Sunday, June 30, 2013

11252: BP Takes The Stand—Again.

It’s hard to feel sorry for wrongdoings being committed against corporate criminals.

11251: Big Logo For Sale.

From The Chicago Tribune…

United auctions logo, letters from former HQ building

By Gregory Karp | Tribune reporter

The giant United Airlines tulip logo and U-N-I-T-E-D letters from atop the carrier’s former headquarters building on Wacker Drive in Chicago will be auctioned off as a fundraiser, the airline said Friday.

United this week opened its first online silent auction to benefit the United Airlines Scholarship Fund. The logo from 77 W. Wacker is being auctioned separately from the United letters, which will be sold as a set. The auction is open to the public, and bidders can place bids through their smart phones at

On Friday morning, the United letters, measuring 5 feet high and weighing up to 75 pounds each, hadn’t received a bid above its starting bid of $1,000. But the tulip logo, used by United since 1974, received a high bid of $2,600. It measures 5 feet high and weighs about 100 pounds. The logo was designed by American graphic designer and Academy Award-winning filmmaker Saul Bass.

The logo is no longer used. When United and Continental merged in 2010, the newly formed company adopted United’s name and Continental’s globe logo.

United installed the sign in 2007 when the airline moved its headquarters to Chicago from Elk Grove Village. It was taken down last month when the company moved several blocks to Willis Tower in Chicago.

United is also auctioning off other items including vacation packages, sports tickets and electronics. The auction is open until July 12.

The fund is a nonprofit organization that awards educational scholarships to United employees and their dependents. Since 2002, the fund has awarded 2,161 scholarships worth more than $7 million, the airline said.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

11250: They’re Magically Prideful.

From The New York Daily News…

General Mills celebrates LGBT Pride with Lucky Charms-inspired campaign

The company’s #LuckyToBe social media campaign features the magically delicious cereal’s rainbow marshmallow and encourages people to tweet about what they are thankful for and the things that make them special.

By Victoria Taylor / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Lucky Charms is perhaps the perfect cereal to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Pride since it already includes a rainbow.

General Mills and advertising agency McCann Always On saw their chance and used the colorful marshmallow as the face of their #LuckytoBe campaign, which asks people to use the hashtag to post pictures and tweets about what makes them, well, lucky.

“We’re celebrating Pride month with whimsical delight, magical charms, and two new rainbow marshmallows,” the company said on the campaign website. “If you’re lucky enough to be different, we’re celebrating you.”

The campaign also includes a cute video, which was posted to YouTube on June 18.

General Mills executives recently came out in support of marriage equality in the company’s home state of Minnesota.

A number of companies launched Pride-inspired campaigns both before and after the historic Supreme Court rulings on Prop 8 and DOMA earlier this week. Nike released its latest line of rainbow-colored #BeTrue sneakers in honor of LGBT Pride month. Looking up words including “gay,” “lesbian” and “homosexuality” currently triggers a rainbow around the Google search bar and YouTube spotlighted the LGBT community in its #ProudtoLove campaign.

American Apparel, Red Bull, Marriott and Bud Light are some of the many brands that have also expressed their support for marriage equality and Pride.

Friday, June 28, 2013

11249: Allstate’s Mayhem Is A Major Fail.

Advertising Age reported GEICO is about to jump over Allstate for the second-place position among insurers. The impotence of Mayhem had previously been noted by the trade publication—and by this blog too. In fact, MultiCultClassics has hated the lame campaign from the start. Is it a coincidence that world-class liar Mark LaNeve boasts having overseen the creation of the mess? Time for Dennis Haysbert to take over.

Geico Poised to Drive Past Allstate

Biggest-Spending Insurer Closes in on No. 2 Slot Behind State Farm

By E.J. Schultz

Geico might soon cause a little of its own mayhem in the auto-insurance market.

The marketer—which spends some $1 billion a year on gecko and pig-filled advertising—is poised to surpass Allstate as the nation’s second-largest auto insurance company, according to business data company SNL Financial.

Geico has already passed Allstate for the first-quarter period, writing $4.72 billion in auto direct premiums compared with $4.53 billion for Allstate, according to SNL, which noted in a report this month that it is the first time Geico has surged ahead of its rival in a single reporting period.

For the year, Allstate still leads—but barely. The insurer, whose advertising includes the “Mayhem” campaign, kept the No. 2 spot in auto insurance for the 12-month period ended March 31 by a narrow margin, with $17.65 billion in premiums to Geico’s $17.16 billion. The Chicago Tribune first reported the numbers.

State Farm remains the leader, with $8.43 billion in direct premiums in the first quarter.

SNL noted that Geico’s business has more seasonality than Allstate’s, meaning that the “Good Hands” company could regain its familiar second-place position in the second quarter. But in a separate report, SNL projected that “after years of consistent premium growth, Geico is in position to become the second-largest U.S. personal auto writer in 2013.”

In an interview with Ad Age, Geico Chief Marketing Officer Ted Ward said the company is “a little shy” about talking about No. 2 until the annual tally is published. (And for that, the company looks to data from A.M. Best.) But “we’ve been the fastest-growing for the last 10 [years],” he added, noting that if trends continue “we will remain the second-largest.”

Allstate declined to comment.

Geico has fueled its growth by spending big on multiple ad campaigns that relentlessly push a savings message. Geico’s ad-spending rise has been astronomical, jumping from the 87th-biggest spending brand across all industries in 2003 to No. 7 in 2011, according to the Ad Age Data Center. Ad Age will publish 2012 brand data on July 8, but Geico seems poised to keep climbing. According to SNL, the marketer spent $1.1 billion on property and casualty insurance advertising last year, up 12.45% from the year before, ranking ahead of Allstate ($828.8 million) and State Farm ($777.9 million).

Geico’s newest campaign, called “Did You Know?” will debut Monday. The ads, by Martin Agency, have some fun with the notion that “everybody knows” Geico’s long-running tagline: “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.” In classic Geico-style, each spot ends with a one-liner. In one ad, a man replies to his wife that, “Yep, everybody knows that” after she repeats the tagline. Then she says: “But did you know that some owls aren’t that wise?” In the next scene a female owl tells her “husband” about her plans for having lunch with a friend tomorrow. But all the male keeps saying is “Who?”

