Back in the day, marketers had significant barriers to overcome when creating programs to market their products to consumers not the least of which was cost. Creating a TV commercial and buying media were and are very expensive. Today, with little to no money at all, a company can launch a website, create a Facebook page, tweet to their heart's content on Twitter, become and "expert" on Quora, publish their opinions and sales pitches on blogs and, generally, do whatever the hell they want to get people to buy their stuff.
The internet has become a Wild West of marketing and little has been done to control what a marketer can and will say to get people to part with their hard earned cash. To quell the craziness, the FTC a couple of years ago updated their guidelines to address what can and cannot be claimed online.
The guidelines were not well received by most bloggers who called the rules impossible to enforce and a great hindrance to free speech. In other words, it was just too painful and difficult.
A new company, CMP.LY. aims to address concerns regarding compliance and disclosure and to simplify the entire process. This, of course, is not new. IZEA, formerly known as PayPerPost was slapped upside the head when it first launched its sponsored post offering mostly because there was no disclosure in place and anyone could say whatever they wished - for money - without having to disclosed they were paid to say it. Well, that quickly changed and now IZEA has some of the strictest compliance guidelines on the market today.
- Yawn. Gisele Bundchen's campaign for Brazilian fashion label Hope has been labeled sexist and pulled from TV. Seriously? In Brazil? The land of booty?
- The 2011 Silicon Valley Film Festival & Awards has announced its 2011 lineup featuring nearly 100 film makers who "celebrate the spirit of Silicon Valley."
- The Swedish Post (post office) has launched a competition to see if Swedes can carry packages as safely as the post office...using an iPhone app.
-Yawn. Hot reporter gives "blowjob" to local politician. It's for Lynx, of course.
- Yo! Send in your Toe Tappy video so you can be featured in the next Coke Zero campaign. What a joke. Easiest dance step ever.
This is too funny. And we saw it coming the day the campaign was launched. Remember the Reebok Retone campaign that informed people their butts would be whipped into shape if only they bought Reebok Reetone shoes? Well, that claim has caught up with Reebok and bit the company in the ass.
This morning the Federal Trade Commission announced it has reached a $25 million settlement with Reebok over claims the company made in the campaign. The $35 million will be placed in a fund to reimburse people who bought the shoes thinking (idiotically, we might add) they would miraculously made their ass look perfect.
It's all very simple. Don't make claims you can't support. Barring that, don't expect idiotic consumers to have any level of intelligence either. Any moron would know it's not the shoes that firm up your ass. It's the amount of proper exercise your flabby ass undergoes that makes it firm regardless of what kind of shoes you wear.
Australian burger joint, Nando's, has long pushed the boundaries of good taste when it comes to their advertising. You may remember the commercial the brand ran a few years ago in which a woman with rather large breasts complained to her server there were no fries on her plate when, in fact, there were. She just couldn't see them because her breasts stuck out so far they blocked her view of the plate.
This summer the brand pushed boundaries again with its Little Hotties campaign which got into hot water with Australia's Advertising Standards Authority. A radio ad voiceover included the copy, "Tight buns. Great breasts. And oh so saucy. These little hotties have got it all. Print and online executions featured a woman dressed in burlesque wear.
While the campaign received a fair amount of complaints, the ASA ruled the campaign was not in breach of their code of ethics. Nando's Marketing Director Kim Russel defended the campaign saying the work was meant to be "sassy not sexy."
In the U.K., where the ever watchful, hawk-eyed Advertising Standards Authority keeps things in check, making a person better looking than they do in real life is now grounds for having your ad banned. L'Oreal has been told to pull a campaign featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington because the images were "overly airbrushed." Not sure anyone literally airbrushes anymore but let's not quibble.
Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson made the original complaint to the ASA saying the campaign consisted of "overly perfected and unrealistic images" and that the images were "not representative of the results the product could achieve." The campaign was deemed to have stepped outside the ASA's guidelines for exaggeration.
New York cabbies aren't pleased with the proliferation of taxi tops pimping strip clubs. One cabbie, Mohan Singh told the New York Post, "My children ask me, 'What is this? I want to go to a gentlemen's club? What should I answer?"
Currently, taxi medallion owners decide what does and doesn't get placed atop their cabs. Cab owners have no say. But TLC Commissioner David Yassky has said he's willing to allow drivers who own their own taxis have the final say. A final decision will me made in September when it meets.
We like this Kia ad. The Cannes press Lions jury liked this ad. They liked it so much they awarded it a Silver Lion. The ad pimps Kia's dual zone air conditioning with alternating cartoon images of a clean cut classroom scenario and a classroom scenario that is decidedly less clean cut.
It got the point across if in a very twisted manner. You can have it your way riding in a Kia. Just like a horny teacher whose mind wanders in the classroom. Twisted but it gets the point across. The problem is the ad never ran. And that's a no-no when it comes ti winning a Lion. Or any award for that matter. Kia disavows the ad and has said it never ran and was never approved.
- Kim Kardashian is suing Old Navy because she thinks the brand's use of Melissa Molinaro, who looks a bit like Kardashian, in a commercial has caused her losses of between $15 and $20 million.
- Gwyneth Paltrow is fronting a new 70th anniversary campaign for Coach. Shot by Peter Lindburgh, Paltrow qill appear in several print ads.
- Looks like Isaiah Mustafa may have been aside for the time being. Fabio has stepped in as spokesman for Old Spice.
Racism in advertising seems to be a hot topic this week. No sooner does DirecTV find itself in hot water over a recent commercial, complaints are piling in over an Eska water ad which features faux aboriginal warriors. The ad, created by Toronto-based KBS+P, features three non-aboriginal men dressed in aboriginal barb who suddenly appear in a modern kitchen to defend the purity of Eska water.
Eska CEO Jim Delsnyder apologized for the ad saying, "Eska Water wishes to apologize to all those who may have found the campaign and its images disrespectful. Certainly, that was never our intention." The ad has been pulled and will not air again.
Citizen journalist and Mohawk Clifton Nicholas said, in a YouTube video, "Eska tried to explain to me that they didn't depict a specific group of people but that's not the point. The point is you're depicting natives in a negative fashion, natives in general."
An ad for Justin Bieber's upcoming Paramount film, Never Say Never, is misleading to kids according to the Children's Advertising Review Unit. In the ad, which shows a theater full of screaming fans, Bieber shows up and says, "This could happen in your theater. CARU claims kids could be misled into thinking Bieber might randomly show up in a hometown theater.
Paramount disagrees with CARU's assumptions but has, nonetheless, pulled the the ad stating it will not run again. Just another blemish on the use of fantasy in advertising.