What's the truth about Splenda?

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.
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VW Polo - Suicide Bomber - (2005) :45 (UK)

VW Polo - Suicide Bomber - (2005) :45 (UK)

For the rumormill as it happened, read VW Polo viral - the punchline kills. For interviews with the creators check:


VH1 - Sing A Song - long (2004) 0:60 (USA)

VH1 - Sing A Song - long  (2004) 0:60 (USA)

Lee and Dan and Ted

At the risk of boring the crap out of everyone with yet another take on the suicide bomber viral ad scandal, turns out this isn't the first time Volkswagen has loosed its legal jackals on guys like Lee and Dan.

In 1973, it was National Lampoon that VW had in its sights. All because of this spoof ad the magazine ran. The headline: If Ted Kennedy drove a Volkswagen, he'd be President today.

Is there a difference between then and now? Believe it.


Radio Advertising Bureau

Hear Mary Bennett, executive vice president of the national marketing division at Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB), examine the relationship between advertisers and agencies and what creatives are doing to get through the clutter. Mary also discusses RAB’s Radio Ad Effectiveness Lab study that measures consumer reactions to radio, TV and newspaper advertising and how radio has a more emotional and personal one-on-one affect.


Halloween dressup winner - the iPod ad outfit.

Oh my, of all the silly things to dress up as for Halloween, how is this iPod ad outfit for starters? Someone wore that to this party. You know that you have made a huge impact on pop culture when weird stuff like this happens - someone please give Art Director Susan Alinsangan a hall of fame award of any kind, we suggest a new category just for her, the "stickiest Art Direction evah Hall of Fame award". Spelled just like that, yo.

Previous ipod chatter: party posters, Download Jesus iPod ad, Presidents bulge, an iPod?, FUEL iPod parody, St. Georges Subway, Toronto. All the ipod films can be found using the search.


The beer wars make it to the mainstream news bigtime

Remember the beer wars?


New toys! RSS for everything! RSS by you.

'Allo 'allo all, a new toy is in town - RSS for everything that you do here as a bonafide adgrunt extraordinaire. All your witty quips in comments, front page postings and even ratings of the films are available in RSS feeds now. (which means one question I answered in the e-book Unleash the power of RSS a little dated now.) As you already know, we carry three feeds of the postings here, the news feed, the film feed and for those who want it all the whole enchilada feed. You can read them in your feeedreader of choice, or display them on your site, like Yaksox at Sunny Breaks has been doing for years. (read more)


a short chat with Dan, from Lee and Dan (LAD)

Like the rest of the planet we want to know a few things about that Volkswagen Polo terrorist viral (adland post Jan 18), or 'fake' ad, or whatever you want to call it, and Dan kindly humored us with a few answers. Yes, that Dan, from Lee and Dan (LAD). So what do we know about this ad? Well, it was shot on 35mm, and ever since it came out the lads phone has been ringing off the hook. Lee and Dan are extremly tightlipped about who furnished them with the cash to film this, but they will tell us that they wrote the script and they worked with a Director named Stuart.

adland: What happens to you if you break your vow of silence?
Dan: .................................

adland: Have you received any death threats or other interesting forms of outrage yet?
Dan: We know a good plastic surgeon.

adland: (I hope you don't mean this one ;).
Is it true that those cars only have teeny-tiny 13 inch wheels?
Dan: I think the one in the film is rollin on 14's.

adland: Was the driver wearing his seatbelt?
Dan: Of course he was!! it's illegal not too!

adland: What is your preferred recreational beverage or substance for creative inspiration?
Dan: A nice cold pint.

adland: What's next?
Dan: Cannes?


Embracing Real Beauty (Part 3)

AdLand: What lead to the idea of using cartoon characters?

Gould-Davies: These are iconic women whose hair never changes and is therefore interminably stuck in the same style. It therefore represented a natural opportunity to complement the functional product story of Dove styling -
natural style that moves - and show the difference it would make to the hair of these familiar characters.