The savings tagline is “arguably the longest-running call-to-action tagline in advertising, going over 19 years,” said Wade Alger, Martin’s creative director for the Geico account. “We are the only ones who could question [our] own tagline.”

11248: Rebuilding Bronzecomm.

From The Chicago Tribune…

Technology advances force community activist to revamp business

Bronzecomm creator has to rebuild subscribers after a decade after being flagged as spam

By Lolly Bowean, Chicago Tribune reporter

When Raynard Villa Hall started his online newsletter, Bronzecomm, in 2002, he envisioned it as a way to connect community activists and as a tool to get the word out about progressive events occurring in Chicago’s African-American community.

So for years he woke up in the dark, early morning hours and sifted through online announcements, fliers, Web posts, Listservs and blogs to create a list of events, gatherings and information he wanted to share. Then he would simply email his newsletter to the 22,000-plus addresses he had compiled over the years, one by one.

But now, a decade later, changes in technology have threatened how Hall does his work, he said.

He was recently flagged as a spammer and kicked off his email server. And after several emotional conversations with technology representatives, he was barred from access to his list of email addresses.

“The term ‘spam’ had not even been coined when I started doing this,” Hall said. “There were no regulations.

“The technical (regulations) killed me. It shut me down.”

Now Hall, whose work has been profiled in the Tribune, is starting from scratch, trying to rebuild his following. And rather than just emailing to his readers, they have to use a website to sign up for his online newsletter, then verify their subscriptions.

What happened to Hall is common in this time of sophisticated spam filters, experts said.

Because Hall started his work long before the format for Listservs, blogs and e-newsletters became popular, it seems he was allowed to send his newsletter without problems for many years. In fact, officials with his email server said that because he was such a longtime customer, they grandfathered him in and let him send to thousands without much complaint.

Hall started his newsletter about 12 years ago and typically sends emails three times a week to draw attention to small events and community gatherings that normally wouldn’t get much media attention.

He earns a fee for emailing some listings, like museum exhibits and commercial events. But the majority of information he shares centers on community work.

But now, more and more email servers are growing intolerant of people they identify as spammers.

“That he made it this far is actually pretty remarkable,” said Steve Jones, a professor of communications at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It’s a bit of a surprise that he’s worked as long as he has without running into trouble.”

Part of Hall’s problem could be that a growing number of people don’t check their email or rely on it as heavily for information anymore, Jones said. People drop their email addresses frequently, and Hall’s mass emails could accidentally fall into a junk folder. Others may have flagged his emails as spam to their servers instead of contacting him directly.

To email providers, it means he isn’t properly managing whom he is getting in contact with, Jones said.

“A fair number of people have abandoned email,” Jones said. “People who are under 30 are using email far less and using social networking sites as a way to communicate much more than email. They are also texting a lot.

“What he’s facing is what email marketers and corporations and universities face all the time,” Jones said. “One percent of his subscriber base may change email addresses in a week. Managing the list becomes a full-time job.”

According to officials with EarthLink, where Hall originally held his email account, his work was flagged because too many readers on his email list were reporting his notes as spam to their own servers.

Officials offered Hall two options — rework his email list or get kicked out, said Betsy Maness, senior customer relations manager with EarthLink.

“Ten years ago, when people sent out to their mailing lists, there weren’t a lot of things in place to identify spam or report it. Today the servers are clogged with spam and consumers don’t want it,” she said. “The Internet technology is more sophisticated and the consumers have spoken. They want ways to stop this.”

Hall didn’t have the updated permissions from his readers that allowed his subscribers to verify that they wanted the newsletter. He didn’t know each person he was emailing, nor if all the email addresses were active, Maness said.

So Hall is reluctantly starting over.

“It’s challenging to rebuild,” he said. “Now my readers have to jump through hoops if they want to subscribe. They basically have to insist on being placed on the email list.

“Some people may be skeptical. They don’t want to fill out a form or give a last name. Not only do I have to comply, I have to get my readers to conform,” he said.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

11247: Kmart And Draftfcb Pee In Pool.

Wonder if this stupid Kmart commercial featuring a hippo in a pool is the back-up for the concept that killed a shark—nice job, Draftfcb!

11246: Four Horsemen Of Ad Apocalypse.

Campaign published a pathetic piece—“The kings of La Croisette line up for advertising’s Olympics”—featuring the four leaders of the largest holding companies sharing their thoughts on Cannes. While Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy actually has legitimate history at the annual event, IPG CEO Michael Roth sounded like a travel agent. WPP CEO Sir Martin Sorrell gushed that nothing is as important as the quality of the work and Omnicom CEO John Wren gushed about Omnicom. Honestly, do these assholes believe for a second that anyone feels inspired to be working for them?

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

11245: Paula Deen & Judy Smith—BFF.

Advertising Age reported Paula Deen hired Smith & Co.—whose CEO Judy Smith (pictured above) served as inspiration for Kerry Washington’s character on ABC series “Scandal”—to help deal with the turmoil caused by her use of racial slurs. Deen should have just hired Washington. It would have made for better TV.

Paula Deen Hires Smith & Co., Inspiration for ‘Scandal,’ Gets Letters of Support From Brands

D.C. Shop Recently Worked for Former CIA Chief David Petraeus

By Alexandra Bruell

Paula Deen has hired D.C. crisis firm Smith & Co. as she faces backlash and loses sponsorship deals amid allegations that she has used racial slurs.

Ms. Deen’s management team reached out to the firm a few days ago, an executive familiar with the matter said, after she had already canceled her planned Friday appearance on “The Today Show” and issued a pair of poorly-received YouTube videos instead.

Smith & Co. CEO Judy Smith, who served as the inspiration for Kerry Washington’s character on ABC’s “Scandal,” declined to comment.

In what was likely a first move by the new PR team, Ms. Deen rescheduled her interview with Matt Lauer on “The Today Show” this morning. She broke out in tears as she said she had only used the “N” word while being held at gunpoint.

But Ms. Deen, already scuttled by Smithfield Foods and The Food Network, was also dropped Wednesday by Caesars Entertainment, which has four Paula Deen-branded restaurants in its properties.

Smith & Co. will likely try to focus attention on the business partners that have stuck by Ms. Deen so far, including Novo Nordisk, maker of the diabetes treatment Victoza; Springer Mountain Chicken; Landies Candies; and Tasty Blend Foods.

