Blockbuster Pays For Late Fee Debacle

In a move to satisfy complaints over its so called "No More Late Fees" ad campaign in which the video chain's elaborate and twisted return policy confused and angered consumers, Blockbuster has agreed to pay $630,000 in legal fees to settle claims from 47 states and the District of Columbia. The settlement calls for Blockbuster to refund anyone who claims the ad campaign misled them into believing they could keep their rental for as long as they liked rather than, as the details explain, having to return it within 8 days or face the full price of the rental added to their account only to be refunded if it was then returned in 30 days along with a $1.25 restocking fee.

Confused? Yes and that's the whole point behind Blockbuster finding itself in this mess. Sure, all the T's are crossed and the I's dotted in the rental agreement but when Blockbuster goes out and spends millions to scream, "No More Late Fees," without divulging details clearly, something is amiss and the chain is now paying for that oversight. We don't know who said it first but there's an important little tidbit to keep in mind when marketing: KISS - keep it simple stupid. Clearly, Blockbuster did not adhere to that notion.

by Steve Hall    Mar-29-05    

FOX News Blocked By Angry Independent

Apparently at his wit's end over the conservative journalistic bias of FOX News, Tulsa Oklahoma resident Sam Kimery is selling a device that blocks cable subscribers from receiving FOX News. The device, just like the device cable companies install to block premium analog channels, this device is set to block only FOX News.

by Steve Hall    Mar-29-05    

Celine Dion Launches New Fragrance

Canadian pop star Celine Dion has teamed up with perfume maker Coty to launch a new fragrance called Belong. Dion says, "This fragrance is about celebrating life. It's about a woman's inner beauty, her confidence, her passion and her sensuality. It's the way I like to feel about myself." The ad campaign, as with the product's packaging was photographed by Peter Lindbergh.

by Steve Hall    Mar-29-05    

Web Analytic Firm Parts With Parent Company

Private equity firm Francisco Partners, yesterday, announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the WebTrends business unit, a provider of web analytics, of NetIQ Corporation. The transaction is being undertaken with the full participation and support of the WebTrends management team, members of which will be investing in the new business together with Francisco Partners. Greg Drew, currently general manager of WebTrends, will continue to lead the business and will assume the role of president and chief executive officer of the new standalone WebTrends business.

by Steve Hall    Mar-29-05    

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Study: Marketing Most Important Business Profession

According to a survey of U.S. senior executives, marketing will be the most important area of expertise for the next-generation of business leaders. The survey was commissioned by the Institute of International Research, organizers of LEADERS LIVE -- a two-day forum on strategic leadership that will take place in New York City on June 13-14, 2005 .

Of the responses from more than 1,300 business executives, marketing was the clear choice with 29 percent of votes, followed by 22 percent for operations and 14 percent for financial expertise. Sales and engineering were deemed least critical to leadership with 8 percent each. Seems there's hope for us advertising folk.

by Steve Hall    Mar-29-05    

OptInRealBig FIles For Chapter 11

To protect itself from a Microsoft initiated law suit claiming the company engaged in alleged acts of spamming, email marketing firm OptInRealBig filed Chapter 11 last week ADBUMB reports. Microsoft is reported to have seeked damages of $38 million from OptInRealBig but other sources have said the figure is much higher and that OptInRealBig, by filing for bankruptcy, will push the suit to federal levels where damages are limited favoring the outcome for OptInRealBig.

by Steve Hall    Mar-29-05