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Archives: March 2009

MySpace & Citysearch Mashup Creates Tons of Local/National Ad Space


MySpace and Citysearch announced today a new mashed up version of their sites, called MySpace Local, which allows users to search, rate and review local businesses. The site ties in Citysearch’s 1,000 plus city database and associated businesses with MySpace’s ginormous community, creating an opportunity for MyAds (MySpace’s pinpointing ad program) to earn both companies a lot of money.

According to TechCrunch, the terms of the deal have not been released. But take a minute to think about the possibilities of integrating these services.

Not only will users be able to show their friends what they like (the stuff they rate is added to their feed), but the site creates highly desirable localized ad space that businesses can probably afford.

Initially we thought this sounded a lot like Facebook Connect. MySpace has their own version of Connect called MySpaceID, but MySpace Local is a fully integrated service. The ability for your friends to see what you like and vice versa is the important part since we all take our friends’ advice way too seriously.

For now, Coors and Outback Steakhouse are the only national sponsors.

More:Hulu Makes Gains On MySpace

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Some TiVo Data to Guide Your :30 Spots


A TiVo/Innescope study took 40 people and had them watch some TV show, and peppered in ads. Some had good beginnings, others not so much. The variant was that some users had TiVo control and others didn’t. The results:

&#151 Viewers are 25% more likely to fast-forward through ads with low engagement
than those with high engagement.
&#151 If an ad begins with low engagement, 25% of viewers, on average, will not see the ad in its entirety &#151 regardless of the subsequent strength of the ad.

Nifty. The lesson is don’t do boring work and you’ll be ahead of the curve.

More:Comcast ‘Does it’ with TiVo

Oh Look, Ford Has an Assurance Program Now


Ford announced today an “It’s OK if you lose your job or can’t afford the car we just sold you because we’ll just pay for it for you like Hyundai” program today, presumably so you’ll go buy one of their cars. To incentivize you further: 0% interest on certain Ford, Lincoln, Mercury vehicles. If the “Ford Advantage Plan” feels like a lotion-less HJ, read on; the auto-maker somehow has $700 a month for you, times 12 months, if you lose your job.

Right about now you’re wondering what the Hyundai Assurance Plan offers: A piddly 3 months of coverage (and no Ford Fiesta Movement). Hyundai does however offer negative amortization protection, but that’s boring. Yippee.

But who cares, because none of this even matters. It’s all a tactic to get Americans who can afford a new car to feel comfortable with spending the dough. It’s like insurance, except this time it’ll be different, right? No one will just start taking advantage of the system and then one by one defaulting on their payments so that Ford has to come up with a bunch of cash at once, right? That could never happen.

If you ask Hyundai, it’s all one big goof because according to this one guy who works there, no one has used the program yet. As in zero people, people. That’s probably why Hyundai tacked the Plus thing (they pay your loan for three months, then you can sell the car back), and it’s also likely why Ford felt confident to offer a full year, times $700 a month, in support. Hell that’d pay the monthly, gas and insurance for a decent mpg, mid-sized car with a careful driver.

Ford probably figures they can give away the moon since they’re going under soon anyway, right? It’s like when we used to actually use checks and if your bank account had run dry and the repo guy was at your door you’d be like, “let me write you a check.”

Whatevs, if you can’t afford to buy a new car, take the bus. WTF is wrong with us? Oy.


More: “Reality In Auto Advertising: The ‘Hyundai Assurance Program’”

Peter Peter Orange Eater

When people talk to reporters, they have a natural tendency to inflate themselves into someone they’re not. Reading Newsweek’s recent interview with Peter Arnell (Mad Man: Brand genius Peter Arnell says one design flub won’t tarnish his rep. Rivals aren’t so sure.), I just want to stop everything, call Pete up and scream, “Cut the bull. Just stop. We know what you are, we get it.”

Throw any person on a stage with bright lights and they’ll respond. On this blog, people like to be the most honest versions of themselves, dropping vitriolic commentary all over the place but rarely allowing for quotation. The same is true in Newsweek’s piece &#151 a number of the people asked to talk about Arnell omitted their names for fear of reprisal. But they dished about his tendency to demean employees (allegedly) and the rumor that he carries a gun in an ankle holster all the same. The rule seems to be, “cross Peter Arnell or get quoted on AgencySpy and your career is over.” Well, thank goodness we’re not feeding from his tit, and for anonymity.

Arnell mentions, appropriately, that when you’re one of the few making money in a recession, you’ve gotta roll with the punches. True that, sir. This is especially true when you make mistakes &#151 they’re right out there for everyone to see and if your brand is as ubiquitous your last name, your gaffes tend to be remembered more than your successes. Everyone’s like, “wait why is he making so much money when he just made that enormous mistake?” Relationships, that’s why.

He says, comically, that he doesn’t want to be remembered as Peter “Tropicana” Arnell. As if demeaning, gun-toting former human bowling ball weren’t bad enough. I’d take a nickname like Tropicana over that other stuff, any day. And Pete, it could be worse. Like, you could be known as four-eyes or one of the Guiness Book of World Record motorcycle twins. But you’re not. You’re Peter Arnell; you’ve made it, and that means people will want to ride the waves behind you dude. So buck up, load that pistol and shoot the boat. A good captain goes down with the ship.

