I've been stewing about the news circulating recently about Splenda and it's got me a bit wound up (see Groups Asks Johnson & Johnson to Stop Lying About Splenda). So much so, in fact, that I've read posts on Adland for some time, but never before made one here.
Either Splenda's a case of very savvy marketing—as I'm sure J&J would like to claim—or its false, misleading advertising. I'm inclined to the latter, or what Jon Entine at Ethical Corporation has called "sleight of hand marketing" and "shifty advertising." I’ve been following the press around this for the last week, even got a note from a friend yesterday who, like me, was concerned about what she was hearing.
Why do I care? On a professional level, as a marketing consultant, I think industry self-regulation will only work if marketers adhere to rules--truth-in-advertising being an important one. On a personal level, I've been a Splenda user, in fact switched from pale blue packets to yellow over a year ago, because I believed the phrase "Made from sugar so it tastes like sugar" to mean that Splenda has sugar in it and is a healthier alternative to the all-chemical sweeteners. I was such a devotee that, until the last few days, I carried yellow packets in a cute orange wallet in my purse, just in case I went somewhere, had a cup ‘o Joe, and they didn’t stock it. AND I lobbied others to join me (including my mother and her boyfriend who was recently advised by his doctor to lower his sugar intake and decrease calories). "You want sugar without the calories, a sugar-substitute without chemicals?" I asked my mom.
The UK Advertising Standards Authority are getting miffed at FCUK again and have warned FCUK, this is the 13th time since 1999 that the ASA has published an adjudication regarding French Connection's adverts.
The latest ads are for the FCUK perfume, with the usual fold-out samples, with pictures of a young couple sitting in a bed wearing only underwaer and the headline reads: "open here to try fcuk her" and "open here to try fcuk him."
FCUK argued that FCUK is the brand name and the headline clearly states open the fold-outs to try the perfumes named "him" and "her".
The ASA responded that in the context of the ad, the phrases "could be interpreted as 'fuck,' not just as the advertiser's brand name." and reminded French Connection "that it had previously made clear in published adjudications that 'fcuk' should not be used in an advertisement if it could be interpreted as 'fuck' and was concerned that they had done so in the advertisement."
The perfume ads were placed in Boots magazine and received only two complaints from the public.
The NYPost says "the beer war between Miller Lite and Bud is getting ugly. Getting? It has been for most of 2004. (See Catfight between Miller and AB, Miller and Bud are at it again, and Taste and Flavor vs. Freshness.) So what's this latest hub-bub all about? Apparently Miller Lite's latest spots. They show actors as former Bud Light fans talking thorough a bullhorn at an AB building- claiming that they liked the Miller taste better. AB filed a complaint with the 4 major networks. Both CBS and NBC have pulled the Miller Lite ads, "saying the spots were unfair to Bud Light. NBC said that commercial "unfairly disparaged Anheuser-Busch by claiming that the Bud delivery man was 'hiding something.'"
Look, when Pigeon-Holed was published back in 98 and we suggested that the New-Age creative favorite medium was "one that has never been used such as tattooing", we weren't saying that you should do that. MM'Kay?
What? McDonald's Corporation was honored today as "Marketer of the Year" by Advertising Age magazine, for the brand's marketing achievements around the world in 2004.: Jim Skinner has been dying to use his tagline as a quote, and thus he does: "I'm lovin' it! We're honored to be recognized with one of the most coveted awards in the advertising and marketing world"
Right, remember the stuff they made this year? From the flop dryer sheet during the superbowl
to Justin Timberlakes overhyped "rap".
The creative McD stuff was made in Japan and the UK where they got rid of the golden arches. But have a look at McD's competitor in the states for real creative marketing, BK's subservient chicken commercials, website/viral ad, the Spicy chicken fights with that website and long playing ad as if it was a real fight, now that should be marketeer of the year, a smaller budget and a smarter crew got them twice the buzz. Can anyone remember people talking about "I'm lovin' it" and not being negative? I can't.
Adage has honored McDonald's once before, in 1989 when it was named "Marketer of the Decade."
Hat tip Caffeinegoddess
You've been a poor starving artist all through your mucho expensive education and portfolio schools on top of that, selling pints of bodily fluids to afford your markers, pantone books, and leatherclad portfolios. Surely you don't expect to get paid now do you? No nonono, that's not how it works, not in the business where you pay to get to be one of the 12 working at w+k, and most dogyears of unpaid internships/placement actually lasts a dogs year, you know better than that by now you low ranking t-shirt clad creative.
All you illustrators and photographers and reps who know a thing or two about copyrights might be interested to read Calacanis : Dealing with the photo copyright issue on blogs, where it seems there's a new idea forming - posting images without permission is OK as long as they are small?? Please help me out here, am I reading this right? Fair use? Has the world gone mad!? Is this the guy Denton thought should be the one to look up to when it comes to blogger ethics?
The web does cause trouble in this area, but would this new 'rule' hold water in court, or work in the long run - in a fair way? I don't think so.
