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Thom Forbes was editorial director of Adweek and its sister publications in the 1980s and has written about marketing and media as a freelancer since 1990.

Articles by Thom All articles by Thom

  • Apple Watch Sales Data May Be Better Than It Has Hinted in Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 08/28/2015

    Although Apple has been touting its Watch's ability to track everything from minutes of brisk activity to glucose levels, it has been vague about its own sales data for the device since it went on sale in late June. A new report, however, suggests that it burst off the blocks and trails only the much-simpler and less-expensive Fitbit in the wearable-devices race.

  • What Agencies Need To Do To Stay In The Game in Content Marketing Insider on 08/28/2015

    Michael Farmer, who has been consulting for advertising agencies for 25 years, sees the industry trapped between "fee-cutting clients and profit-hungry owners." Farmer lays out the details of how agencies have steadily fallen from the height they held 40 years ago and lays out a compelling argument for how they can best regain relevance and appropriate remuneration in a new book, "Madison Avenue Manslaughter." It will be available in September; I read an advance copy. At a time when some marketers question whether they need a traditional advertising agency at all to achieve their objectives, I posed a few questions to Farmer about the impact and role of content marketing in the current brand ecosystem.

  • Farmers Rejoice As Monsanto Drops Pursuit Of Syngenta in Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 08/27/2015

    After four months of an aggressive but controversial wooing of Swiss-based agrichemicals company Syngenta, St. Louis-based Monsanto is walking away after its third and last offer - $46 billion - was summarily rejected.

  • BK To McDonald's: 'Let's Make Burgers Together' in Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 08/26/2015

    Burger King is proposing that arch-rival McDonald's join it in a one-day cease-fire by opening a pop-up shop in Atlanta on Sept. 21 to sell a specially concocted "McWhopper" that "gets the world talking" about Peace One Day, an annual "day of global ceasefire and nonviolence" founded in 1999.

  • Financial Advisors Trot Out The 'Stay Calm' Messaging in Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 08/25/2015

    The U.S. stock market rout in recent days -- call it a long-anticipated "correction," a reaction to the economic slowdown in China, or both -- has financial-services marcom types, money-beat columnists, quotable academics and a social-media sage or two working overtime to distribute the familiar scripts of "don't panic" and "buy low." In other words, we've been here before and we'll be there again.

  • 'Doing' Content For A Cause in Content Marketing Insider on 08/20/2015

    Steve Butcher, the CEO of Seattle-based global ticket vendor Brown Paper Tickets, says he's had "a lot of love and respect for traditional marketing" dating to when he discovered Adweek magazine at his first job when he was 14. Not that his company does any.Instead, what Brown Paper Tickets does - and has since its inception in 2000 - is do things that aim to make a difference. "As we were growing the company, we decided that instead of putting money into marketing, and normal stuff like that, we were going to put it in the service level," Butcher says.

  • Samsung Can't Please Everybody in Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 08/20/2015

    Samsung raised expectations with a series of earlier-than-usual product announcements last week but some tech critics are expressing frustration over everything from unavailable product to poor marketing, and at least one competitor has jumped on it for its distribution strategy.

  • Subway Cuts Fogle As Report Of Impending Plea Surfaces in Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 08/19/2015

    Subway's terse tweet yesterday - "we no longer have a relationship with Jared and have no further comment" - looks to definitively disassociate the company and its franchises from its longtime spokesman but Fogle's expected guilty plea to possession of child pornography today in Indianapolis inevitably puts it back into the headlines.

  • QVC Sees Something Special In Zulily in Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 08/18/2015

    The flash-sale site Zulily is being snatched up by Liberty Interactive, the parent of home-shopping network QVC, for $18.75 a share - almost 15% less than the $22 a share it fetched at its initial public offering 21 months ago. The discount reflects some admittedly poor marketing choices by Zulily even as its stock hit more than $72.75 a share in February 2014.

  • 'Compton' Sizzles As Universal Keeps The Beat in Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 08/17/2015

    "Straight Outta Compton" was a straight outta Hollywood success story for Universal over the weekend, with the biopic of rap group N.W.A. taking in a "scorching" $56.1 million at the box office, almost twice its $29 million budget, as the "Variety" headline put it. "It's the kind of opening usually reserved for so-called tentpole movies that trade in costumed heroes and special effects, not urban violence," as Brent Lang writes.