“Tasty Blend Foods was very pleased with the Paula Deen interview given this morning on the Today Show,” Tasty Blend said in a statement Wednesday. “We appreciate her commitment and how she stepped up and apologized to her viewers, fans and the nation. We personally endorse Paula Deen and what she stands for. We are very saddened that she is being judged by her past, everyone has made a mistake sometime in their lives. We look forward to our continued partnership with her.”

Landies Candies President Larry Szrama also issued a letter of support. “Your interview this morning reaffirms who you really are and what you believe,” he wrote. “We count it a privilege to be your friend and business partner and look forward to sweet success in the future.”

A Random House spokesman said Monday that it is monitoring the situation but remains on course to publish “Paula Deen’s New Testament: 250 Favorite Recipes, All Lightened Up” this fall.

Ms. Deen also has a line of food, cookware and other products sold at national retailers across the country, including Walmart, Kmart and Target. It is not yet clear whether the retail giants will continue to sell the products.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

11244: Picture Perfect Puke.

Did anyone get a picture of the hackneyed male judges who awarded this campaign a Lion at Cannes?

From Ads of the World.

11243: Voting On Voting Rights Act.

From The New York Daily News…

Supreme Court strikes down part of Voting Rights Act

The justices said in 5-4 vote that the law Congress most recently renewed in 2006 relies on 40-year-old data that does not reflect racial progress and changes in U.S. society.


WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court threw out key elements of the Voting Rights Act Tuesday, telling Congress to revise the critical formula by which one determines if local voting laws are illegal.

The 5-4 decision leaves in distinct limbo the historic 1965 law that opened the voting booth to millions of mostly African-Americans voters who had been shafted, even as it maintains its ruling “in no way affects the permanent, nationwide ban on racial discrimination in voting.”

The ruling means that even as the court keeps in place the theoretically critical section of the law, Section 5, the section would seem to have little practical impact now unless Congress will pass a new provision making clear which states and localities it would actually cover.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said, “Our country has changed, and while any racial discrimination in voting is too much, Congress must ensure that the legislation it passes to remedy that problems speaks to currents conditions.”

Somewhat predictably, Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito joined Roberts. The minority consisted by Justice Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

President Obama, in a statement Tuesday, said he was “deeply disappointed” with the decision and called on Congress to pass new legislation to guarantee voting rights.

“As a nation, we’ve made a great deal of progress towards guaranteeing every American the right to vote. But, as the Supreme Court recognized, voting discrimination still exists,” Obama said. “And while today’s decision is a setback, it doesn’t represent the end of our efforts to end voting discrimination.”

The 1965 Voting Rights act was a major achievement by President Lyndon B. Johnson and came amid clear evidence of rampant attempts to keep blacks away from the polls, especially in the south, by setting up unfair demands, like literacy tests, before they could get a ballot.

There are portions of 15 states that now must get approval from the Justice Department before they alter either the shape of their election districts or regulations involving voting, including the locations where citizens vote.

The department has frequently raised objections to procedures in those areas and the key provision in the law has been extended several times. It was last extended in 2006, to go through the year 2031, after an extension was overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed by then-President George W. Bush.

But many states and local governments have long been upset with what they consider the needless expense and time spent trying to comply with the critical preclearance process.

They have also maintained that the original formula used to make decisions is outdated in how it uses voter registration and turnout data, among other metrics. They also point to increasing voter registration among minorities, notably blacks, as well as the election of President Obama as evidence that the act is outlived its usefulness.

They clearly found a sympathetic ear in Roberts, who wrote:

“In 1965, the states could be divided into two groups: those with a recent history of voting tests and low voter registration and turnout, and those without those characteristics. Congress based its coverage formula on that distinction. Today the nation is no longer divided along those lines, yet the Voting Rights Act continues to treat it as if it were.”

While the decision was not necessarily a surprise, it remains “fairly shocking that the court would in effect strike down one of the two most important pillars of the Voting Rights Act, one of the most successful civil rights statutes ever passed by Congress,” said Nicholas Stephanopoulos of the University of Chicago Law School.

“I think they made a real mistake,” he said. “Now, what happens in the parts of the country formally protected by this provision, mostly the Deep South?”

He would not predict that the decision means that jurisdictions will now engage in racial discrimination. But, he said, other legal ways of halting such discrimination are simply not as effective as what the court struck down.

11242: The Art Of Suicide…?

Growing increasingly unimpressed with Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Here’s another questionable campaign that received a Lion, tackling the sensitive topic of suicide with an art promotion and headline reading, “Hang me again.” Would a greater representation of female jurors have resulted in more deserving winners?

From Ads of the World.

Monday, June 24, 2013

11241: Delayed WTF 24—Cannes Jurors.

MultiCultClassics is often occupied with real work. As a result, a handful of events occur without the expected blog commentary. This limited series—Delayed WTF—seeks to make belated amends for the absence of malice.

Wanted to revisit the alleged dearth of dames in Cannes jury panels. Don’t mean to denigrate the cause, as all forms of discrimination deserve serious consideration. However, is spotlighting the juror disparity really the best way to make a global argument for gender equality in the advertising and marketing fields?

For starters, it’s the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. The event is hardly a celebration of diversity and inclusion. It’s closer to being the industry’s version of Caligula or Animal House, replete with parties featuring porn rooms (was Cindy Gallop behind the entertainment at that particular soiree…?). Hollering for fair representation at Cannes is the equivalent of Jeff Goodby asking, “Where are all the Black people?” at a KKK rally—or any major U.S. advertising agency, for that matter.

Hollie Repello’s chart—which has been revised to correct the typo—doesn’t exactly make a damning case either. Remember, Cannes is supposed to be a creative spectacle. Gender underrepresentation in the creative department has already been recognized, researched and rebutted. The infamous notions of Neil French have essentially been corroborated by adwomen. Besides, the seemingly low creative department numbers shouldn’t equate to discrimination, as women are very well represented in other areas, including account management, planning, media and accounting. Once Cannes introduces Lions for non-creative functions—a real possibility given the newer awards for holding companies, executives and healthcare marketing—women can expect to match or overtake men in the French Riviera.

“Women in Advertising”—a PR-style video shot at Cannes that stars IPG CEO Michael Roth and Deutsch NYC CEO Val DiFebo—underscored the complexities. Roth came off like the insurance salesman that he is, spouting the stereotypical objectives sans a single specific action step. Meanwhile, DiFebo is no less clueless today than she was when addressing the same topic last year. Hey, somebody track down Leo Burnett CCO Susan Credle—provided she’s not too busy meeting more Hong Kong telecom executives—and ask her to weigh in on the struggles women face in the ad game too.

