Panera Launches Faux Blog


Adrants reader JoAnna, who publishes ChefBlog received, on a recent blog post, what she believed to be comment spam from a faux blog set up for Panera bread company. Read the comment on JoAnna's post here. Then, visit the Panera blog, where JoAnna has left a comment of her own on the blog's only post calling the bluff, and decide for yourself. Loyal Panera fan or lame, uninformed blog marketing effort? We're leaning toward the latter. It just wreaks.

by Steve Hall    May-24-05    
Topic: Weblogs

Marketers Force Media to Relinquish Integrity

Write Nice Things Or Else

It seems BP (more accurately BP's agency MindShare who crafted BP's stringent "zero-tolerance policy") and Morgan Stanley have everybody's panties in a bunch over their recently publicized ad policies stipulating their right to pull ad schedules based on disagreeable editorial content. Ad Age has skewered the announcements, writing, "Shame on BP. And shame on Morgan Stanley and General Motors and any other advertisers involved in assaults on editorial integrity and independence. By wielding their ad budgets as weapons to beat down newsrooms, these companies threaten the bond that media properties have with their audiences, the very thing that gives media their value to advertisers to begin with."

We're none too pleased either. But, for all the reaction these announcements have received, there's nothing all that new. Policies such as these have been around forever. They've just never brazenly been made public. And that's the issue.

more »

by Steve Hall    May-24-05    
Topic: Magazine, Newspaper, Opinion, Policy

Parent Group Proliferates Paris 'Porn' Commercial


When will people learn. If you don't like something and you want it to go away, don't say anything. Certainly don't make comments you know will get picked up by every major publication in the world thereby destroying the strategy you set out to accomplish. Obviously when Television Council research Director Melissa Caldwell's Mom said "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," Melissa wasn't listening. Nope. She had to go open her big mouth to complain about the Car's Jr. Paris Hilton commercial saying, "This commercial is basically soft-core porn It's inappropriate for television." If Caldwell didn't realize that comment would get every media outlet, including this one to, once again, wag our tongues and drooling even more publicity all over Miss Hilton and Carl's Jr., well, then, she needs to go to her room until she can say something nice.

To help Melissa's cause so that we all know what we're not supposed to see, here's another link to the "soft-core porn" commercial.

by Steve Hall    May-24-05    
Topic: Commercials

UPN Jenny McCarthy Sitcom Gets Middling Review

UPN's Bad Girl Ad Babe

Jenny McCarthy was the wise-ass MTV/Playboy chic of the nineties. Sadly, she hasn't been able to come up and an act two and her latest outing, the UPN advertising focused sitcom "The Bad Girl's Guide," according to the New York Times' Virginia Heffernan doesn't make the cut. Heffernan wrote, "There's no pleasure in reporting that it's another misfire, though typically good-natured. Tonight's episode is madcap but ultimately strident and not entertaining. As JJ, a boy-crazy advertising executive, Ms. McCarthy smiles wide, cavorts and cracks up with two friends, Holly (Marcelle Larice) and Sarah (Christina Moore), as she pushes deadlines, fantasizes about guys and gets high while working for a huffy boss...But the kooky dialogue, delivered in shrieks, falls flat. And JJ and her friends are far too pleased with themselves; they amplify the grating laugh track with so much deranged gaiety of their own that they seem to be crying for help."

Of course, we'll all like it because we can make fun at writers who can never seem to get advertising right in television shoes or in movies. Perhaps there's a drinking game in the making here. Take a swig everytime an account exec is portrayed as the one who actually makes the ad - one of the most common misnomers put forth in advertising themed shows.

by Steve Hall    May-24-05    
Topic: Celebrity, Television

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Mag Publishers: Wake Up And Smell The Screen

Speaking at yesterday's International Federation of Periodical and Press World Magazine Conference at Manhattan's Waldorf-Astoria, Starcom MediaVest Group CEO Renetta McCann told publisher they better get their act together and start creating more personalized content and provide "more of a screen-based entry point for consumers." She suggested video content to be deliver to cell phones and printed content to drive readers to the magazine's website.

While this really shouldn't be surprising to any magazine publisher, many at the conference, as Ad Age put it, "expressed surprise at how far behind the magazine industry appeared to be compared to the music or TV industries, which already have been modifying content for delivery over fiber optics or wireless." Get with it you magazine types.

by Steve Hall    May-24-05    
Topic: Magazine

OMD to Test Fast Forward Ads

In what we believe to be a losing battle against consumers who now, with PVR technology, have near complete control over whether they view ads or not, Chicago's OMD has announced it will soon test what it dubs "fast-forward commercials." Announced during a keynote yesterday at the Cablevision Advertising Bureau sales conference in Chicago, OMD Director of Strategic Marketing David DeSocio suggested DVRs should not be seen as threat but as a means to provide viewers with better advertising. DeSocio told the audience that while control given to consumers by DVRs, his agency's new technology would help advertisers "involve the consumer even when they are in avoidance mode." Correct me if I'm wrong but that's just about the nicest way I've ever heard anyone say, "force the consumer to view ads when they choose not to."

by Steve Hall    May-24-05    
Topic: Television

Axe Prepares Men For Sex

Brenner Thomas succumbed not yet aware of the Axe ad campaign messaging, went out and bought some of the company's shower gel then, checking the campaign out, commented on heavy intertwining of sex to sell the product, writing, "As I've said before, male showering is marketed as a requirement for meeting the standards of the other, cleaner sex. But Axe takes this a step further. Attractiveness isn't the end goal of showering here; sex is. The Axe website makes their intentions clearer than a horny freshman at a sorority party. The splash page features suggestive images of a shower's ceiling lined with mirrors, and bathroom with towels engraved with "His," "Hers," "Her Roomate's," "Her Sister's." You can just see the famous jocks of Heathers punching it in. Even the loading icon is horny. It reads "Your Mojo is Loading." And I guess that's what Axe really is, a mojo-enhancing lube for heterosexual sex.

by Steve Hall    May-24-05    
Topic: Brands, Opinion

Meredith to Acquire G + J For $350 Million

After overpaying for Fast Company, becoming embroiled in Rosie O'Donnell's freaked out life and getting caught inflation its circulation figured for Rosie and YM, G + J has thrown in the towel and is selling itself to Meredith Corporation. Meredith, who will become the country's second largest publisher behind Time Inc. after the acquisition, will get G + J's Parents, Child, Fitness and Family Circle. G + J will try to sell Fast Company and and Inc. on its own before June 30, the date the Meredith/G + J deal finalizes.

Orchestrating the deal was G + J's Russell Denson who is said to be the master of prepping publishing companies for sale.

by Steve Hall    May-24-05    
Topic: Magazine, Publishing