Reasons to fire your client

Your primary contact point is in the procurement office. They’ve just implemented an enterprise-wide e-commerce solution: EBay. At the last trade show, they handed out branded trucker hats. A 60 Minutes crew is sitting in their office – and you didn’t invite them. Your client only has a hotmail account – at the Kinko’s. You […]

Jon Stewart Quote of the Day

As quoted in the Chicago Sun-Times: Much of the campaign is, “Put on this jean shirt, roll it up. I know it gives you hives! Just put it on! Get out there and tell the guy in the Dunkin’ Donuts you’re fightin’ for him.” And so a lot of their plea is, “I’m just like […]

You want a debate? I’ll show you a debate!

Such a lot of fuss about tonight’s presidential debates. 32 pages of rules. No direct questioning between the candidates. No cuban heels. Will the cameras reveal that GWB has the better head of hair? Will Perot pop out of a Jim Lehrer suit and frantically start waving multi-coloured economic charts? What sort of debate is […]

Gimme a pack of unfiltered kingsize – oh, and some astroturf

The Canadian Tobacco Manufacturers Association has had enough. Apparently, adult smokers aren’t organized enough to present a united front against government over-regulation and those darn healthy do-gooders. In response, they’ve created, a web site and smoker’s association to prompt interest and lobbying on smoker’s rights. Will the effort have any impact? “Positions will only […]

I’m a Crackberrry addict, and I want no part of a 12 step program

Some people may consider the following statistics as disturbing. I prefer to view them as an affirmation of my lifestyle as a flack. In a recent survey by Harris Interactive commissioned by wireless provider T-Mobile USA Inc., 15 percent of wireless-device users said they have e-mailed from a restroom, 19 percent while eating in a […]

Your hook has to be a little more focused

You’re searching, searching, searching … Where is the hook in this new study your clients are insisting be pumped up and pushed out? What possible link can you make to a contemporary story, a popular concern that will pique a reporter’s interest? Here’s some advice from a network editor: don’t depend on a “theme” month […]

WSJ asks: can there be too much Carmen?

“CARMEN ELECTRA is so popular with marketers these days that the advertising industry may be facing a new phenomenon: Carmen clutter. The former “Baywatch” star currently appears in three ads for high-profile marketers, making her presence on the small screen less extraordinary than it might usually be. … (WSJ pay story) Carmen clutter. A far […]

Press “1” for service; Press “2” for Profanity

There are days when your staff just doesn’t feel friendly. There are days when your telecom system is on the fritz. And then there are the days when you don’t pay your IVR consultants: “You are through to NTL customer services. We don’t give a (expletive) about you. We are never here. We just (expletive) […]

Powter: infomercials just aren’t “authentic” enough

Come on. You remember her. Spiky silver hair. Spandex. Shouting. Susan Powter told the LATimes (pay article) that she was disgusted by the infomercial industry: … because it wasn’t “authentic,” is marketing her female-targeted weight-loss book, “The Politics of Stupid,” and her “Trailer Park Yoga” video on her website. “I still have my power,” said […]

Remembering a good friend – that I never met

This weekend, I picked up a book in the library – a book that pushes and cajoles you to revels in the adventures, eccentricities and personalities you discover while boucing across the ‘net. Dave Gorman’s Googlewhack Adventure has been out for a while, but I only discovered it while thumbing through random sections of the […]

New Design for Canuckflack

For those of you on RSS, come on over to Canuckflack to check out the new design. Only a few bugs to fix. For those WWW viewers – I know the background colour is strong. What colour might you suggest?

Russ Meyer: Don’t Forget Your Audience

Russ Meyer is dead. After his one serious attempt at film-making flopped, he told Roger Ebert: “I made the mistake of reading my reviews. What the public wants are big laughs and big tits and lots of ‘em. Lucky for me that’s what I like, too.” Another quote: He once told [Ebert] there was no […]

Obligatory Star Wars Reference

I was always intrigued by one of the first quotes in Star Wars: “It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs!” Was I the only one who imagined the Kessel Run to be something like a bad road movie with Lee Marvin and George Peppard?

