GM Addresses LA Times Dispute

Recently GM pulled its advertising from the LA Times over some allegedly inaccurate editorial. Writing on GM's FastLane weblog, Communications VP Gary Grates addresses the action saying the company is working with the newspaper to explore the situation and praises the Times for its cooperation. But, he will reserve final comment on the issues until the Times has had a chance to tell its side of the story.

by Steve Hall    Apr-14-05    
Topic: Newspaper

Campaign Launched to Save Big Breasts

As only the Sun can do, the paper has launched a campaign (link NSFW) to save, as they call them, "two of Britain's most outstanding monuments - Jordan's (Katie Price) boobs." The famous model has decided her 32FF breasts are simply too big and she has announced she will have her implants removed. The Sun has enlisted the help of the country's National Trust but a spokesman for the organization declined, citing the non-natural qualities of Jordan's monuments, "Our remit is to preserve places of outstanding natural beauty – so we will have to pass on this." Undeterred, the paper is looking to its readers enlisting support via an email campaign intended to convince Jordan of the country's love and admiration of her assets.

by Steve Hall    Apr-14-05    
Topic: Campaigns

Ad Skipping A $27 Billion Loss

Ad Age reports chilling findings from consultancy firm Accenture which claims on demand and ad skipping will cost the television industry $27 billion over the next five years. Additionally, the company reports 70 percent of DVR users already skip ads and that DVR penetration will hit 40 percent by 2009. Combine this with Bob Garfield's recent manifesto on looming chaos in the advertising industry and the picture is far from rosy.

by Steve Hall    Apr-14-05    
Topic: Research

ZDNet Auctions Podcast Sponsorship on eBay

Jumping on two bandwagons at the same time, ZDNet, using eBay, is auctioning advertising time on its IT Matters podcast hosted by David Berlind. The winning bidder will receive a :60 sponsorship message on five of the podcasts. Graciously, ZDNet will donate the proceeds of this auction to Save the Children: 2004 Tsunami Relief Fund.

by Steve Hall    Apr-14-05    

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Book Promoted With Sheep And One Hit Wonder

Seems book publishers are increasingly experimenting with new means to promote new titles. A book by Sam Apple, called Schlepping Through The Alps is being promoted with a comical "Who Let The Jews Out" Flash video crafted to the tune of Baha Men's Who Let The Dogs Out.

For an uglier version of the tune, check out this video.

by Steve Hall    Apr-14-05    

Celebrities Ask for Help in One Campaign

A cadre of celebrities have appeared in a new campaign for One: The Campaign to Make Poverty History. The television commercial, which debuted on MTV and ABC April 10, features Bono, Cameron Diaz, Penelope Cruz, Brad Pitt and Al Pacino pointing out global poverty and other epidemics. The ad, which closes with the tagline "We're not asking for your money. We're asking for your voice,: directs viewers to One's website, a clearing hose for a collection of organizations headed by Bono's Debt Aids Trade Africa. Claiming the campaign is not about money is a bit of a misnomer given this statement on the One website which reads, "We believe that allocating an additional ONE percent of the U.S. budget toward providing basic needs like health, education, clean water and food, would transform the futures and hopes of an entire generation of the poorest countries." OK, so it's the government's money but you know whose pocket that comes from.

while there's no question action is needed to fend off poverty and other worldly ailments but these celebrity focused ads just rub the wrong way. Viewing these commercials makes one want to scream, "Dude, just hand over 90 percent of your salary to those who need it and stop preaching!" Granted, no one should be penalized for making a lot of money and it's been proved celebrities are effective at shining the light on the world's problems but it still doesn't feel right.

by Steve Hall    Apr-14-05    
Topic: Celebrity

ANA President Offers Six Steps to Marketing Greatness

Writing on his weblog, Association of National Advertiser President Bob Liodice offers six platforms which create the foundation for successful marketing. From product and service quality to continuous improvement to creating one to one connections with consumers, Liodice offers positive fodder for improving a company's marketing efforts.

by Steve Hall    Apr-14-05    
Topic: Opinion

Conde Nast Launches 'Domino,' Gawker Was There

Reporting in the glib tone as only Gawker can, the gossip site sent head honcho Lockhart Steele (who names their kid like that?) to the launch party for Conde Nast's shopping magazine Domino. With lots of pictures and ripe commentary, you too, can experience the self-importance of a magazine launch party. See Stuart Elliott bid up a storm on the silent auction tables. See actress Marcia Gay Harden (again, with the naming here) kick Stuart's butt outbidding him for a quilted bed sheet. See The Apprentice firees Michael Tarshi and Kristen Kirchner catch camera time. Collect candlestick and pillowcase-filled schwag bags. And revel in glee that now, yes, you too, can become an educated 30 year old homeowner armed with information to buy domestic goods from wallpaper to garden tools.

by Steve Hall    Apr-14-05    

Regal Cinemas' 'The 2wenty' Ad Pod Gets Panned

We've railed against pre-movie ads and we're sure to do it again today, we'll let someone else do it. Writing on MSNBC, Andy Dehnart explains Regal Cinemas' new "The 2wenty," a commercial pod that rolls prior to the movie start time. While well produced and entertaining, Dehnart explains how they ruin the movie going experience as we have come to know it.

by Steve Hall    Apr-14-05    

Wal-Mart Wastes $35 Million on Environmental Puffery Campaign

In a commercial filled with wildlife imagery, Wal-Mart has announced its "Acres for America" Plan which promises, through a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the retailer will sponsor the preservation of one acre of land for every acre on which it builds. The program attempts to appease the many complaints the company has received from environmental and labor groups.

While saving an acre of land for wildlife is an admirable thing to do, this program is simply a smokescreen for the real issues at hand. Employees want better pay and towns don't want a Wal-Mart on every street corner. Wal-Mart's "Acres for America" addresses neither. It simply employs the tried and true, squishy, aren't-we-great-because-we-love-nature approach to deflect attention from the primary issue.

According to Ad Age, it's spending $35 million on this deflection. If Wal-Mart simply allocated that $35 million to payroll, it would make great strides towards solving at least half its problems.

by Steve Hall    Apr-14-05    
Topic: Campaigns