• Good Grief
    Ha! I knew I was right! "Get rid of Snoopy," I advised Met Life, in print, because, obviously, the ads were just a particularly saccharine form of celebrity endorsement. And because their Peanuts-ness distracted from whatever the given message was supposed to be. And because life insurance is as serious as a morbidity table and requires faith in the financial stability, stewardship and dependability of the insurer -- values not well communicated via whimsy. And because cartoon characters don't require insurance, because they are drawings.
  • Versailles Of Belief
    Permit me to sit out the Great Media Apology Tour of 2016. Since election night, we have been fed a steady stream of mea culpas for the press's failure to see it all coming, and especially for negligently ignoring the fear, anxiety and despair in the Rust Belt, the oil patch and rural America. Benighted Trump voters were singing the Red America Blues while we elites were tuned to Live from the Met or some such.
  • The Night Mike Pence Twerked: Drunken Gay Bar Fiasco Caught On Video!
    Fake news has been all the (out)rage in the past few days, as it emerged that incendiary phony stories -- almost all of them benefitting Donald Trump -- actually outperformed major news outlets on Facebook over the last three months of the presidential campaign.
  • Beware The Native Of Brazile
    For CNN to air Democratic insiders like Donna Brazile and David Axelrod, and Trump proxies Cory Lewandowski and Jeffrey Lord is (to coin an adjective) deplorable. They are not commentators. They are shills, offering none of the insight, context, informed opinion or even insider knowledge the audience has the right to expect from opinion journalists. Rather, they are destined to say only what they deem beneficial to their candidate or party. Which makes them useless, and which makes CNN a nightly purveyor of consumer deception.
  • The United States Of Facebook
    If you are concerned about democracy and consumer choice, direct your attention to "social distribution" -- a shift in publishing, and a threat to publishing independence, that's advancing at a breathtaking pace and scale. When you click on a Facebook Instant Article or an item from Google Amp, somewhere an important story is dying -- because social distribution, like high school and presidential campaigns, overwhelmingly benefits the popular.
  • AT&T Marketing Practices Part II: Zeroing In
    If you are one of the handful of Americans who still watches commercials, you know that AT&T already offers subscribers of its recently acquired DirecTV subsidiary free streaming on its wireless network. You can watch a whole movie or next week's Eagles-Cowboys showdown without using any data from your plan. Now, if its announced $85.4 billion acquisition of Time-Warner goes through, presumably the same deal will apply for streaming CNN, TNT and HBO.
  • From The Folks Who Brought You Tyranny...
    The FTC warns that if it has no regulatory authority here, then wireless carriers, cloud networks, email platforms and others will be able to violate privacy, bait and switch prospects, throttle their networks and otherwise run roughshod over consumers of digital services -- which is to say: everyone. But the 9th Circuit told the government no dice.
  • Live From St. Louis, It Was Sunday Night!
    Welcome to the second presidential debate, a town hall convened at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. This is the second of three debates between the candidates for the presidency.
  • Annals Of Entrepreneurism: The Cornpeppers Story
    Claude Jellicot and Luke Severn-Jenkins met at Arizona State, where they developed a hybrid species of corn and chili pepper, which they further engineered into a naturally spicy popcorn they dubbed Cornpeppers. Sensing a phenomenon, they patented the seed and quit school halfway through their junior year to start up Cornpeppers Global with a novel food product and even more novel business model. They gave Cornpeppers away.
  • The Zuckerberg In The Henhouse
    Facebook should have a thumbs-up, thumbs-down and crossed-fingers button for all the times it has offered something to advertisers, publishers and users that was either short-lived or not true in the last 10 years. So permit me to wonder if the bogus engagement metric wasn't just the latest example of what card players refer to as "sharp play."
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