• New York Times In U.K. Web Battle
    Is The New York Times Web site published in Britain? Dan Kennedy reports that the newspaper's lawyers worry that U.K. officials will try to argue just that as it decides to hold back from running "what is apparently a blockbuster story about the evidence against the bombing-plot suspects" in its online edition. Under British law, newsies are barred from publishing many kinds of information on criminal defendants. But Kennedy says that for Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. to give in so quickly to the notion that the Times site is covered by the law is "overcautious in the extreme." This ...
  • Tough Times Ahead For Stars?
    Viacom Chairman Sumner Redstone's takedown of Tom Cruise last week could be a harbinger that other Hollywood stars might take to heart, reports Ad Age. The trade magazine says the "Great American Movie Star, an institution built on a mass-media environment that's rapidly splintering," could soon face challenges. Of course, that doesn't mean it's all over for Cruise, Will Smith, Jim Carrey and company. In the media and marketing world, star power still remains incredibly influential. But Redstone's move may be a "watershed moment for the nature of celebrity." After all, it comes when the industry is wrangling with what ...
  • Don't Fear The TiVo
    Prime-time television and the 30-second commercial were supposed to be in trouble when viewers got the tools to zip past the traditional ads, reports The Washington Post. By using digital video recorders to shift TV's time schedule and watch recorded programs at their convenience, viewers could skip the ads with the click of the remote. But now, with the spread of DVRs, the technology is having a different effect. Most viewers have not rearranged their TV schedules--and people are watching more. DVRs may end up preserving mass-audience network television by offering viewers "more choices and giving advertisers novel solutions to ...
  • Porn Mag Not Suing Condé Nast
    A porno mag that bears the same name as Condé Nast's new business magazine--Portfolio--has decided not to sue the publishing giant. Magna Publishing of Paramus, N.J. owns their own Portfolio, an adult book that has exclusively featured black women since its 1991 launch. It copyrighted the name in 2001, five years before Condé Nast announced the new title. And though Magna consulted a trademark lawyer, vp and general counsel Stephen Perretta says, "ultimately, we decided it wouldn't be financially viable for us to pursue litigation. And, yes, we're both print magazines, but we feel there's enough of a distinction between ...
  • Cell Phones Drawing Ad Attention
    The mobile phone, according to one pitch, could be the most powerful marketing tool ever invented. But until recently, the focus has been talking the talk (or texting the text). Now, from an ad perspective, there are signs of change. There are twice as many cell phones as personal computers worldwide, the International Herald Tribune notes--and in developed countries, most of the new phones can access the Internet. For advertisers that want to know more about how their targets spend their time, cell phones are even better than the wired Internet. They can track users' online clicks and can trace ...
  • MTV To Roll Multiple Versions Of Awards Show
    When MTV broadcasts the Video Music Awards this week, it will produce four versions of the show. Along with the main awards show, to run on the flagship channel, MTV2 will air a tailored program with its own hosts, commentary and special-awards presentation. Also, MTV's online portal, Overdrive, will provide a live feed of the scene backstage. And if someone is not in front of a computer or TV, MTV will deliver short highlight video clips to mobile phone users. "We're trying to create a simultaneous experience," says MTV President Christina Norman. The notion of "screens"--treating PCs, cell phones and ...
  • Charges Fly In U.K. Free Newspaper War
    A nasty squabble has broken out between two of Britain's press empires as they prepare to fight for control of London's newspaper market. News International, set to launch a free daily named thelondonpaper next month, has accused Associated Newspapers' rival title--London Lite, due out this week--of plagiarism. A senior executive at News International says: "They have copied from our dummy presentations." But Associated, which gave out preview copies of the paper last Friday, calls the claims "pathetic," describes News International's own plans as "pie in the sky," and says executives there are "rattled." News International's free paper is likely to ...
  • TBS Trying Interactive Gaming Show
    Interactive gaming, a $20 billion business, is being eyed by U.S. TV networks. With successful shows already offered in Europe, TBS this week rolls out "Midnight Money Madness," a series that offers cash prizes for playing along via the Internet, text message or telephone. It will run Monday through Thursday at midnight, with separate live versions for each coast. Viewers register their phone numbers through premium text message, call-in or online. Then the hosts call them for a chance to play picture and word games live on air. In addition, random celebrities will drop by the show. As the first ...
  • Agencies Outperform Direct Marketers, Suppliers During 2Q
    The direct-marketing industry posted positive growth during the second quarter of 2006 versus the same quarter in 2005--and ad agencies experienced the strongest growth of any direct response sector, outpacing both marketers and direct-response service providers. "Agencies posted the best revenue and profitability numbers of the three measured segments," the Direct Marketing Association said in its analysis, part of a regular quarterly update. All three segments--marketers, suppliers and agencies--expressed optimism for the third quarter, continuing a yearlong trend of anticipated growth in the coming quarter.
  • Arbitron Rolls Out Weekly Radio Ratings In Houston, Could Impact Planning, Buying
    In a move that could change the way advertisers and agencies plan, buy and post local radio ad time in Houston, Arbitron has released its first weekly radio ratings based on its portable people meter system in the market. The ratings, based on a panel of 2,000 respondents in the market, represent the first time the radio industry has had weekly electronic ratings, making it more analogous to TV. This could also change the way stations program their schedules, how people listen to those stations and how advertisers buy them.
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