Contact: Adcandy's Sweet Deal

Junior ad executives, watch your backs. After blogs and podcasts, it was only a matter of time before Web-empowered interactivity spawned user-generated advertising. Contests at let Madison Avenue wannabes compete for best ads involving brand-name products.

While Per Hoffman started Adcandy with the intent of "empowering the public," the idea could serve the very industry it challenges. When a shoe manufacturer solicited the best user-generated slogan for its line, contestants spent so much time considering the product that a focus group was born.

The scary part for ad professionals is that these amateurs can make it look disarmingly easy. The first image contest produced a multi-colored Absolut ad that could slip comfortably into the legendary campaign, and an up-the-skirt view of Miller beer bottles that left us both thirsty and a bit randy. Hmm. Maybe it's time for "subliminal" to make a comeback.

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