Northern Soul: the beat of the working class

Great compilation of Northern Soul interviews and tracks courtesy of “Divisive Cotton“. Includes a Radio 4 documentary about the Northern Soul scene as well as other highlights. What is Northern Soul? “Imagine a raw sounding variant of Tamla Motown music, speed it up slightly, and then play it at a number of obscure venues in […]

“I Love Your Work” – but my producer’s the devil

“I Love Your Work” is the latest indie movie from writer/director Adam Goldberg – otherwise known as Eddie, the crazy roommate from Friends. On KCRW’s The Business, Goldberg describes the nervewracking two year fight for the ownership and release of his film after one of his original backers goes bankrupt. He’s witty and insightful while […]

McDonald’s and Activists: Countdown to Turin

Attention food fanatics, anti-fatties, French epicures, anti-capitalists, the nutritionally obsessed and Morgan Spurlock: you have nearly four months to develop an anti-McDonald’s campaign based on their new nutritional information charts. I may be biased, but I seem to have a thing for nutritional charts … and design. McDonald’s has developed new burger wrappers and packaging […]

Yeah. I’m gonna have to go ahead and ask you to lower your life expectancy ….

“That crummy boss in the window office could be slowly killing you, according to a study of British workers published on Monday.” (Reuters)

Fuji, GM and the red headed stepchild brand

Eleven years ago, Where the Suckers Moon documented the life-deadening process of trying to build Subaru’s brand identity in the United States. They’ve still got problems, and some in the auto industry say a switch in their corporate alliances between GM and Toyota is the result of bullheadedness on branding strategy. Despite a high-profile campaign […]

Online resources for community activists

Finally. A primer to blogging that combines authoritative voices, a number of international perspectives, practical advice for setting up and publicizing your blog, and a realistic overview of the legal and political challenges faced by bloggers in many parts of the world. Reporters without borders’ Handbook for bloggers and cyber-dissidents. Any community activist reading this […]

Globe editors, leather pants and white gloves

What does the Globe and Mail have to do with 80s gay dance music and Walt Disney? The Globe and Mail’s effort to develop a new business strategy, coyly called “Reimagination”. “Reimagination starts with the product, but it is larger than that. It is also about how we relate to our audience; how we organize […]

The Globe and Mail’s Web Strategy

Excerpted from a company-wide memo from Edward Greenspon, the Globe and Mail’s editor, on the paper’s efforts to “reimagineer” itself: “The Web is Next … Earlier in the year, we discussed the fact that more people were coming into web sites not through the home page but from aggregators like Google News. We made adjustments […]

So, I wouldn’t sweat the thundershowers, man …

What does it take to be a television weatherman? Other than good teeth, good hair, and the ability to use “overnight” as a noun? Daniel Engber at Slate can tell you. More importantly, he also points to a nerve-grating list of catchy phrases for meterologists: – Protect the 3 P’s: pets, plants and pipes – […]

Imbongi – your word of the day

Stumbled across the word imbongi in a South African radio transcript. Here’s a definition: “Isibongo is a Nguni (Xhosa, Zulu and Swati) word that is used to refer to praise poetry. … Praise poems (isibongo) are composed by praise poets (imbongi) whenever an occasion arises or whenever there is something to recite an isibongo about. […]

Issues management – if you worked for J. Edgar Hoover

Looks like PhRMA, the Washington lobby group for big pharma companies, was caught taking a look into possible black bag communications tactics – or at least dawdling in the conspiracy section of the local bookstore. An L.A. agent and his writer claim to have been promised a substantial amount of money by PhRMA to complete […]

What if Cigarette Smoking Man had a blog?

If an organ of the New World Order can get a blog together, what’s to stop the rest of the world’s more parochial government organizations? Oh yeah. The lack of an overpriced blogging solution sold and supported by IBM or Oracle, and an institutional default to paralyzing bureaucratic decision-making. The World Bank’s Private Sector Development […]

Government Spokesperson: “That wasn’t prevarication – it was mithering!”

James Rubin, the former State Department spokesperson, spoke to the Guardian about his new program on James Murdoch’s Sky News, and his experience as a government spokesperson. He … “…still believes the demands of 24-[hour] news can be distorting. “If government spokesmen don’t immediately comment, it does not mean that they are ‘taken by surprise’ […]

From Allen Dulles to Public Relations?

Eleven years ago, I was in university, analyzing intelligence activities related to the surrender of the German forces in Italy. Looks like someone else likes the subject: “Gerhard Krebs, “Operation Super Sunrise? Japanese-United States Peace Feelers in Switzerland, 1945,” The Journal of Military History 69 (October 2005):�1081-1120. In early 1945 Japanese navy circles in Berlin […]

Landing the Nieman Marcus Gift Catalog

Ginger Reeder, the Nieman Marcus staffer charged with finding cool stuff for their Christmas Gift Catalog, spoke to D Magazine.

Bloggers are bilge scum?