Eventually you’ll change course and decide to slow down to 15 oranges a day (rather than 20…you’ve got to read this article), or maybe some kid who works for you will make a name for herself the way you did. Damn, the paranoia has got to be driving you insane. Hell you could start a blog and live off selling the ad space.

But now that we know you’re bullshit (I mean, you said it yourself), can you just take a breath and admit that the Pepsi PDF thing was a set up? Or that you failed with Tropicana? You’re human, bro, people will understand. What matters is that you’re an advertising figurehead and people are talking. So give them something to talk about. Who cares? What we don’t understand is why you shroud yourself in bullshit. But what do I know &#151 I’ve only seen the guy speak once and at the time I had no idea who he was. I remember tweeting something about how awkward his presentation was and thinking later that pitching must not have been his thing. I’m no public speaker but you’d think having Leno’s phone number would make one’s balls puff up a bit. You’d think he’d have a hard time sitting down.

I bet he can’t sit down &#151 there are too many pictures to take, oranges to eat, logos to create, golf carts to invent, agencies to run, images to maintain, families to care for, pounds to lose, blog articles to read. Don’t worry Peter Eric, people will still have immense respect for you tomorrow. And when you get a second, let’s have a drink.

More:Arnell’s Latest ‘Design’ Debacle: Tropicana Returns to Orange with Protruding Straw

The Week in Advertising Episode 21

Today’s episode is hard. It’s tearful. We say goodbye to something dear to us before moving on to the nonsense. This is what happens when you give juveniles a camera.

Episodes of The Week in Advertising

Liz Hurley Understands the Value of the Prince’s Meat


Actress, model, farmer? Liz Hurley
apparently has a farm in Gloucestershire, a county in southwest England, and she’s going to market “a range of organic food” under the Prince Charles’ Duchy Originals brand. Hunh. Who knew.

More:What The…Elizabeth Hurley’s New Ad Campaign

Creativity Goes Quarterly, AdAge Makes Some Changes


Creativity Magazine is going from ten issues a year to a quarterly. Meanwhile, their digital hub will remain the resource that it is. The magazine said in an editorial that: “- current economic circumstances have only hastened changes that were already well underway, in our business and yours.”

Ain’t that the truth. Creativity has shuffled some staffers around including Managing Editor Nick Parish heading over to sister publication AdAge as Events Content Manager. Sounds fishy, but it really means that AdAge is going to start throwing conferences that you know, are interesting and give you way more opportunities to get drunk with your cohorts. I’m game. This recession thing is bollocks.

More: “Anxiety Is The Hand Maiden Of Creativity” – T.S. Eliot

Lars Bastholm Jumps To Ogilvy

Check it out &#151 Lars Bastholm has joined Ogilvy North America as Chief Digital Creative Officer with total responsibility for Ogilvy’s digital creative work across North America. As you all well know, Lars has been hanging out at AKQA as Co-Chief Creative Officer. Lars said that:

“My reason for joining Ogilvy is to get a seat at the table with clients who make the 360
degree brand decisions and to work on the campaigns that will help define what integrated, multi-channel advertising can look like in the future.”

Sure. Time to play with the big bois. In the video above, he talks to Jan Leth about Cannes, science fiction, brave clients and yes, again, integration. Enjoy.

More: Bastholm, Ramussen, Palmer Have A Good Ol’ Fashioned Digi-wank

We’re Drinking Tonight at This Place Called Amalia


Update: Oh right, I forgot to mention that this is the semi-annual AgencySpy party. We have done this a couple times in the past and it always turns into a bit of a show. Well it does for me at least. Don’t worry, I won’t be taking notes.

If you’re in Midtown (west) tonight between 6:30 and 8:30, hop into this place, Amalia (204 w. 55th b/n 7&8). I’m told there are drink specials and “complimentary appetizers.” Awesome.

I’ll be wearing the signature mustache, so you can’t really miss me. It looks, how you say, creepy. And who doesn’t want to talk to athe creepy mustache guy? That’s right, you want to. Click here to eRSVP.

My only regret is we don’t have any games for you to play except for, you know, drink the beer/cocktail. The prize? Another beer/cocktail. But, eh, blogging ain’t for the money-grubbing so buy your own damn drinks.

Also, the super awesome artwork of yours truly above was done by the very talented Mike Lloyd. Check out his site and his blart (blog of art).

More: The last party was…tipsy

Can Chris Brown Be Rebranded?

Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy

Rebrander guy Steve Stoute told MSNBC that if Kobe Bryant can come through lady problems, so can Chris Brown.

Remember this guy? Stoute and Jay-Z started their own ad agency, Translation. Superspy had some words about that awhile back concerning the differences between urban and black. Check it out.

Here’s our question: can you really compare an athlete celeb to a pop-star? Somehow, there seems to be more of a “use” for a basketball player. As in the Lakers might have had a PR issue regarding Kobe but um, he still won them games despite what people thought about him. Mr. Brown’s got a different problem &#151 he doesn’t belong to the Lakers franchise, or anything remotely as strong. So yeah, he’s got a bigger problem, no?

More:Jay-Z: The Mission Of His New Advertising Agency