as expected saying the new law will devastate their business and will cause the loss of millions of jobs. Predictable reaction.

This is just another of the great changes that are beginning to happen in the world of marketing. The new world will be one in which the consumer will have more control over the commercial messages that reach them. We marketers will just have to keep up with these changes and develop new advertising methods that are both effective and acceptable to our audiences.

by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    

Nikki Ziering Final Member of "I'm a Celebrity"

Nikki Schieler Ziering, former Playboy Playmate, former Price is Right model, and former wife of Beverly Hills 80210 star Ian Ziering is the 10th and final member of "I'm a Celebrity - Get Me Out of Here!"

Destined to be yet another reality series hit, the shows ten participants will be dropped in a remote part of Australia for 15 days. Idiocy and hilarity will ensue, no doubt.

Ziering is joined by other non-famous types: Robin Leach, Melissa Rivers, Bruce Jenner, Maria Conchita Alonso, Tyson Beckford, Alana Stewart, Cris Judd, "Stuttering" John Melendez and "Downtown" Julie Brown.

The show will air Feb. 19 and run for 15 consecutive nights. Don't miss it! [via zap2it]

by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    

Gawker and the Nano-Publishing Trend

Gawker, for the un-initiated is a New York based weblog describing itself as "a live review of city news, and by news we mean, among other things, urban dating rituals, no-ropes social climbing, Conde Nastiness, downwardly mobile i-bankers, real estate porn -- the serious stuff."

Gawker is a "nanopublishing" venture edited by Elizabeth Spiers, designed by Jason Kottke and published by Nick Denton.

Nick also publishes Gizmodo, a weblog covering the latest and greatest in technological gadgetry.

Gawker just had their official launch party last night which I am sure was a blast. Gawker, Gizmodo, and my other site, MarketingFix are nanopublishing ventures that will turn around online media as we know it. The operations of most current online ventures require so much in the way of resources that it is not surprising a profit is rarely made. Nonopublished sites, on the other hand, don't require much more than free blogging software and one human to add content. Now that's oversimplifying it just a bit but this model brings the economics in line with reality. Very low overhead so that even minimal revenue can turn a profit.

For advertisers, "nanopublishing" yields the ability to "nanotarget". It's just another progressive step in the ability to more finely target and customize your advertising campaigns. There will be a shift from coverage to composition when crunching numbers. The quality of the audience will become more important then the quantity. Will that make media planning more difficult? Perhaps, but it will make for far more successful campaigns. And, interestingly, one of Denton's "nanopublishing" ventures just might make this "microtargeting" effort easier. Called The Lafayette Project -- a working title -- , this service will mine the editorial selections and commentary on weblogs to produce an improved personalized news service to consumers. It will identify the stories which have generated the most buzz in the weblog community, and allow readers to track the writings of their favorite weblog authors. I would imagine this to become the entry point into the "nanopublishing" world the way Google is the entry point into the web. I'm sure it will be more then that but we will all have to wait until it's launched later this year to find out.

Like most new media, nanopublishing will not replace existing media. It will just shift the playing field and that, in itself, is what is so fascinating about it.

by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    

B2B Publishers Go Digital

101communications, publisher of Federal Computer Week, Microsoft Certified Professional, Application Development Trends, and Syllabus, has launched digital versions of its publications.

Launched in October of 2002, these publications are available for download in PDF format for viewing on screen or printing.

"With the introduction of the tablet PC, viewing of online publications will only grow, and we plan to be in the forefront of offering that to our readers and advertisers," says Jeffrey S. Klein, president and CEO, 101communications. "Digital delivery provides greater flexibility, timeliness and additional enhancements that will enable our readers to stay ahead of the curve in the fast-changing IT sector."

Whether reading on the screen will replace paper is up for debate but offering the option is a step in the right direction.

by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    

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Coke's Future: Brand Driven Content

"The television executives among us ... better recognise, you are prisoners of media fragmentation and proliferation and the changing media consumption habits of younger generations," Mr Heyer said. "And the agency executives among us ... your model is in need of a wholesale redefinition ... your future will be in working with, not against, content creators. Agencies should be quarterbacking [directing] the collaborations ... most undermine them."

That's the view of Coca-Cola Co's chief operating officer, Steven Heyer. Sounds like he is endorsing 'advertainment' and product placement to me. The buzzword for this is "brand-driven content". Whether this buzz takes us down the 'advertainment' or product placement road or some yet to be discovered road no one knows. But it will certainly be exciting to watch.

by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    

No More Kids Programming on UPN

UPN is cancelling its kids programming and will let affiliates fill those hours with local programming. This amounts to 12 hours of Walt Disney programming per week. Ratings for those time periods have been down significantly.


by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    

Brit Hume to Stay With Fox Another Three Years

Brit Hume has signed on for another three years as Fox News network Washington correspondent and managing editor.

"Brit is the ultimate newsman," Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes said in a statement. "He is the personification of fair and balanced, and everyone in news knows it."

Hume anchors "Special Report With Brit Hume" nightly at 6PM which averages 1.1 million viewers.

by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    

MarketingFix Online Advertising Headlines

From MarketingFix:
SMS Marketing Does Work
Be Careful Using SMS
Coca-Cola Joins Branded Content Bandwagon
Wealth Gap Widens Online
Shoe E-tailer Focuses on Low Acquisition Cost
Business 2.0 E-Marketing Ads Award Makes Gillette Mad
Surf's Down as Direct Navigation Becomes More Prominent
Paid Subscription Model Helps The
Pointless Surveys as a PR Tool
Lexus Tried Soft Sell Advertising
Better Search Means More Business
Sponsored Text Links In-Content at

by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03    

Cosmo Girl is Looking Good

Cosmopolitan is winning big these days on the newstand with sales up 5.5% over last year and total circ up 9.3% to 3.2 million according to the latest ABC statement.


by Steve Hall    Feb-12-03