Dishing dirt on the political hacks

It’s always interesting to find political staff willing to dish the dirt on their parliamentary masters – or at least Members of Parliament that work near their offices. Recess Monkey appears to be one such repository of gossip, intelligence and sarcasm. A recent entry included this: Recess Monkey does not like to discriminate against people […]

Moving cultural exports into your living room

In February, Denys Arcand’s The Barbarian Invasions took home the Academy Award for best foreign language movie. Notwithstanding the oustanding acting, direction, cinematography and overall artistry, some part of Arcand’s success among the Academy can be attributed to a careful marketing and public relations campaign. Canada takes steps to promote its cultural industries at every […]

And here’s the newsroom’s Champagne Room

Are you a performing arts grad, looking for work? Maybe you’re thinking about taking that step up to a national network? Here’s your opportunity: Naked News Daily Male … is seeking a few good men to join their proud cast of naked anchors as they broadcast news, views and features to an audience located in […]

Oprah and Pontiacs – a quick take

The Motley Fool’s got a quick and good analysis of Oprah’s surprise prize – 276 Pontiac G6 2005 sports sedans – for her audience. However, maybe GM’s outdone them all with this one. An appearance on Oprah is likely the crown jewel of advertising. As pricey as it was, GM’s Pontiacs got quality attention through […]

Interpublic – there goes the beer cart at lunch

Ouch. When Wall Street analysts call the mothership, your holding company, a value play, you know the fat’s going to be trimmed from the complimentary lunch buffet. “Interpublic–it’s worth the wait.” That’s the slogan many of Wall Street’s sharpest value mavens are using to justify owning the battered ad giant. Top funds such as John […]

W+K: Exploring new forms of advertising

Wieden + Kennedy, the hip Oregon ad shop famed for its Nike ads, is finding success exploring new forms of advertising in markets overseas: The Japan office has founded its own music label. The enterprise’s name, W+KTokyoLab, highlights its experimental nature and sets the stage for production of art events, films and publications. The Tokyo […]

How does your newspaper cook the books?

Ever been offered a “free four week trial” of a local newspaper? Been handed one by a street hawker on the way to work? This weekend, one local paper dropped off a free copy of the paper at every house in my subdivision. What’s up with these newspaper promotions? How in the world do they […]

Marcomm vs. the Micromanager Engineer

Once apon a time, Elizabeth Perkins was considered an up-and-comer. She was in Big with Tom Hanks. She was in He Said, She, Said, with Kevin Bacon. She was in The Flintstones with…. uh-oh. So that’s what happened to her career. Back to serious matters. The HBR case study this month, The Micromanager, portrays a […]

BoSox marketers turning to the hooch?

A good snippet from ESPN’s Page 2: Seems like they’d be better off sponsoring the bottom of the fifth, but who’s to argue with the good folks in marketing?: If you watched the A’s-Red Sox game Monday night you were treated to “The Jack Daniel’s Seventh Inning Stretch.”

86,600 most frequently used words in English

A fantastic and fluid representation of the 86,600 most frequently used words in the English language, which was recently judged a winner in the AIGA’s “365: AIGA Annual Design Competitions 25.” For a laugh, take a look at what some readers have discovered in the unintentional juxtapostion of words in the list, like “microsoft aquire […]

Light blogging

There might be light blogging here this week: an extraordinary amount of comment spam, increasing work at the office, and a possible redesign are dragging me away from posting.

Bar band success: it’s all in the name

Bar bands have very few opportunities to win your attention: a brief mention in an alt-weekly, a PhotoShopped poster in a campus bar, even a tiny supporting role on another band’s playbill. Often, because of limited funds, bar bands can only hope to build word of mouth buzz. At this point, the band’s name and […]

Hey Yalies! Are ya rich yet?

So you’ve graduated from Yale. Are you pulling in the big bucks yet? Judging from a questionnaire distributed by The Association of Yale Alumni, Yalies have high expectations for their fellow graduates. Graphically, it’s the familiar computer-readable form. Politically, it’s a touchy issue for past graduates – like George II or Clinton. Image and reference […]

Stuck for campaign promo ideas?

Drawing up a new campaign, but stuck for promotion ideas? Scroll through the finalists for the Promo Magazine Pro Awards.

Intangible assets: flower arranging, thermometers and TollHouse cookies

As Europe prepares for the introduction of new guidelines for the accounting of intangible assets – like brands – our marketing and PR colleagues across the Atlantic can smell the change in the air. Numbers are back in vogue. Performance metrics aren’t only a late-minute add-on to PowerPoint campaign pitches. European CFOs are now as […]

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