At what point does a blogger become a public-access channel version of Geraldo? I’ll tell you how Middle America has characterized blogs. Joel Hinrichs, a student at the University of Oklahoma, blew himself up outside an OU football game on October 1. His motive and method of suicide has prompted commentary and speculation among a […]

Honda’s lazy-ass copywriter

The new 2006 Hondas are out, and the accompanying print advertising has hit the Ottawa Citizen. Too bad the copywriter – intentionally or not – stole from a twelve year-old episode of Seinfeld: Honda: “2006 Civic. They’re Here. And they are magnificent.” Seinfeld: “And by the way … they’re real, and they’re spectacular.”

Google, start-ups and inflatable dates

Chris Sacca – a Google bizdev principal – has some hints for aspiring Google partners proposing deals, including a comment on whether to pump up the volume on your public relations strategy. Google’s recent hissy fit with CNet may be fading, but doubts have been raised about the innovative behemoth’s media relations strategy. Still, Sacca […]

Web 2.0: more apps, more personal hygiene

A lot of debate going on about what Web 2.0 means for the ordinary consumer. Signals vs. Noise had some comments about what 2.0 isn’t, and one commenter noted: I know exactly what web 2.0 is: * pretentious * oversized fonts * pastel colors * buzzwords * featureless �user experiences� * overly friendly and self-important […]

Just back away from the marquee, son!

Well, I don’t know if this was a DQ HQ-approved cross promotion, but it is remarkably tasteless considering the tragedy in Pakistan – let alone that people are still recovering from Katrina and Rita. The takeaway? Try and test your micro promotion idea on a group larger than the teenagers on the late shift. Armand […]

Little Steven, music by committee and radio programmers

Little Steven tried to tear a strip out of the new “be everything to everyone” radio formats (like Jack) at July’s Radio & Records Convention. Speaking to 250-odd radio program directors, he railed that: “Replacing 33 year old New York oldies institution CBS-FM with JACK is like replacing the Statue of Liberty with a blow-up […]

Coffee & WiFi: it’s 2002 in Canada

I’m so embarassed. It’s almost 2006, and Canada’s only just getting around to having WiFi at Starbucks. We’ve been missing out on a vital component of the whole multinational beverage retail third place experience. It’s like discovering you’ve been wearing your new Yohji Yamamoto outfit backwards – and that none of your friends were au […]

Coffee & WiFi: it’s 2002 in Canada

I’m so embarassed. It’s almost 2006, and Canada’s only just getting around to having WiFi at Starbucks. We’ve been missing out on a vital component of the whole multinational beverage retail third place experience. It’s like discovering you’ve been wearing your new Yohji Yamamoto outfit backwards – and that none of your friends were au […]

Are Canadian Bloggers Pussies?

Siri Agrell asks, in Maisonneuve, are Canadian bloggers pussies? Why aren’t they breaking stories? Where’s the aggressive hard-charging political commentary? What about hypercriticism of the traditional media? Why, for god’s sake, hasn’t a blogger been able to topple Mike Duffy … or Peter Newman … or even Adam Vaughn? “… [Blogger Catherine] McMillan worries that […]

Venkman vs. Peck: a lesson in community relations

The Ghostbusters may have been motivated by a desire to rid New York City of supernatural pests (and a little cash on the side), but what about poor misunderstood Walter Peck? Who’s going to stand up for the EPA? Christine Alice Corcos, that’s who. In 1997 (I know, a little old), she used Ghostbusters as […]

Opening of an envelope? I’m there!

Your local councillor may get the sidewalk fixed, shoo the teenagers from the skate park, or line up a pied piper … But does she party as hard as Charlotte Laws, member of the Council of Greater Valley Glen, California? Andy Gibb, Barbra Mandrell, George Hamilton, Rosalyn Carter, Boy George, Hugh Hefner, Tony Orlando, Michael […]

Beastie Boys channel Marilyn McCoo?

The Beastie Boys’ new compilation, Solid Gold Hits, drops November 8 in celebration of their 24th anniversary together. In 1981, my music preferences were very much A/C: Kim Carnes, Soft Cell and Air Supply. And a little Diana Ross/Lionel Richie “Endless Love.” It would take another three years for me to hear The Specials’ “Ghost […]

Wait. It sucks what?

I think we have a winner for “worst job in the world.” The poor guy who has to evaluate different tools like this one – and then use them. Every day. “Wait! You’ve got something in your eye! Kinda looks like cheese …”

Clean-up in Aisle 8!

Are you a natural-born merchandiser? The National Association for Retail Marketing Services has written up Merchandising 101 for all you aspiring can stackers and p-o-p assemblers.

ABC’s The Note and lazy journalism

Every conversation needs two participants: one to impart information, and the other to react. Usually, these two people have some level of awareness of each other: shared history, mannerisms, working habits, speaking styles or political views. This awareness informs how they receive and interpret information during their conversation. Most regular readers of ABC News’ The […]

Retail: Shiny Happy People

“I’m a happy worker” – that’s what the button said. In an arc, around a yellow happy face. There were two people working the toy store yesterday. Only one was wearing the button. My first thought was: which one of you hates their job more? Turns out the button is a promo piece for a […]

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