Famous Faces


Advertisers beware; sometimes a famous face can deliver the wrong message.

Getting a celebrity to endorse your product is hardly a new idea but that doesn't mean it's always a good one. In some cases it's a perfect fit; such as Michael Jordan and Nike or Brooke Shields and her Calvin’s.

Then there are the celebrity endorsements that stir up a lot more than an urge to rush out and buy the product. And in those cases the company usually issues an apology through social media, pulls the commercial and hopes nobody notices what happened. But Fortune Magazine did notice and has put together a list of the six celebrity endorsements that made consumers angry.  read more »



Your online activity is being closely monitored; and for some companies your key strokes are paying off.

Gian Fulgoni is the Executive Chairman of comScore. A company that measures what you do in the digital world. That information is then given to marketing and media clients to help them best reach you, a technology Fulgoni says is growing exponentially.

“Ten years ago it certainly was in its infancy and it’s just amazing how fast it’s grown both in terms of ecommerce for example or online advertising the numbers are really pretty staggering.”

Fulgoni says both online advertising and shopping are growing at a rate of 15% a year. And to keep up companies are following consumers into the digital world.  read more »

Celebrity Endorsements


Want to know what your favorite celebrity is into these days; head to Twitter.

Thanks to the five year old social network you can follow every thought coming out of Hollywood. And some start-ups are now using Twitter to cash in on those thoughts. The idea is to connect celebrities with companies willing to pay them for a tweet. And the stars aren’t turning down the easy money, no matter how obscure the product.

Companies say Twitter has become an easy way to grab an audience and is cheaper than most advertising campaigns. And there’s a science behind it. The effectiveness of a paid tweet is measured by how many times it’s re-posted and how many followers the celebrity has.  read more »

Merry Christmas...Or Else

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These days it’s safer to be politically correct; but if you’re a major retail store, it can hurt your bottom line.

Over the past years you may have noticed signs that read “Happy Holidays” or “Season’s Greetings” adorning the windows of your favorite store. But this year the message will most likely read “Merry Christmas” whether you celebrate the holiday or not.  read more »

When Sex Doesn't Sell


Advertisers have always believed that sex is the best way to sell. But one ad campaign in London may have taken the scandal in scandalous a bit too far.

A British advertising watchdog is going after a saucy ad campaign for smoked sausages that asks listeners to reveal "where you like to stick yours." The ads for Mattesons Sausages received twenty one complaints from listeners who said they were offensive because of their sexual suggestions and shouldn’t be aired when children may be listening.

One commerical asks listeners to "think about all the things you can stick this tasty and extraordinarily large sausage in." It goes on to say "pizza, pasta or stir fry. You have ideas give me a call and tell me where you like to stick it."  read more »

The Best of Times - The Worst of Times


Just this past week the Hearst Corporation announced from New York that “in an effort to reverse the deepening operating losses of its San Francisco Chronicle, it is seeking significant near-term cost savings that would include deep cuts in both union and non-union staff.” In its statement Hearst said “if the savings cannot be accomplished quickly the company will seek a buyer, and if none comes forward, it will close the Chronicle”.

The Chronicle lost more than $50 million in 2008 and is on a pace to lose more than that this year, Hearst said. The company had announced January 9th that if a buyer is not found by March for one of its other 15 newspaper holdings, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, it will close that paper, which has lost money since 2000.  read more »

Media Careers Crater


Being closer to the end than the beginning of my own very rewarding media career, I can sympathize with the thousands of younger aspiring journalists who are faced with a rapidly deteriorating job market that may not give them the chance to get in on the ground floor of such an exciting industry.

And seasoned veterans are not being spared from the economic tsunami washing over the media business. Long time local TV and radio news anchors and reporters are being unceremoniously shown the door in cities all across the country. Magazines and newspapers are also in free fall, with huge layoffs in editorial, operational and marketing divisions at some of the country’s biggest publications.  read more »

Ratings Up: Revenue Down

Broadcast media is now getting hit with the same economic tidal wave that has been pushing newspapers and magazines under water. But it’s not just due to the internet turning consumers from couch potatoes into keyboard clickers. It’s also advertising dollars now disappearing from all forms of traditional media.

Here is a case in point.

The other day I played golf with a long-time friend of mine who is also in the media business. He anchors a very popular morning radio show in the San Francisco Bay Area. When I asked how things were going for him given the always tenuous nature of careers in broadcasting, he said, “Ratings for my show are through the roof. We have no problem getting listeners. The problem is we have no buyers.”  read more »