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Archives: July 2008

Anheuser Busch Marketing to Kids?


On a recent trip to SeaWorld I noticed the massive amounts of subliminal and not so subliminal marketing that was clearly obvious to the large groups of kids at the park. At one point I went to the bathroom and when I was washing my hands, I looked down at the sink and saw the Anheuser Busch logo etched in the faucet (see above). The little girl that was washing her hands next to me remarked how “cute” the logo was. There was also a Hospitality Center that offered free beer to the park guests (yes, I had a few). The lounge was open to families that had small children hanging out in a “bar” area that served liquor and had a history lesson on the wonder that is beer.

That had me thinking about the ethics of such practices. What kind of responsible company makes so light of the issue of underage drinking? Clearly these children are being ifluenced by the behavior around them. Their parents getting sloshed for free in the Beer Garden, the attendant selling beer at the Shamu Rocks show, and park goers drinking beer on their walk from ride to ride.

I found a few articles that note Anheuser’s apparent desire to attract kids attention. So it must be a pattern.

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First on AgencySpy: Why Campbell-Ewald is in Review with the United States Navy


We hinted today about the Navy review that’s under way at Campbell-Ewald, and referred to how in a quaking economic climate (no LA puns intended) spending money wisely is, well, wise. It seems that spending, although rumored, is not the cause for the review.

Apparently, the Navy is happy with the work CE is doing. That’s how we perceive the situation, anyway, because the seamen are apparently planning to extend the “contract to a longer period without the mandatory 5-year renewal,” says our spy.

For the rest, click continued.

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Breaking: Donovan Lets 16 Folks Go, ‘Streamlining’ in Full Effect


We mentioned earlier this week that we heard Donovan Data Systems was prepping to lay off a number of people, to which Managing Director Steve Peeples replied, “Any responsible company is always looking for ways to streamline effeciencies.”

Well our inside source tells us that 16 DDS employees have been laid off, indicating the company is doing more fat-trimming than streamlining.We’re awaiting confirmation from company reps on that number, but if the last conversation we had was any indication, our vertigo will kick back in before a straight answer is given.

The only reason this is news is because we still think DDS is posturing for a Google takeover, doggie-style. Check here for more on that scientific hypothesis. And no, you won’t get linked to the Kama Sutra Web site.

Update: We hear DDS was careful about who was laid off, and that no one is client interfacing, for now. “However, many of the people have been there 10, 15 years or more and are all very well known and liked,” said our source.

Update: After a brief conversation with Mr. Peeples, we can now confirm that 16 positions have been eliminated within DDS. However, Peeopes remarks that in the last 18 months, more than 20 development and project management spots have been created and filled. Many of those full time positions are focusing on the iDesk technology that’s used by Google.

Exclusive: Steve Greenberger’s Marketing Remedy for an Economic Plague

SR Greenberger is a day-old shop that’s still in the design phase. And although the agency was born yesterday, it has a few client meetings in the works, a striking idea, and three decades of marketing knowledge behind it. Not only its founder, president and only employee planning to change how we understand consumers, but he is doing it at one of the (arguably) worst times in the industry’s history.

You might not know Steve Greenberger. He’s a 30-year veteran of the civil war between marketers and advertisers, which has been capitulated through the decades, most recently by social media and Google.

Marketing products through media is Greenberger’s game. But he believes there’s a smarter way to break through to consumers than the standards employed today &#151 and since he began as a “guru” for Bob Coen (at McCann). Stepping back and looking at market research, he says, is the way he plans to run his new business. Strategy, planning and maybe some buying are in the works. But research is the fundamental difference.

More after the jump.

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Fake Guinness Ad Doesn’t Make Diageo Happy


Turns out the Guinness ad that Matt posted about earlier in the week is indeed a fake. According to Brand Republic, Diageo is none too happy about the youtube posting and wants it pulled. Diageo gave a statement to Brand Republic and is quoted as saying that, “Guinness is in no way associated with this video, and approached YouTube to have it removed. We are proud of our brand, and our commitment to responsible marketing, and this is not how we want our brand portrayed.”

