Jon Stewart Roasts the MPA

Jon Stewart, speaking to a Magazine Publishers’Association panel: “The way news is driven today is not through print,” Stewart said. “I don’t consider print media as relevant.” When Carter argued that television news consistently siphons what first appears in print, as evidenced by its coverage of the 2004 presidential campaign, Stewart said: “I didn’t say […]

Unilver, tea houses and old bags

You wouldn’t know it from the varieties of flavoured, steeped and blended tea being hawked by beverage companies on this side of the Atlantic, but the market for instant coffee is starting to percolate in the UK – at the expense of the traditional tea bag. (/rimshot) There’s still hope in the market, though. A […]

Could swear this was a Rod McKuen poem

Thanks to Incite by Design, I found Dean Allen’s mark-up of Bruce Mau’s Incomplete Manifesto for Growth. Takes a little wind out of the sails, but replaces it with a fresh breath of honesty. Mau Quote: 16. Collaborate. The space between people working together is filled with conflict, friction, strife, exhilaration, delight, and vast creative […]

And you want to be a freelance writer?

Today, I’m just ripping off a 2001 post from Dean Allen’s Textism: From the freelance reviewer guidelines of the National Post: … 15. Years after writing an insincere review, reviewers will sometimes be walking down the street when memory of their phony words comes howling back into their mind, followed by a crippling sense of […]

Tony Blair, speechifying and the first wave of punk

Tony Blair’s speech to the Labour Party conference in Brighton earlier today is prompting comment -as it should, considering an ongoing leadership insurgency lurks in the background. For us public relations types with a serious politics jones, it’s the little details that get us all excited: like what song was used to introduce the Prime […]

Culturejamming the old board games

Here’s a brand manager’s worst nightmare: a Fark photoshop contest based upon your favourite old board games.

Permission marketing by Seth Godin

Great little mp3 of the talk and Q&A with Seth Godin at the London Marketing Soiree organized by Hugh in July.

The solution to declining newspaper readership?

Free CDs (and flexi-discs, if you’re old enough). They’re a well-established marketing gimmick in the U.K. As North American papers and magazines struggle with declining subscription rates, I have to wonder why they aren’t throwing more freebies our way? I mean, even the magazine distributed by the homeless is moving product! “I thought it was […]

Slot cars and public opinion polling

Interesting presentation of data in a chart by 5W Infographic, prepared for a NYT article on the failure of government to serve the citizens of New Orleans. Kind of looks like an old slot car set – where you set the track up to launch the car over the buffet table, or the cat.

RSS and Online News Readership: a perfect tautology

From Steve, a perfect example of a tautology: “RSS users are significantly more engaged in online news than non-users, visiting an average of 10.6 news sites compared with 3.4 news sites for non-users.” (from Nielsen//NetRatings) The hyping of technology aside, what does this mean for the public discourse? I’m a little startled that the average […]

The hipster creative with tattoos and piercing rarely does the coolest ads

Advice for advertising types from Sally Hogshead. It all translates well for public relations staff (who are usually known for lifting, rewriting and “repurposing” other people’s work) as well. 1. There are no right answers, including these. 2. The hipster creative with tattoos and piercing rarely does the coolest ads. 3. Dominos delivers to Starbucks. […]

Television ads: “What I hate about you …”

John Camm writes for the BBC Magazine about the “regurgitated cliches” that dominate contemporary television advertising in the U.K. (and elsewhere): “6. Married men will flirt with other, younger women but NEVER act upon it. 7. Anyone with a scientific career will have a bad haircut and dreadful clothes. And a comment from a reader: […]

Don’t be a format cheerleader

How much thought have you put into your music collection? Do you have mp3s of obscure early 80s Mod bands like the Lambrettas and the Merton Parkas – electronic files whose parents are passed-around mixtapes, and grandparents are “import LPs with the limited edition target label”? Or have you pulled all your music off P2P […]

The perfect expert witness: humble, restrained, self-deprecating

Dahlia Lithwick, currently dissecting the Roberts nomination hearings for Slate, is providing some valuable commentary on how expert witnesses can handle themselves when faced with hostile questioning. “John Roberts is putting on a clinic. He completely understands that he needs only to sit very quietly, head cocked to signal listening-ness, while senator after senator offers […]

That word’ll get you 78 in Scrabble

An HBR excerpt from Thomas Davenport’s new book tells us “Why Office Design Matters” to companies employing knowlege workers. “… organizations need to provide [knowlege workers] with the ability to work and be productive outside of their offices. The most obvious instantiation of mobile work environments is the laptop computer, but there are others—for example, […]

