• Political Ads Aren't Independent Of Party
    It has become common for the national political parties to use "independent expenditures" on campaign ads, like the Republican National Committee did with its racist spot in Tennessee that was aimed at Democratic Rep. Harold E. Ford Jr., who is running for Senate. But when demands came to pull the ad, they exposed a strange intricacy of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, suggesting the overhaul of the nation's campaign finance law. The quirk has prompted top Republicans to claim plausible deniability for the content of the ad and to say they were not at liberty to stop ...
  • Philly Hotels Worry About Mag's Murder Cover
    The Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association is worried that reading about the city's high murder rate could spook visitors, and has urged hotels to think twice before providing guests with copies of November's Philadelphia magazine, whose cover story spotlights the city's bloodletting. Normally, some 6,000 copies of the monthly would go to local hotel rooms. But the GPHA argues that it makes the city look unsafe for the visitors who flock to those rooms. Wrote Ed Grose, executive director of the group: "I feel that sensationalizing the murder rate in our city will have a negative effect on our ...
  • Tycoons, Not Big Corps, New Newspaper Bosses
    A popular new idea in the sagging newspaper industry is to bring in a new set of private owners who could bring hope of rescue from Wall Street's tyranny: hometown rich guys. For example, PR magnate Brian Tierney bought Philadelphia's Inquirer and Daily News in June. The hope is that vanity will deliver what greed could not: A stable business environment in which journalists can serve the public with quality work while returning a modest profit to owners. This may be fantasy. Remember, when news organizations are owned by hard-driving, fabulously wealthy individuals--who amassed great riches by cutting ...
  • TV Ads Equal Online Sales For Travelocity
    If you want to sell more products online, buy some TV time, concludes Jeffrey Glueck, chief marketing officer for Internet travel agency Travelocity. The site is upping its TV ad budget to encourage travelers to search out its name rather than generic terms, such as "discount travel" or "Hawaii vacation." Glueck says "the dirty little secret to search [engine advertising] is you make money buying your own brand name, but on generic terms, the clicks are more expensive and the return is low." So to get those customers to search his company out by brand name, he does more ...
  • Ford Ad Features Divorced Couple
    A new ad for the Ford Freestyle features what looks like a perfectly happy couple on the beach--until the end twist reveals that Mom and Dad are divorced. "Thanks for inviting me this weekend," he tells his ex-wife and, as the vehicle pulls away, a voice-over intones: "Bold moves: They happen every day." Perhaps the daring move here really belongs to Ford. Although millions of Americans have been divorced and millions of children no longer share an address with both parents, that is almost never reflected in advertising. And it could stay that way, some marketers predict, because most ...
  • Brule To Launch 'Monocle,' New International Magazine
    Tyler Brule, founder and former editor of Wallpaper, is back in the business with plans for a 10-times-a-year, London-based magazine about geopolitics, business, culture and design. The new title, called Monocle and sold internationally starting in February, will emphasize visuals as much as reporting and writing, says Brule, who was in Milan last week to pitch luxury advertisers. "I used to work in Hamburg, the hub for Der Spiegel and Stern," he says. "I was always fascinated by those titles--the depth of reporting, the quality, the sheer volume. I always wondered why, at least in the U.K., titles like ...
  • Political Ads Get Nasty In Ohio
    It has been a brutal campaign season in Ohio and the mudslinging isn't over yet. With barely more than a week left before Election Day, voters in the Buckeye State can expect things to get even dirtier. "There's still a lot of money and TV to come out," says Herb Asher, a political science professor at Ohio State University. Political ads have been inundating the airwaves since August, and as the election gets closer, they only get meaner. "The ads started earlier, and the sheer number and frequency of them makes this the most negative year I've seen in ...
  • NAACP Charges Ford Ad Is Racist
    A political ad targeting a candidate for the U.S. Senate contains racist sexual innuendo about a black man and white woman, charges the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The ad, from the Republican National Committee, features a series of characters declaring their support for black Democrat Harold Ford Jr.--a Memphis, Tenn. congressman who faces Republican Bob Corker. In it, a blond white woman brags: "I met Harold at the Playboy party." At the end she looks into the camera, holds her hand like a telephone and says, "Harold, call me." The reference is to Ford's attendance ...
  • Stars Come Out For Anti-Poverty Ad
    In a new ad packed with star power, ONE.org, an anti-poverty organization, is airing a public service announcement that features George Clooney, Don Cheadle, Alfre Woodard, Julia Roberts, Toby Keith and others. The spot urges viewers to vote to fight global AIDS and Third World poverty. Narrated by Matt Damon, the camera pans down a line of celebrities and regular Americans waiting against a spare white wall to vote. It treats everyone in the shot the same and lingers on no one. No celebrity is identified. "Saving lives in the world's poorest countries. Winning the fight against global ...
  • Lawyers Object to New New York Ad Rules
    Expressing concerns over the constitutionality and fair enforcement of proposed restrictions on attorney advertising, major bar groups are urging New York court administrators to seek a narrow and focused response to the ills of lawyer self-promotion. With the Jan. 15 projected effective date coming up, several bar groups have submitted reports to the Office of Court Administration. And while none flatly rejected either the proposed rules or the need for them, they did not fully embrace the idea either. The proposed rules largely follow recommendations adopted earlier this year by the New York State Bar Association. They cover solicitations ...
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