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Stuart Elliott Answers Readers for the Last Time

StuartElliottQALogoAs one of the many New York Times staffers who chose to accept the paper’s buyout offer, advertising beat reporter Stuart Elliott has put together his final questions list and checked it twice:

Dear readers, because this is the final issue of In Advertising, I am trying to clear the decks and am publishing more questions than usual.

Befitting his last such column, Elliott leads off with a doozy. A reader asks about a sly reference to Smith Brothers cough drops in an old, short-lived Red Foxx New York-set TV series. The columnist’s reply:

According to The Complete Directory of Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present, a reference book that is among the final ones remaining at my desk, the series was titled The Redd Foxx Show and it was broadcast by ABC for only three months in 1986, from January 18 to April 19.

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Mediabistro Course

Middle Grade Novel Writing

Middle Grade Novel WritingStarting January 15, work with a literary agent to write your middle-grade novel! In this course, you'll learn how to develop strong characters, write compelling dialogue, master the art of revision, and market your work to publishing houses and agents. Register now!

Time Inc. Makes Exclusive Deal with Outbrain

Time__Inc_-logo-2ED06AA15C-seeklogo.com_Time Inc has struck a deal to make Outbrain the exclusive provider of the recommended stories that appear on Time Inc. sites. Outbrain is a “content discovery platform,” which means it gets paid by media companies to have their links placed below stories on a wide variety of websites. You know the type — A block of articles with an “Around The Web” or “Promoted Stories” headline.

Up until now, Time Inc. had worked with a few different content discovery companies. Now only Outbrain will be providing this service. The deal is expected to generate more than $100 million for Time Inc. over the course of the agreement.

“Outbrain’s focus on audience experience and surfacing optimized content recommendations was a key to launching this partnership,” said Time Inc’s CEO Joe Ripp, in a statement. “It maximizes the monetization of our audience to other content publishers. And, it provides key insights and analytics about our core digital users.”

HuffPost Partners with Leo Burnett

huffington postThe line between editorial and advertising continues to be blurred. Recognizing that, The Huffington Post has decided to just go ahead and cut to the chase by partnering with ad agency Leo Burnett.

Under the deal, staffers at HuffPost Partner Studio — the company’s in-house sponsored content team — will meet with Leo Burnett staffers to create ads, which will be used by the agency’s clients. The ads will also be featured on HuffPost and other AOL sites.

A recent survey found that 75 percent of US marketers intend to increase their content marketing spend, but that 70 percent found content creation a key challenge,” said Jimmy Maymann, HuffPost’s CEO, in a statement. “This partnership between The Huffington Post and Leo Burnett answers that clear market need. Together we will be able to offer brands a unique combination of award-winning creative talent and unparalleled expertise in developing, distributing and amplifying highly shareable brand content.”

Feel the excitement!

This Week in Upfronts

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Weinstein

FishbowlNY was at some of the early upfront presentations this week in New York City, attending both Gannett’s and The Discovery Channel’s events on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively.

There were packed audiences at both venues, with Gannett’s presentation being held at the AXA Equitable Center and Discovery holding their event at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Frederick P. Rose Hall. Gannett had a “stories of extraordinary impact” theme, rolling out speakers like best-selling author Mitch Albom and Olympic track and field star Lolo Jones. At the presentation, Gannett announced a partnership with The Weinstein Company, giving the film company first-look access to turn Gannett’s local TV and newspaper stories into TV shows and films.

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CBS Puts the Skids on Times Square Weedmaps.com Ad

Southern California start-up Weedmaps is gunning for the New York market. Although marijuana is not yet legalized in The Empire State, company founder Justin Hartfield explains to Fox Business Web reporter Gabrielle Karol that he is aiming to establish his brand locally now, so as to most effectively reap the dividends later.

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But this Weedmaps preemptive campaign has not come without bumps. From the Fox Business piece:

Hartfield says earlier this week, CBS “pulled for review” a Weedmaps commercial scheduled to run on the network’s 520-square-foot Super Screen in Times Square. The eight-second ad, previously scheduled to run from April 1 to July 1, came with a price tag of $50,000.