Crisis comms at the Astrodome

How do you communicate to 10,000 people stranded in the Astrodome? People so desperate for information about their family that they stick post-it notes to a common blackboard, searching out basic information about emergency supplies, housing, jobs .. the basics of life? Volunteers on the ground are the best response. Well-informed volunteers. On-on-one conversations can […]

Ad Copy: from the 10pm rerun on TBS to Lee Iacocca’s lips

Slate notes that Seinfeld references are popping up in television advertising, whether it’s a catchphrase like “They’re real and they’re spectacular,” a Seinfeld character like George Costanza, or a recurring actor like Ping Wu. “Seinfeld writers haven’t seen a dime in the way of royalties, and Peter Mehlman, who wrote “The Implant” and “The Yada […]

IVR systems – like Ananova, but without the wit and charm

Oh, thank you god. Instructions on how to reach a human through an IVR phone system. Unfortunately, the list is limited largely to U.S. companies. And not Apple ITunes. Courtesy of “Twenty Things They Don’t Want You to Know” from PC World.

This here’s a tale for all the fellas …

Stereogum dredges up memories of an old Pepsi promotion – “Cool Cans” – which featured Young MC desecrating the lyrics to his hit “Bust a Move” as part of the 1990 campaign. “Cool cans are coming so don’t be afraid / If you get lucky then you might get paid.” “To be cool and be […]

Your insurance company: we pretend to feel your pain

Has anyone else seen the horrid insurance tv ads running in the aftermath of Katrina? I’m pretty sure they were for GEICO. Not the usual “lizard doing the robot” stuff, but more of a corporate training video shot on a sound stage. Pleasant, unstressed and ethnically diverse victims wander around a space in front of […]

From the Houses of Parliament to the House of Pancakes

I have to admit I haven’t spent much time wondering what Sheila Copps has been doing with her time after leaving politics. Not much, it turns out. “A former deputy prime minister and long-time cabinet minister, Ms. Copps didn’t run in the 2004 election after a nasty battle in which she lost her riding to […]

Rosaaaannnnaaaa (organ solo)

Another memorable 80s rock memory from Jefito: “… “Rosanna,” a song so completely pervasive that it seemed to overtake entire station playlists. Jeff Porcaro’s drumwork notwithstanding, “Rosanna” is a song (and video) that, to this day, I can’t even think about without gritting my teeth. I’m not a violent person, but if I could somehow […]

Michelin Man – a hard drinking kind of mascot

Fortune takes a look at the evolution of the Michelin Man – who, you may not realize, is a bit of a party animal. “To this day his official name is Bibendum, the Latin gerundive meaning “drinking to be done.” The name comes from the first series of posters featuring him, which bore the Latin […]

Starbucks: The Way You May Not See It

Some rejected suggestions for Starbucks’ “The Way I See It” – an attempt to both patronize customers with high-falutin quotes from the gliterati, as well condescend with down home customer suggestions printed on the side of the coffee cup. “The way I see it, Lloyd is crazy. Not just short-pants-in-winter kinda crazy but batshit kinda […]

Terry Fox, Adidas and Waffle Soles

You probably know the legend of Terry Fox, the young cancer survivor who attempted to run coast-to-coast across Canada during 1980 – despite having lost a leg to the disease. Adidas has launched a replica of the old-school (and orthopedically crippling) running shoe Terry used during his run, with the cooperation of the Terry Fox […]

Should I stay or should I go? Journalism vs. PR

Journalism and public relations faculties across North America are confronting diverging student attitudes about their future employment prospects. This, apparently, was evident at the latest AEJMC Convention in San Antonio. Ed Wasserman, writing in the Miami Herald, notes: “Why PR appeals now to young potential reporters no doubt has to do with the heavy cloud […]

What will it take to put you into this side split ranch today?

According to a survey of visitors to model homes, conducted for Merillat earlier this year, the “new home shopper is ready to buy.” This graphic gets the idea across cleanly and clearly – with a hint of retro appeal in the choice of pen design.

Breaking the cardinal rule of the ironic

You know what the first rule of the disaffected and the ironic is, don’t you? DO NOT QUOTE FROM DILBERT. Still, Scott Adams took a pretty big swipe at internal comms folks and departmental newsletters yesterday.

Katrina, Edelman and Citizen Journalism

Richard Edelman points out that the emperor, in the case of Katrina, is wearing no clothes. Citizen journalism, in the case of the poor and disenfranchised, consists of shouting at CNN cameras and a Mayor driven to the point of despair by apparent neglect and slow response. “There is no co-creation of the narrative as […]

How to screw up an infomercial

Katrina Kerns is a Ford model. She has wonderful bone structure, and her hair is apparently impervious to repeated abuse at the hands of stylists and high powered wind machines. Oh – and she’s part of Sufjan Steven’s retinue. But this infomercial makes her seem like a real bonehad. Zach Klein, who provided the link, […]

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