It used to be that admen we're right behind lawyers in the universal "not trusted by the public" list but this year we've finally beat them according to Gallups annual U.S. survey published by CNN. Top of the least trusted professions which ranked lowest in honesty and ethics.:
# 1 Car salesmen
# 2 Advertising practitioners
# 3 Lawyers
# 4 Congressmen
# 5 Business executives
and surprise - number 6 is Newspaper reporters, the heroes who once upon a time revealed Watergate, risked their lives in war zones and kept us all informed are now being less trustworthy than auto mechanics.
With all the hubbub about Bzzagents lately I'm not in the least surprised. C'mon kids, if we work hard enough we might overtake Car salesmen next year!
Bzzagents discussions here on adland, in the news, new marketing tool is testing ethical limits of advertising, and on blogs Word of Maw. Hat tip to Claymore and Jimmy_dare.
In yesterdays adcritic email Jim quipped sarcastically:
"A lot of bloggers are, um, buzzing about the cover story in yesterday'sYou can check Technorati to see how many people blogged that NYT article.
New York Times Magazine about Boston word-of-mouth firm BzzAgent. We assume this is because they are all secretly working for the company."
Caffeinegoddess has found an article about a study done at Stanford, this study on environment and the objects in that environment effecting busniess attitudes that sounded both interesting a
ClearChannel, the worldwide media company that seems to own anything you can advertise on these days have put up posters reminiscent of old Saddam, Stalin & Kadafi propaganda paintings
in dowtown Orlando - spotted by Stephanie at democratic underground board.
BlueLemur reports that the smiling photograph of President Bush with the words “Our Leader” is raising eyebrows everywhere. The poster is signed political public service message brought to you by Clear Channel Outdoor
Reuters reports: In the neat-nick city of Singapore a controversy over Nike ads is brewing. Apparently about 50 people compained that the bus stops suffered "acts of vandalism" or "graffiti". Little did they realize that the graffiti was posters put there on purpose.
The ads, featuring U.S. basketball star LeBron James, were posted over other ads- causing folks to think they were indeed graffiti.
Graffiti is a sensitive subject in the wealthy island known for obsessive civic orderliness. Its authorities famously caned American teenager Michael Fay in 1994 on charges of spray-paint vandalism in a case that shocked the West.
Over at MoreToSee electronics company Sharp has a cryptic campaign for their new flat screen TVs. We think.
Created by w+k New York, and according to adcritics email with cooperation from nearly all of its offices and numerous partners with creative director Ty Montague in the lead, the labyrinth of intertwined stories about a love triangle, spreads across several blogs and television commercials.
When I went to visit the MoreToSee pages, I got stuck on these mislabeled berries. As you can see by the long stem that holds a bunch at a time and the see-through color, those are red currants from the gooseberry family and not lingonberries.
Rexblog wonders if that cat has nine lives, it seems it does. Getting the "click-through" idea from the web, old media tries to invent new ways of 'scanning' and ad to save the punter from typing in an URL in their browser. The advertiser would then know where you had seen the ad, the media seller could brag about how many see their ads, and you waste a lot of time photographing something with your camera phone, scanning something with a cuecat or similar until you say "sod that" and type the URL in instead. Why does this idea never die?
Cuecatastrophe lasted longer than CueCat itself. The cuecat was considered most blatent privacy violations ever committed against a clueless populace by many. When you google "cuecat" today, pages like CueCat Software Spies on You! are the top hits. Ignoring the privacy issues - people seem all to willing to throw that away - it's just a far fetched idea from the start. It's also an old one, how often have you ever said "I saw your ad in the The Yellow pages" when you phone up a company? No I didn't think so.
Engadget reports that Hideto Tomabechi has a new career, previously he's helped deprogram members of the Aum Shinrikyo cult in Japan, now he's into making "positive brainwashing" ringtones. He creates ringtones that’ll improve your memory, make you more attractive to the opposite sex, cure baldness, and help you give up smoking. Ringtones! He's even made a breast enlarging ringtone - you can listen to it here on engadgets site.
Hat tip to researcher.
Text messaging isn't all too popular in the states we hear, while mini-keyboard beepers have carried text messages for a long time, people use their cell phones - or "wireless phones" if you prefer, though Europeans call them mobiles - to actually make (*gasp!*) voice calls with.
So what is a company that serves prepaid cell phone packages with unlimited SMS services - I'm sorry "text messages" - to do in order to get attention? Prepaid mobile phone and cheap phone cards have been around for ages in Europe, and Europeans SMS more often than they make voice calls (though these days all the cool kids MMS, multimedia message service), perhaps that is what i-wireless took to heart when they decided to run a campaign that looks like an Americans idea of a European campaign. Read more to see a lot of flesh.
"Won't somebody think of the children!?"
Someone did - Ananova reports that a catholic college has complained about the new wrapper design for Haribo's Moaom fruit chews - the fruit on the wrapper seems to be copulating. If you have a dirty mind.
"We are shocked at the shameless presentation of sexual practices on the wrapping, which includes not only sexual intercourse but also fellatio and cunnilingus," wrote the St Blasien Jesuit College near Bonn.
(to see the wrappers read more...)
Ever get those briefs where it reads "must use stock"? Course you have, and you probably hate it as much as most. Not only do you have to use stock, you have to use X-brand stock that the agency has a "good deal" with - and not simply some really nice stock places that you know about...... Well, that's when stuff like this happens.
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