USA TODAY also reported on the dearth of dames on Cannes juries. It’s a safe bet the public won’t care about the story, provided anyone actually read it. Barbara Lippert threw in her two cents as well, although it’s a little astonishing that the veteran trade journalist and Curator of Pop Culture is just now noticing the issue after decades of covering the industry.

One theory to explain the overall underrepresentation opines the industry has no role models for women to emulate. This idea kinda insults all the successful women in advertising, no? Perhaps a Chief Diversity Officer will launch a female minority internship program. Or a Cannes committee can scour undeveloped nations in search of future Young Lionesses via a female minority internship programme. The 4As could erect a Peggy Olson High School. Surely The One Club and Art Directors Club will concoct innovative solutions. Well, maybe not the Art Directors Club.

As MultiCultClassics has already mentioned, it’s hard to support the revolution when there is no unity—or even agreement that a problem exists. Is gender discrimination truly happening in the industry? The jury is still out.

11240: State Farm Is There. Pam El Is Not.

From Advertising Age…

Pam El Departs State Farm

Marketing VP Oversaw Big Advertising Changes at Nation’s Largest Auto Insurer

By E.J. Schultz

Pam El has left State Farm after an 11-year run, including most recently serving as marketing VP. She has been replaced by Leif Roll, a 14-year veteran of the company’s marketing department, a spokeswoman confirmed.

Ms. El led the Bloomington, Ill.-based company through a branding makeover as the nation’s largest auto insurer fought off big-spending competitors such as Geico, Progressive and Allstate. She led the marketer’s first logo redesign in 60 years, while overseeing humor-filled ad campaigns in a move to keep the company relevant with younger consumers.

Last year Ad Age named Ms. El as one of the 100 most influential women in advertising, joining a list of other female power players, pioneers and innovators. State Farm ranks as the nation’s 55th-largest advertiser at $775.8 million in U.S. spending, according to the latest ranking from the Ad Age Data Center.

Ms. El joined State Farm in 2002 after stints at Martin Agency, US West and Terabeam.

Mr. Roll joined State Farm in 1999 as assistant VP-marketing and was promoted to VP-marketing in 2004. (Although that title sounds similar to his new position, he was outranked by Ms. El until he succeeded her.) Prior to joining State Farm, Mr. Roll spent 18 years in the banking industry, with stints at Mellon Financial Services, First Union Bank and Key Bank.

As Ms. El did, Mr. Roll will report to Christy Moberly, senior VP for agency and marketing and Rand Harbert, exec VP-chief agency sales and marketing officer.

11239: Crappy Coke Cannes.

A free can of Coke to anyone who can explain how this Coke campaign won at Cannes. While you’re at it, explain this one too.

From Ads of the World.

11238: Latino Lions.

From Advertising Age…

Hispanic Shops Alma, Gallegos, La Comu, Lapiz And LatinWorks Win At Cannes

Pan-Latino New York Restaurant Comodo Run By Agency Execs Picks Up Lion In Mobile Category

By Laurel Wentz

In a good year for the U.S. Hispanic market, five Hispanic agencies won eight Lions at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

Independent Grupo Gallegos won two prizes for a long-running campaign for the California Milk Processor Board to encourage Hispanics in California to drink more milk. A Silver Lion in the film category recognized TV commercial “Battle,” depicting a child’s fantastical dreams from drinking a glassful of milk before bedtime. A Bronze media Lion went to the “Bedtime Stories” campaign children to bed with a bedtime story. The agency also created a series of bilingual story books, distributed through pediatricians’ offices as well as downloaded from a website, that feature milk in a heroic role in the narratives.

Alma DDB won two Silver Lions, in the outdoor and promo & activation categories, for “The Glad Tent.” Alma tackled the issue of sustainability, developing giant Glad trash bags in the form of tents. Ten Glad Tents were distributed at SXSW to attendees who promised to live in them and then use the tents as a giant trash bag to dispose of rubbish at the end of the festival. The Glad Tent was perfectly targeted to millennials who care about the environment but wouldn’t normally feel a connection to Clorox’s Glad brand.

Omnicom-based LatinWorks won a film Silver for “Pool,” a spot promoting a parental control bar for the internet offered free by nonprofit WRAAC. And Cine Las Americas, an Austin, Texas festival for Latin American films that garners creative awards for LatinWorks every year, picked up a radio Bronze for “Maduro.” The campaign features absurd but genuine speeches by Latin American leaders, and always ends with the tagline “If this is our reality, imagine our films.” This year the presidential campaign by Nicolas Maduro after the death of Venezuela’s former leader Hugo Chavez was a gift to LatinWorks. The agency seized on one of the most absurd moments of Mr. Maduro’s campaign, when he started making bird calls on the campaign trail and claiming he had been visited by Mr. Chavez in the form of a little bird.

Miami-based independent La Comunidad, run by Argentine brothers Jose and Joaquin Molla, picked up a Bronze outdoor Lion for Converse shoes’ “Converse Highways”, a series of outdoor art installations that brought life and culture to otherwise dismal spots such as space under bridges. The installations were done in three countries in Latin America.

Lapiz, Leo Burnett’s U.S. Hispanic agency, a frequent award winner for its Procter & Gamble work for the Latino market, took home a bronze Press Lion for a print campaign for P&G’s Gain With Oxi, for ads “Soccer”, “Horror Movie” and “Zombie”.

In a surprise win, two former ad-agency executives from Latin America who quit their jobs and opened pan-Latino restaurant Comodo (Spanish for “comfortable”) in New York in July 2012 won a Bronze Lion in the mobile category with an Instagram menu. To generate buzz for the new restaurant, promote the cuisine and highlight the eatery’s playful personality, the hashtag #ComodoMenu was added to the restaurant’s real menu. Guests were invited to add and browse different dishes.

Although Comodo’s agency is not Hispanic, Comodo’s owners Felipe Donnelly and Tamy Rofe met while working at Ogilvy Mexico—Ms. Rolfe is from Mexico City and Mr. Donnelly grew up all over Latin America. The campaign was done and entered at Cannes by Romanian friends who formed Brooklyn-based creative collective Raul X Mihai X Mihnea.

