Adland's adnews


Tom Waits sues Opel over "voice theft" in advert

Tom Waits really hates it when his work is used in a commercial, he has made this very clear and he will always say no. He has a long standing policy against using his music or voice in commercials and said in a statement: "Commercials are an unnatural use of my work. It's like having a cow's udder sewn to the side of my face. Painful and humiliating."

Somehow an Opel ad currently running in Denmark, Sweden and Finland has managed to use a sound-alike to Waits singing a lullaby, possibly thinking that they would get away with it. Alas, Tom Waits fans alerted him to the ad and presto, Opel was served.

Never happy about commercial dilution of his unique style, Tom Waits isn't afraid to sue anyone who might misbehave, in 1994 he sued his own record company for licencing his song "Heartattack and Vine" to a Levis commercial. In '93 it was Frito Lay in the USA who felt Waits wrath. Audi, Germany were sued in 2000 for using a soundalike song and Lancia Italy had a similar case.


Anti-Wal-Mart Group Rolls Out Nationwide Ad Campaign

Anti-Wal-Mart group Wal-Mart Watch took out a full page ad in Friday's New York Times bashing the sales giant for its treatment of workers. Interestingly, while most people who attack Wal-Mart based on this come from the viewpoint
of stopping the unfair wages paid to the workers, this campaign doesn't try to touch upon the benevolence of people but rather their selfishness. The ad claims that due to low wages and bad healthcare, Wal-Mart employees are forced to "resort to Medicaid, food stamps, and public housing" which they call the "Wal-Mart Tax" that adds up to $1.5 billion extra per year. They also claim that on top of this tax payers have to pay more to support the costs of public services such as roadways and electricity lines that Wal-Mart uses. Their truck fleet especially tears up roads but doesn't have tp pay for it. This is a rather interesting tactic and it should produce results. People will always talk about seeing the suffering of others but they are much more likely to actually do something if they feel personally affected.


Carte Blance want to physically shake up the Quebec ad industry

Carte Blanche ad agency is launching a self-promotional campaign in Quebec touting their new "physically" credo.

No, I'm not quite sure what it means either, but this is supposed to attract advertisers who have been disappointed by the results of their prior advertising efforts with other agencies. I wish it meant that the suit-clad reservoir dogs like posse of Carte Blance was actually out there knocking competitors over the head with baseball bats. It would be a new approach, as back-stabbing with knives is getting so old. ;)


MTV Japan: The Hunt for the EyeDolls

The Hunt for the EyeDolls was created to spread awareness and heavily hype the Video Music Awards Japan 2005. To do this, we created a scavenger hunt all over Tokyo where interested fans are to seek and discover EyeDolls. Each EyeDoll is a free ticket to the MTV Video Music Awards Japan 2005 and each EyeDoll has additional prizes depending on its color. The most special EyeDoll is silver, and this one gives the lucky finder a walk on the Red Carpet with all the music stars at the Video Music Awards on May 29th. Other prizes include iPod shuffles, CD's from Tower Records and Tommy Hilfiger apparel.


Link Lust: Avant Garde font, movie poster fonts and fresh desktops

Even up here in the chilly northern part of Europe, the snow has melted for good, the sun is shining every day and the days are getting warmer. Now we really need to clean house as we do every spring, but don't ignore your desktop. It's time to backup and redecorate, for the latter Veer has sweet spring wallpapers in all sizes. My favorite is "Studio Sweet Studio".

The Designforum at AIGA brings us the story "Crimes Against Typography" chronicling the constant misuse of Avant Garde. The author Steven Heller confesses:

Crimes against typography are committed everyday. But few typefaces have been victimized more than the late-sixties/early-seventies gothic Avant Garde - and the felonies persist. The reason is a surfeit of angular ligatures that offer too many cheap tricks. I know because I am a recovering Avant Garde abuser. Although I haven't touched the stuff in almost thirty years, when the face was in its prime, I was hopelessly addicted.

One of our new adlinks is this lovely site about movie posters and the fonts that make them so cool. This poster-obsessed weblog looks at anything from vintage movie posters to modern solutions, discussing everything from the choice of font to the photography.

Adgrunts - a comic about the daily grind as an adgrunt hosts a webcomic starring a number 2 pencil and blue pen who work in advertising - where else? This creative team of writer and art director battle bad briefs and hot shot creative directors just like the rest of us, despite being office supplies. I had a little chat with one half of the duo who created the comic, Jack Cheng.

DB:: So, A few questions. Who is it that are doing the comic, you and...?
Jack Cheng: Heather Flyte, a writer/graphics designer in Seattle.

DB: I hear you guys aren't even on the same coast - so how do you actually get this comic together?
Jack Cheng: What usually happens is we throw around rough ideas through instant messenger, then a day or two later, Heather emails me a finalized script and I lay it out and do the graphics. Heather doesn't work in advertising (though I'm convinced she'd make an awesome copywriter), and I only have limited experience since I'm still in school, but I imagine it's a lot like how most CW/AD teams work, the only exception being that we're not in the same physical location.




In April 2005, reports began flowing out of Maryland regarding innocent bystanders being cowed by groups of roaming bovines. These bovines were not rampaging bulls let loose on city streets (à la Pamplona), however, but humans in cow suits who traveled in vans and trucks and handed out free goodies such a bells, all emblazoned with the words "Bovine United" and/or the domain name

The Snopes article goes on to mention that an ad on Craigslist was posted by RedPeg marketing to hire cow-suit wearers in Baltimore. didn't have anything that I could find that might shed some light on the campaign. The domain is registered to a name that does not appear on the red peg site.

Other sites I googled came up with a related cow blog and a number of other blogs commenting on it.


Ice cream names cause debate - are the names racist or Nazi codewords?

GB Glace launched a new flavor of a classic ice-cream the other week, and were promptly accused of racism. The ice-creams unfortunate name is "Nogger Black" as it is a liquorice flavored version of the classic nougat-flavored "Nogger".

A couple of years ago they made a liquorice version of the 88. It had a crunchy outside, liquorice and vanilla inside and was really quite good. However, it failed to become popular and was discontinued. This year GB decided to try their luck with a liquorice version of another classic ice-cream, the nougat covered vanilla and then soft nougat center ice-cream called Nogger.