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Mighty Taco Takes On Mighty Putin

How does a Western New York Mexican food chain generate favorable AP coverage? By firing off a press release and posting this on Facebook:

MightyTacoBan

Besides the national media attention and, we assume, inevitable late night monologue punchlines, the fun of this is reading the reaction on Facebook. A couple of highlights:

Nik Malahosky: Give me a summer internship in public relations. I promise I’m a good worker, and even kind of funny sometimes. Your move.

Katya Babchuk: LOVE YOU!!!!!!!! Coming from a Ukrainian with wonderful family that lives there! God bless you guys!!

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Acura Sponsors a Show About Other Cars

A perfect Jerry Seinfeld premise, don’t you think?

AcuraNSXPer a recent interview piece by LA-based Bloomberg reporters Alan Ohnsman and Andy Fixmer, the second season of the comedian’s Crackle Web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee has a single sponsor – Acura. Although one episode featuring Sarah Silverman includes some product-placement conversation, Honda/Acura is basically paying for the privilege of wrapping online ads and a “Presented by” banner around Seinfeld rhapsodizing about other brands:

“From a traditional viewpoint, a lot of car companies or marketers would have dismissed this opportunity because he has other cars in it,” said Honda senior vice president Mike Accavitti. “I appreciate the old Porsche that he wants to show or the big Rolls-Royce that he wants to go pick up someone up in, the old Beetle he uses to get Larry David.”

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Soledad O’Brien on Diversity in the Media: ‘It’s not that hard’

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(from L to R) Soledad O’Brien, CEO of Starfish Media and Keith Lorizio, VP of U.S. sales and marketing at Microsoft

Media types gathered last night at the 40/40 club in New York to kick off MSN’s partnership with Interactive One. The event was part of an ongoing trend necessity for media companies to focus on diversity, and Microsoft is looking to do just that not only with Interactive One, but also through partnerships with Lisnr and the Marcus Graham Project.

Interactive One’s chief content officer Smokey Fontaine spoke to the crowd about how the company evolved over the years to keep in line with America’s changing demographics. “We changed our focus from being solely African American to… all of the folks who demographically and psychographically are part of the multicultural landscape.”

Why? “Companies have no choice but to serve multicultural. If you want to stay relevant, you have no choice but to serve that market. But you do have a choice whether you’ll serve that market really well.”

Census data shows that minorities will be the majority in the near future, and Pew continues to document how little change there is in terms of minorities in the newsroom. “I’ve been having the same conversation about diversity for 26 years, since I started in TV news,” Soledad O’Brien told FishbowlNY. “Sometimes, that’s really disheartening.”

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Gerard Baker Does Not Like Native Advertising

Gerard Baker GGerard Baker, editor-in-chief of Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal’s managing editor, is not a fan of native advertising. Capital New York reports that during an Advertising Week discussion, Baker repeatedly slammed the ad units.

At one point, Baker even compared companies using native advertising to Faust, the legendary character who traded his soul to the devil in exchange for unlimited intelligence and other pleasures. Yes, it gets that deep at Advertising Week.

Baker said that sponsored content or native ads blur the line between editorial and ads — a common complaint — and added that in the end, it’s a lose/lose situation:

An advertiser wants to advertise in The Wall Street Journal to be seen and to be associated with a brand like The Wall Street Journal, or The Financial Times or Bloomberg, because those news organizations are respected. If [advertisers] manipulate the digital or print operations of those news organizations, it makes the reader confused as to what is news and what is advertising, and the reader’s trust, the very reason that those advertisers want to advertise in those news organizations, goes away.

Abby Wambach Wants Soccer Moms to Like These Apples

Abby Wambach is set to complete another memorable soccer season Saturday night in Rochester when her Western New York Flash squad takes on the Portland Thorns in the 2013 National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) final. And once she’s done with those WNYF duties, it will be on to the NYAA.

Per a report in The Packer, a trade publication that has been covering “everything produce” since 1893, the state of New York is set to harvest a bumper apple crop this year. As a result, Wambach will be all over local airwaves in the fall on behalf of the New York Apple Association:

The group plans to feature TV ads with spokeswoman Wambach through the fall and winter… “We’re playing to soccer moms who make a lot of the purchasing decisions for their families,” spokeswoman Jill Stewart said. “All soccer moms and soccer-playing girls know who Abby is. She’s a great fit because she grew up in agriculture. Her family owns a farmers market in Rochester.”

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