The U.S. had one Hispanic-agency judge at Cannes this year. Sergio Alcocer, LatinWorks’ president and chief creative officer, was on the film jury in his second stint as a Cannes juror.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

11237: Mad Men Season 6 Fades To White.

In the final episode of AMC series Mad Men Season 6, Dawn Chambers made a cameo appearance, handing Don Draper his coat and briefcase as he left the office. At one point, Draper considered moving to Los Angeles, which might have resulted in the firing of his secretary. Draper later took his kids to see the whorehouse where he grew up, and there was a Black kid on the front porch.

The latest season of Mad Men ultimately—albeit unintentionally—reflected the modern advertising industry perfectly. That is, non-White people are background players, only momentarily spotlighted when necessary.

Dawn Chambers had brief screen time after Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated. But she faded away once the event was forgotten.

Minorities are essentially service providers, poor people, muggers, prostitutes, burglars and murderers (if Manolo turns out to have killed Pete Campbell’s mother).

White women, on the other hand, are a different story. While apparently underrepresented in the overall scheme of things, they do hold leading roles—and their power, authority and respect grow daily. Trouble is, they’re not unified in moving forward.

Yep, Mad Men continues to display the reality on Madison Avenue in the 1960s and beyond.

11236: Pride And Prejudice.

From The Los Angeles Times…

Transgender pride festival celebrates freedoms but isn’t carefree

Last month’s attack on a transgender woman in Hollywood serves as a reminder of ongoing discrimination and dangers. Still, ‘we’ve come a long way,’ an attendee says.

By Kurt Streeter, Los Angeles Times

In late May, a transgender woman named Vivian was viciously attacked while walking on Hollywood Boulevard, a reminder of the sharp-edged danger still facing the transgender community.

“As much progress as there has been, we have to live with one eye open, always looking over our shoulders,” Rodrigo Lehtinen, 27, said Saturday afternoon as he stood in a courtyard a few blocks from the near-fatal beating. Lehtinen surveyed the scene before him: a lively group of about 400 transgender men and women gathered for the 14th annual Trans Pride L.A. festival. “There are still terrible reminders of the problems we face, like the attack on Vivian,” he said. “There are also more moments like this, where we can come together, openly, without living in fear.”

Lehtinen’s sentiments, echoed repeatedly at the festival, highlight the nuanced struggle for a community reveling in new freedoms while still facing an uphill battle against discrimination. The two-day event ended Saturday and featured music and art, as well as booths run by advocacy groups. There was also a clinic on health insurance, a sign-up for applicants interested in legally changing their names and genders and a moderated conversation with Laverne Cox, a transgender actress with a role in an upcoming Netflix series, “Orange Is the New Black.”

“The light and relaxed mood here is something a lot of us couldn’t imagine until very recently,” said Isabella McGrath, a 34-year-old art historian who said she began hormone replacement therapy to help her become a woman three years ago. McGrath smiled, reflecting on recent shifts in how her community views itself and is viewed by others. (Polls show Americans growing more accepting of transgender people.)

Seeing large groups of transgender people gathering in open, daytime celebration is still rare but becoming more common, McGrath said. “We’ve come a long way, but we’re at the beginning, and there’s still a long way to go…. We worry about our jobs and where we live. I worry a lot about being attacked.”

A few feet behind McGrath, on a piece of orange fabric that festival-goers were adorning with hand-written messages, three words were penned in black ink: “Justice for Vivian.”

The note referred to the brazen May 31 attack by a group of four men on the transgender restaurant worker. The woman, identified by authorities only as Vivian, was knocked to the ground, stomped and kicked repeatedly, an attack that left her hospitalized with broken bones and once again galvanized a community that has long lived with the fear of deadly hate crimes.

Last week the Los Angeles Police Department announced the arrest of one of the four wanted in the attack. Many at the festival saw that as a hopeful sign, simply because relations between police and the transgender community have often been tense. “The police are finally taking us seriously,” one man, who didn’t want to be identified, said as he looked at a pamphlet about spirituality and sexual identity. “Before, it felt like we didn’t matter.”

Added Jake Finney, a 42-year-old who works on anti-violence campaigns for the gay and lesbian center: “What happened to Vivian is one side of our lives, but this is just as important. I look up at the people here — a diverse group of people, all races and backgrounds, people who might not usually interact — it’s amazing for us to feel this free … this empowered and affirmed.”

In the courtyard, a woman slung a hula hoop around her hips and danced beside a smiling man. People mingled and chatted and met for the first time. A singer stood on a stage, strumming a guitar and belting out a Christina Aguilera song: “I am beautiful, no matter what they say. Words can’t bring me down. I am beautiful in every single way.”

11235: Bad Translations.

The most skilled U.N. interpreter would have difficulty communicating the idea behind this campaign.

From Ads of the World.

11234: Culturally Clueless Cars…?

From The New York Times…

When Cars Assume Ethnic Identities

By Glenn Collins

Coming to a showroom near you for 2014: the first sport utility vehicle in its class equipped with a 9-speed automatic transmission. It’s also the first to offer a parallel-parking feature. And, in 4-wheel-drive models, the rear axle disconnects automatically, for fuel efficiency.

Oh, yes: its name is the Jeep Cherokee.

Hold on — wasn’t that model name retired more than a decade ago? Wasn’t it replaced by the Jeep Liberty for 2002?

Yet now, in a time of heightened sensitivity over stereotypes, years after ethnic, racial and gender labeling has been largely erased from sports teams, products and services, Jeep is reviving an American Indian model name. Why?

“In the automobile business, you constantly have to reinvent yourself, and sometimes it’s best to go back to the future,” said Allen Adamson, managing director of the New York office of Landor Associates, a brand and corporate identity consultancy.

Jeep, a division of the Chrysler Group, explained that its market research revealed a marked fondness for the name. The 2014 version, said Jim Morrison, director of Jeep marketing, “is a new, very capable vehicle that has the Cherokee name and Cherokee heritage. Our challenge was, as a brand, to link the past image to the present.”

The company says it respects changed attitudes toward stereotyping. “We want to be politically correct, and we don’t want to offend anybody,” Mr. Morrison said. Regarding the Cherokee name, he added: “We just haven’t gotten any feedback that was disparaging.”

