Annual Report Manure Contest Reaches Final Two

There's probably not a soul alive who's actually read through an entire annual report. If there is, we feel pity because they are written horribly and contain some of the most bland, verbal irrelevancy ever produced. Here to celebrate that annual expulsion of verbal diarrhea is Fighting Bull's 2005 Manure Madness Annual Bull Tournament. It's been underway since Early March but, last week, the Tournament entered the Final four leaving McKesson and Lockheed standing tall as the two companies spewing the finest annual report drivel.

If your looking for some enjoyment at the expense of a few bloated Fortune 500 companies and the poor copywriters forced to write this stuff, visit the Tournament's standings site, revel in the inanity of corporate America and cast your vote for the "Shining Beacon of Business Idiocy."

by Steve Hall    Mar-31-05    

Pamela Anderson New Face of Viva Glam

Today, Pamela Anderson has joined Christina Aguilera, Missy Elliott, Linda Evangelista, Chloe Sevigny and Boy George as spokesmodel for VIVA GLAM V lipstick and lipglass, the fund-raising arm of M.A.C. Aids Fund.

Upon joining the campaign, Anderson said, "M.A.C. VIVA GLAM V is a great campaign to be involved with," Anderson said in a statement. "I feel privileged and empowered to help raise funds and awareness of the importance for getting tested. After being diagnosed with hepatitis C, I knew the importance of knowing your status. Only then can you make informed and wise decisions for your health and life."

by Steve Hall    Mar-31-05    
Topic: Celebrity

Socially Responsible Gun Barrel Aiming At Wrong Target

Writing on his blog, ANA Marketing Musings, ANA CEO and President Bob Liodice takes issue with recent political attempts to blame advertisers for society's ills, namely, childhood obesity. Liodice thinks government regulation of advertising would be bad. Not that it really supports the point, but Liodice lists a litany of great things the ad industry has done for society, in general, from Ad Council work to Partnership for a Drug Free America to the self-regulatory work of the Children's Advertising Review Unit.

While forcing crap down people's throats via advertising might not be a good thing, perhaps advertising isn't completely to blame. If there was no crap to force in the first place, there'd be no crap pushed to the public via advertising. In a capitalistic society, companies will do whatever is best for their financial bottom line - even if it makes American's bottom line obese.

There may be no solution to this problem but Liodice's commentary brings to light to notion of "don't shoot the messenger." While advertising may be a much easier and more visible target to complain about, if 750 calorie mega-burgers weren't manufactured in the first place, there's be no ad selling that crap. Perhaps the gun barrel needs to be aimed elsewhere.

by Steve Hall    Mar-31-05    
Topic: Policy

'Big' Buns Gets KFC Ad Banned

While Jennifer Lopez tries to play down her big buns, KFC in the UK is trying to play up the buns of its MiniFillet chicken burger in a new commercial for the chain's in which, according to complaints, the burger appears bigger than it does in real life. Apparently, KFC found a female model with very small hands to hold the burger in the spot so as to play tricks with viewer's eyes. The UK Advertising Standards Agency has banned the ad based on complaints.

by Steve Hall    Mar-31-05    

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After Dumping Goodby, eBay Gets Jiggy With BBDO

One day after dumping Goodby Silverstein & Partners, eBay, whose new President Bill Cobb has lengthy ties with BBDO, has proved, once again, it's not the work you do but the people you know. That's right. Cobb, yesterday, handed his company's $74 million (TNS measured media) account to BBDO. Indicating, maybe, Cobb has a thing against Goodby, in the late 90's, he fired Goodby when he was marketing SVP for Pizza Hut and handed that account to BBDO.

In a say nothing press release, Cobb gave lots of BBDO love calling the agency the "best agency in the business. Continuing, he uttered the PR cut and paste, "To generate the integrated marketing efforts we undertake today, we needed an agency that could deliver creative excellence across our marketing mix."

Well, at least the Omnicom holding company big boys are happy it's all staying in-house. By the way, WTF? The BBDO site is "under construction." Didn't that excuse go out in the mid 90's? Instead of using a lame-ass "under construction" page, just leave the old site up until the new one is done. How hard is that?

by Steve Hall    Mar-31-05    

Ford Escape Commercial Stretches Truth

While watching this week's American Idol on which Jessica Sierra's booty was booted, Jossip's David Hausliab, saw a commercial for the 2005 Ford Escape and couldn't contain himself. Writing as only David can write, he trashes the spot, saying, "...the 2005 Ford Escape, carrying the tagline "100% SUV." C'mon, are they just trying to convince themselves? 153 horsepower? We've taken shits with more thrust. This thing is the girliest, tween SUV we've seen since Toyota's RAV4, and Ford's attempt at persuading otherwise is insulting."

No pithy closing comment needed on this one.

by Steve Hall    Mar-31-05    

Entertainment Weekly Has Promotional Orgasm

A new Entertainment Weekly subscriber experiences the desperation publishers go to to maintain circulation levels. After subscribing to Entertainment Weekly by responding to a 26 issue offer, Jodster, after receiving just one issue, received a promotional piece to renew his subscription. After the third issue, he received a second promotion and after the fifth - still with 21 issues to go, he received the pictured "Last Chance!" offer. To those of us in the business, this is not unusual but the perception it creates among subscribers should be of interest to us.

Writing on his blog, after receiving the second renewal notice, Jodster wrote, "I still have 23 issues to go, and yet they want to get me to renew my subscription. Is the circulation department so inept that it would require more than twenty weeks to process a subscription renewal?" While keeping circulation up is, most assuredly, a nightmarish job, appearing inept to subscribers is probably not the perception publishers should create.

by Steve Hall    Mar-31-05    

Viral & Buzz Marketing Association Adds Members

The Viral & Buzz Marketing Association has added eight new members to its roster. The new members include SMLXL (UK), i to i research (USA/UK), partizan (USA/UK), Dunn Direct LLC (USA), Marcom:Interactive (USA) and consultants Tim Stock from scenarioDNA (USA), Jake 'The Community Guy McKee the Global Community Development Director at LEGO, and Andrew Corcoran from Lincoln University in the UK.

by Steve Hall    Mar-31-05