Comments by Thom All comments by Thom

  • Samsung Likes The Direction Its Numbers Are Taking by Thom Forbes (Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 04/07/2015)

    Always a trick call, Michael. Farhad Manjoo's review was indeed negative but most of the reviews I've read were along the lines of Molly Wood's, also in the NYT: "... with the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, Samsung is moving in a beautiful and powerful new direction, and has indeed created something that looks and feels new and different." And in rating it 8.9 on a scale of 10, CNET concludes: "Samsung's hardware has long stood up to the iPhone; at long last, its physical design does, too. Its high prices might deter some, but the Galaxy S6 accomplishes something important for Samsung: It’s a flagship phone that finally feels like a flagship."

  • Ford, Tonka Bring Out The Boy In Men Who Buy Dump Trucks by Thom Forbes (Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 03/04/2015)

    Correction: JMPR Public Relations, the new agency for Funrise, writes: “While we’d LOVE to take credit for the Ford F750, the JMPR team actually had nothing to do with the efforts there. That was an effort from the Ford side. ”

  • Jet.Com Has Amazon In Its Sights by Thom Forbes (Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 01/08/2015)

    For the Record: A spokesman for Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores says: "We’ve conducted initial scoping discussions, but have not reached an agreement with Jet." As for signing up for a free trial with Jet, I'd advise that you go directly to the site — — and start your own referrer network, if you're interested, rather than join someone else's.

  • Google Flinches; Amazon Grabs Twitch's 55 Million Monthly Viewers For $1 Billion by Thom Forbes (Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 08/26/2014)

    Here's more on Riot Games' "League of Legends" championship figures cited in the Wall Street Journal report, John.

  • Walmart Slashes Fees For Money Transfers by Thom Forbes (Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 04/18/2014)

    The despicable stereotype I am familiar with is "hooked" nose but your comments make it clear that I should not have used this too-similar phrase. I won't again. Thanks for the feedback.

  • Walmart Slashes Fees For Money Transfers by Thom Forbes (Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 04/18/2014)

    I apologize that you saw the reference as anti-Semitic, Mr. Smith. It certainly was not intended to be. It was a reference to lower-income Americans having to rely on loan sharks whose enforcers — low-level gangsters — tend to have broken noses from their activities. Maybe I read too many Hardy Boy books in my youth or was too enamored of the legend of "Wild Bill" Hickok, who was shot and killed by "Crooked Nose Jack" McCall.

  • Is Anything More American Than A Dylan Spot? by Thom Forbes (Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 02/03/2014)

    Cash's involvement with Chrysler-Plymouth goes back to the mid-'50s and his music was still being used in recent spots . When he was amongst us, he also had an affection for sweet chariots

  • Thumbs Up by Stan Mack (Real MAD on 01/30/2014)

    Hail! Hail! And willkommen!

  • Negative News Outdrew Positive In 2013 by Thom Forbes (Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 12/31/2013)

    That is truly inspiration for 2014, Paula. Thanks for your commentary throughout the year!

  • The Case Of Rabbi Dropped For Frequent Complaining by Thom Forbes (Marketing Daily - Top of the News on 12/04/2013)

    Could be, Stan. I know I had “rabbi" on my mind this morning. I’d just read an email from a cousin that contained a sketch for a new gravestone for our great, great grandfather, a rabbi whose original stone in the Hebrew Rest Cemetery in New Orleans was badly damaged by Katrina. In any event, there are several interesting issues here, which is the reason I chose this story over, say, the uptick in auto sales last month. One is how the Supreme Court decides and the possible repercussions on airline pricing. Then there's the more far-reaching concept of which customers marketers should be focusing their attention on (within the law, of course) as you and Daniel suggest. All this against the backdrop of what Paula identifies as an increasingly concentrated industry (see AA and US Airways last week) in which the consumer has fewer choices. So, gaffe aside, at least we’ve got that conversation going ...

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