Well, here’s some: “We are really opposed to stereotypes,” said Amanda Clinton, a spokeswoman for the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma. “It would have been nice for them to have consulted us in the very least.”

But, she added, the Cherokee name is not copyrighted, and the tribe has been offered no royalties for the use of the name. “We have encouraged and applauded schools and universities for dropping offensive mascots,” she said, but stopped short of condemning the revived Jeep Cherokee because, “institutionally, the tribe does not have a stance on this.”

So far, marketing materials for the 2014 Cherokee model have eschewed references to, or portrayals of, American Indians and their symbols. That’s a far cry from the excesses of past years, when marketers went beyond embracing stereotyping to reveling in it. Indeed, Chrysler’s restraint seems an indication of just how much things have changed.

For decades, American Indian tribal names have helped to propel automobiles out of showrooms. Return with us now to the era when Pontiac’s sales brochures carried illustrations comparing its 6-cylinder engines to six red-painted, feathered cartoon Indian braves rowing a canoe.

Or review Pontiac’s marketing copy, which proclaimed that “among the names of able Indian warriors known to the white race in America, that of Pontiac, chief of the Ottawas and accepted leader of the Algonquin family of tribes, stands pre-eminent.” Of course, the visage of the chief was appropriated as a hood ornament.

Many other tribes were adopted as marketing tools. Long gone is the Jeep Comanche pickup truck, sold in the late 1980s, along with the Jeep Comanche Eliminator.

Certainly, American Indian names are still in the market: consider Indian motorcycles, about to resurface under yet another new owner, Polaris Industries. And Chrysler’s full-sized S.U.V., the Grand Cherokee, introduced in 1992 as a larger version of the Cherokee and still a market leader. In fact, its success was a reason for the revival of the Cherokee name for a midsize S.U.V.

American Indians have hardly been alone in the cavalcade of automobile cultural stereotyping. In the 1950s, advertising for the Studebaker Scotsman didn’t actually use the word cheapskate, but prospective buyers were informed that “when you and your family sit in your thrifty Scotsman...this great Studebaker body cradles you, your family and friends in safety.” It should be noted, though, that the Scotsman featured cardboard door panels and its hubcaps and trim weren’t chrome-plated: they were painted silver.

While there is no indication that the General Motors Viking was discontinued in the early 1930s because of protests by outraged Scandinavians, it’s a certainty that no automaker’s copy writers would dare write today that “the development of the Viking car closely parallels the development of the Viking youth in attaining manhood,” where “only those best fitted for leadership survived to contribute to the strength and superiorities of the race.”

Moreover, in the Roaring Twenties there was no apparent feminist backlash against the Little Jordan Tomboy. The cover of its 1927 advertising brochure depicted a smart, stylish woman in jodphurs and knee-length boots, clutching a riding crop. The purple marketing prose stated that “I am the Little Jordan Tomboy,” with “a thousand miles of open road before my saucy nose.”

Also hard to fathom today is the Studebaker Dictator, “Champion of its Class,” discontinued after 1937, when the rise of Hitler and Mussolini gave the model name an unpleasant odor.

In the late 1920s, the quest for association with high-profile leaders led the Windsor Autoworks in St. Louis to shamelessly place a color portrait of the Prince of Wales on its 1929 brochure for a new vehicle, The White Prince. Buckingham Palace was not amused, and expressed its displeasure.

American Indians have long opposed derogatory sports-team labels and likened fans’ use of war paint to the derogation of African-Americans with blackface. The N.C.A.A. has forbidden the use of nicknames, as well as mascots, logos, signs and band uniforms that are “deemed hostile or abusive in terms of race, ethnicity or national origin.”

In 1994, St. John’s University in New York changed the name of its sports teams from the Redmen to the Red Storm. Also gone are the Miami Redskins and the Marquette University Warriors; the Southeastern Oklahoma State University Savages are now the Savage Storm.

The Washington Redskins have resisted; so have the Atlanta Braves, opposing a name change or the discontinuation of its tomahawk chop. But the Braves’ team mascots, Chief Noc-A-Homa and Princess Win-A-Lotta, have been remaindered.

Even aside from the use of an American Indian tribal name in the Jeep Cherokee, the risks are high in the introduction of any vehicle. Automobile experts estimate the cost of renewing a nameplate like Jeep Cherokee at more than $50 million.

Why, given these risks, return to a discontinued brand? “Coming up with new names is very expensive these days,” said Mr. Adamson, the brand consultant, explaining that trademark research, focus groups and legal due diligence can be costly. The growing quest for viable names — and the third-rail of stereotypical labeling — are possible explanations for the advent of such hard-to-spell monikers as the Volkswagen Tiguan, and the growing adoption of concocted names like Acura, Elantra, Infiniti and Lexus — as well as the proliferation of alphanumeric designations.

“New models have all of these three-letter-code designations that mean nothing to me,” said Stephen W. Hayes, a Manhattan automotive historian and a collector of printed auto memorabilia, of nameplates like MKX, RX 350, F-150, 328i, QX56 and GL450 that populate the auto world. “Companies don’t name their cars as colorfully anymore.”

Nevertheless, “just the name of a brand itself is one of the most powerful marketing tools you have,” Mr. Adamson said. “Automobile brands define who you are, and Cherokee summons up rich associations.”

The Jeep Cherokee was a winner from the start, introduced in 1974 as a sport utility vehicle with the latest gadgets. Recent market research revealed that “there was so much passion behind the Cherokee,” Mr. Morrison, the Jeep marketing director, said. “What was really interesting was that people’s fondness for the Cherokee was greater than that for Liberty.”

Giving the new Jeep its old tribal name may have seemed just another acceptable risk. “Names can be polarizing, and can cause controversy, so you have to be careful,” Mr. Adamson said, but opposition to brand names has become something of a national pastime. “Anytime you introduce a name, someone will be upset.”

A name that has zero associations is even more likely to sabotage a new model’s introduction. “If you have a name that offends nobody, then you end up with a forgettable brand” that won’t cling to the memory, Mr. Adamson said.

“So,” he said, “it just won’t be sticky.”

11233: Chicken Suit.

From The Associated Press…

Colonel ‘suits’ Japan’s KFC boss

From AP

DALLAS — The president and chief executive of Kentucky Fried Chicken Japan bought the trademark white suit worn by company founder “Colonel” Harland Sanders at auction yesterday for $21,510 — then promptly tried it on.