The article also mentions that the youtube user responsible for the fake spot, Deschatz, posted a comment that says, “Diageo PLC and YouTube have taken down the hoax ad I did for fun. So, folks, it’s all over. No more good times for anyone.”

So no Lions Award for this one…

No Wukkas: A Myriad of Jobs You Might be Interested in


We hope nobody ever has to interview with the guy in this photo. If you do, it probably means you’ve given up your lucrative copywriting/designing/babysitting-copywriters-and-designers career in exchange for a 15k base outside vacuum sales gig. No matter, we have a multitude of options for you to choose from. Check ‘em out.

Mammoth advertising is looking for an Interactive Account Exec.

Digitas New York seeks an Integrated Copywriter.

Publicis in the West needs an Interactive Copywriter.

JWT is hunting for an Experience Lead.

Rubiks is recruiting the next King of Cubicles.

Dead Monster a Marketing Ploy?


What the hell is this creepy thing? This photo, which comes courtesy of Gawker, is sure to cause controversy.

The beastly creature seems to have washed ashore in Montauk. Rumors emerging on Gawker allege the dog-meets-dinosaur-meets-JoanRivers is part of a marketing ploy for Cartoon Network’s Cryptids Are Real. That would make sense, if not for the fact that any kid would run screaming if he/she saw this thing during a day at the beach with nanny and pooch.

Speaking of which, it’s completely plausible that this is a decomposing dog. But for now, it’s just a photo ala Chupacabra.

Update: Yes, we did notice the “monster” is flipping the bird. It also appears to have some kind of material binding its front arms together. This tidbit leads us to think it may be a dog that was possibly intentionally drowned. Let’s hope not.

Clay T. Whitehead Has Died


NY Times has reported that Clay T. Whitehead has died of prostate cancer in his hometown of McLean, VA. According to the article, Whitehead was the official in the Nixon administration who was most responsible for the Open Skies policy. The policy led to the creation of the domestic satellite system and made cable television and long distance telephone more affordable for millions of Americans. Whitehead was 69.

What I Can’t Say


Oftentimes here at AS, we get tips from people that just spill all. Of course there are things that we just can’t say, but it’s obvious that those tipsters really want you to know. Trust me, I also really want to share. But I also don’t want a lawsuit on my hands. So here’s what I can say, as per the tipster’s email. You can fill in the blanks.

“Which Managing Director of ______________ in San Francisco (hint, his initials are ______) has been sleeping with his office peers. Oh, he’s also married to the former HR Manager of this office… did I mention that they now have a child together too? Oh yeah, he also slept with women in the office (some of which he reported to) when she worked in the same office. Also, check out his LinkedIn profile, which has been altered as he never worked for ________… Crazy how people think they can do these things. Oh vey.”

While it’s no secret that this kind of “business” goes on in the business, it’s still shocking to know that some people are so bold. And I’m a firm believer that how you manage your personal life is a great indicator of how you will manage your business. It’s a risky move to have someone with lack of self control and little regard for discretion having a major hand in the success or failure of accounts worth millions of dollars.

Nike’s Sacrifice for the Country


It appears that for the good of the country Nike will put aside its need for self promotion in hopes that it will benefit the USA. According to Yahoo Sports News, Nike will allow its swimmers at the Olympics this year to wear Speedo’s LZR Racer in lieu of Nike suits in Beijing.

Dean Stoyer, Nike spokesman, says it wanted to allow swimmers the same opportunity that was extended to them at the U.S. Olympic Trials.

Stoyer said, “It is about putting their performance and their focus first.” Nike has four swimmers heading to the Olympics.

According to the article, Speedo’s LZR Racer has caused quite a stir with its sleek design allowing many records to be broken since it was released in February. The suit has even spawned some lawsuits.

It’s a bold move to allow swimmers that they are sponsoring to essentially endorse someone else. It could be a move that backfires by drawing too much attention to the Speedo chaos. Or if the team turns out victorious, it could be one of the most brilliant things they’ve done to promote their brand.