Masao “Charlie” Watanabe grinned while putting on the suit jacket and black string tie at the Heritage Auctions event, standing beneath a photograph of Sanders, a popular icon in Japan.

11232: Delayed WTF 23—Buddy Light.

MultiCultClassics is often occupied with real work. As a result, a handful of events occur without the expected blog commentary. This limited series—Delayed WTF—seeks to make belated amends for the absence of malice.

Wanted to add a few comments regarding how the Bud Light account bounced from Translation to Energy BBDO.

When mcgarrybowen and Translation won Bud Light in 2011, it was after a lengthy, formal review reportedly including agencies like incumbent DDB, CP+B and Droga5. Regarding the final decision, Advertising Age published the following:

“We’ve decided to go with two agencies and split the responsibility,” Paul Chibe, Anheuser-Busch InBev’s U.S. VP-marketing, told Ad Age today. “When we looked at creative capability insights [and] insights into the cultural fabric of the U.S., these firms distinguished themselves from the others … and came across as highly complementary to the business need of Bud Light.”

Whatever. Once mcgarrybowen showed it lacked “creative capability insights [and] insights into the cultural fabric of the U.S.,” the total account was awarded to Translation. The historic move was not without controversy, as Translation has yet to consistently produce great work. At the same time, mcgarrybowen produced nearly nothing in its six-month stint on the brand. Plus, it appeared that Translation won the old-fashioned way—via professional and personal relationships as well as celebrity mystique (i.e., Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake).

So how the hell did Energy BBDO suddenly grab the lion’s share of the business? If there was a review, it must go down in the record books as one of the most secret competitions ever. It’s certainly possible that Energy BBDO participated in the pitch while sister agency DDB was still in the hunt. Omnicom routinely peddles multiple shops within the network like Baskin-Robbins scoops ice cream flavors. Don’t be surprised when Bud Light lands at Fathom Communications in the next six months.

But seriously, Energy BBDO? The BBDO family is already servicing Guinness from the New York headquarters. Additionally, the Chicago office can hardly be called a creative powerhouse when the client roster features Quaker, SC Johnson and Bayer. Rumors claim mcgarrybowen’s downfall was precipitated by its thorough inability to deliver digital concepts. Meanwhile, Energy BBDO collapsed Proximity BBDO into something called Xi Chicago with an embarrassing site page that could have come from GoDaddy.

In the end, it looks as if shifting Bud Light was a buddy move—with Omnicom continuing its mastery of Corporate Cultural Collusion.

Friday, June 21, 2013

11230: Dearth Of Cannes Dames.

Perhaps inspired by the Art Directors Club’s hypocritical 50/50 initiative or the inane whines of The 3% Conference, Hollie Rapello questioned the dearth of dames as Cannes Advertising Festival jurors in a post at the Why Moms Rule blog. Maybe there will also be complaints that the trophies just depict lions versus lionesses. Rapello calculated that women accounted for only 22% of the jurors overall—and she even created a cute little chart where jurors is misspelled (see above). Well, one thing is certainly clear: female Cannes judges undoubtedly still greatly outnumber Black, Latino, Asian and Native American judges.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

11229: New Jailhouse On Sesame Street.

The New York Daily News reported Sesame Street introduced a new Muppet—Alex—whose father is in jail. Look for a possible bonding friendship between Alex and Elmo.

‘Sesame Street’ introduces first-ever muppet with a parent in prison

The long-running children’s show is introducing the storyline in an online kit being made available to prisons and advocacy groups. The Sesame Workshop hasn’t shied away from other thorny topics.


“Sesame Street” is teaching kids about bedtime, bath time and jail time.

The popular children’s television series hasn’t shied away from tough topics in the past, and has introduced a new muppet named Alex as a way to talk about the stigma of having a parent in jail.

“I just miss him so much,” the fuzzy blue-haired muppet says of his locked-up dad, adding, “Sometimes I just feel like I want to pound on a pillow and scream as loud as I can.”

The sensitive subject is being featured in an online teaching kit called, “Little Children, Big Challenges.”

The clips featuring Alex aren’t actually being aired on television, and he isn’t being introduced as a regular character on the show.

Still, “Sesame Street” execs say his story can be a useful tool for kids, specifically those ages 3 to 8. The show has broached other tricky lessons relating to divorce, hunger and military deployment.

“Coming from a muppet, it’s almost another child telling their story to the children,” Jeanette Betancourt, vice president of outreach and educational practices at the Sesame Workshop, told the “Today” show.

The videos show Alex telling his friends that his dad won’t be able to help him build a toy car. When they ask him why his father is not around, he says he doesn’t want to talk about it.

Later, his friends ask him what’s wrong.

“My dad’s in jail,” he says haltingly, adding, “I don’t like to talk about it. Most people don’t understand.”

A human friend says that her father was once incarcerated, which happens when “someone breaks the law — a grown-up rule — and then they have to go to jail or prison.”

A Pew Charitable Trusts report found that 1 in every 28 children has a parent behind bars.

In New York state, an estimated 105,000 kids have an incarcerated parent, although that’s a low-ball figure, said Tanya Krupat, program director of the Osborne Association’s New York Initiative for Children of Incarcerated Parents.

Krupat said the group is excited about the “Sesame Street” kit, which is in the process of being shipped to prisons in 10 states, including New York.

“We’re grateful to them for taking this on,” Krupat told the Daily News.

While she thinks America may not be ready for a character such as Alex to be a regular on a kids’ show, she hopes the attention brought by “Sesame Street” will spotlight the issue of over-incarceration.

“The goal of these materials is not to normalize parental incarceration because there’s nothing normal about it,” Krupat said. “It’s great to focus on those children immediately impacted … but I want to see these materials affect policy.”

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

11228: Bud Light Bumped To BBDO.

Advertising Age reported the Bud Light account is shifting again, this time from Translation to BBDO. Translation did hold the brand longer than mcgarrybowen—but in the end, Jay-Z and Stevie Wonder will only get you so far. Plus, it looks like no amount of superstitious rituals can beat the power of Corporate Cultural Collusion, especially when Omnicom is involved.

Can BBDO Make Bud Light Advertising Awesome Again?

In Search of More ‘Horsepower,’ A-B InBev Makes Omnicom Shop Lead on Largest U.S. Brand

By E.J. Schultz, Rupal Parekh

Anheuser-Busch InBev is getting back together with Omnicom Group in the U.S.

The world’s largest brewer is hiring BBDO as lead agency for Bud Light domestically, while keeping line extensions such as Bud Light Platinum at Translation, which had been handling the entire account since last August. The two shops will “work together on Bud Light,” said Paul Chibe, VP-marketing for A-B InBev’s U.S. division. “Translation will focus on the extensions, where they have done extremely well, and BBDO will focus on the base business.”

BBDO will handle the account from its Chicago outpost, known as Energy BBDO. By moving it there, Mr. Chibe reunites with an agency he’s worked with in the past, while BBDO keeps the account in a separate office from competing beer brand Guinness, which BBDO runs from New York. For A-B InBev, the change represents a global consolidation of sorts because the brewer works with the BBDO network overseas.

The move marks the third agency change in less than two years for Bud Light. The beer brand went from DDB to McGarryBowen to Translation before landing now BBDO.

Super Bowl ads

The return to an Omnicom-owned agency is noteworthy as Bud Light severed ties with one of its longest standing agencies in history, DDB, in October of 2011. That ended a three-decade-long partnership highlighted by Bud Light’s launch in 1981 and plenty of memorable Super Bowl ads.

Bud Light is the nation’s top beer brand by market share, and the largest advertiser in the category, spending $349.9 million on measured media in 2012, according to Kantar Media. But revenue to agencies on the account has been trimmed over the past several years, and it is estimated by various industry observers to be around about $5 million now. (The brewer does not make agency terms public.)

Like other big beer brands, Bud Light has struggled in the face of competition from craft beers and spirits. In an attempt to break out from the pack and gain consumers’ attention, Bud Light has been cycling through different ad agencies. McGarryBowen won the account in December of 2011, only to lose it eight months later to Translation, which had been working on line extensions since late 2011.

The string of moves have solidified AB-InBev’s reputation among ad shops as a fickle marketer. Plus the pace of work is relentless and the brewer has a reputation for stringent testing standards, meaning some creative ideas don’t make it through, according to current and former agency staffers.

More ‘horsepower’

Asked about the pace of agency changes, Mr. Chibe pointed out that he has partnered with Translation almost from the beginning of his tenure. “We had given the [core Bud Light] work to McGarryBowen and it didn’t work out. And then we gave it to Translation. And in discussions with Translation we both felt it would be best to bring BBDO on board,” he said. “We both recognized that the additional horsepower would help our business.” He added: “Bud Light is an enormous business that has a lot of demands,” noting that Translation’s original assignment was as a supporting agency to McGarryBowen.

Translation’s workload remains significant. In addition to line extensions, the shop will also keep the NFL advertising assignments for core Bud Light that the agency is already working on for this fall. Super Bowl advertising will be worked on by BBDO and Translation, he said. “Steve has plenty to do, I can assure you,” Mr. Chibe said, referring to Translation founder Steve Stoute.

“I’m excited to be working with a friend of mine for 15 years who watched me grow up in the business,” Mr. Stoute said, referring to BBDO’s global CEO Andrew Robertson. He added that he’s one of BBDO Chief Creative David Lubars’ biggest fans. “As an independent agency I’m used to partnering with other agencies. We aren’t worried about P&Ls and making that more important than the brand itself.”

The brewer’s other agencies include Anomaly, which is the lead shop for Budweiser globally and handles Bud Light in Canada, and Mother, which has Stella Artois and Beck’s.

Close relationship

By tapping BBDO as lead creative agency for Bud Light, Mr. Chibe is returning to the familiar. He joined the brewer in June of 2011 after an 11-year run at Wrigley. Energy BBDO is Wrigley’s lead creative agency, so he knows it well. “I had always kept a close relationship with BBDO on a personal level,” he said. He also noted that A-B InBev on a global basis has relationships with the BBDO network. In Brazil, AlmapBBDO works on the Antarctica brand, while in Germany BBDO Proximity has Beck’s. “There’s been the connection there. Just in the past, the stars never aligned for them to work in the U.S.,” Mr. Chibe said.

One complicating factor has been the fact that BBDO is the agency for Diageo-owned Guinness, which poses a potential conflict in the beer category. Mr. Chibe referred questions about the matter to BBDO, which declined to comment for this story. For his part, Mr. Chibe said that he would not have an issue with BBDO keeping Guinness, noting that “Guinness in the U.S. is pretty small and it’s run out of New York,” while Energy BBDO is in Chicago. Guinness could not immediately be reached for comment.

While Bud Light line extensions such as higher-alcohol Platinum, and fruity Bud Light Lime-A-Rita and Straw-Ber-Rita have had some success, core Bud Light has lagged. In 2012, Bud Light shipment volumes fell by 0.5% -- the fourth straight year of declines—while the brand’s market share has dropped from 19% in 2010 to 18.6% as of the end of last year, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights. (The next closest brand, Coors Light, remains far behind at 8.7%, but it has gained share in each of the past three years.) For the 52 weeks ending May 19, Bud Light case volume sales were down by 0.56%, compared with category-wide growth of 0.64% according to IRI, whose figures to not include bar and restaurant sales.

Of course, other big beer brands have suffered as well, including Miller Lite, which was down 1.2% in the same period, while Budweiser fell by 5.7%, according to IRI. Meanwhile, craft beers have thrived, putting more pressure on big beer marketers to find new ways to stand out.

Increased competition

Mr. Chibe has sought to infuse more music-themed marketing into AB InBev’s brands in an appeal to millennials. Translation, led by Mr. Stoute, has been a big part of the strategy, helping land deals linking Jay-Z to Budweiser and Justin Timberlake to Bud Light Platinum. Bud Light’s summer push includes a program called “Bud Light Music First” that will culminate Aug. 1 with one concert in all 50 states. The campaign includes a TV ad.

For this year’s Super Bowl, Translation created two 60-second ads starring Stevie Wonder as part of the NFL-themed “Superstitious” campaign. Yet, with so much competition from scrappy craft beers and newly aggressive spirits marketers, it is harder for Bud Light to break through, say some industry observers.

“There’s so many beers on the marketplace and it’s got to come out of somewhere,” said one industry person familiar with the brand and the situation, referring to Bud Light’s sales decline. Mr. Chibe countered that the Bud Light “mega-franchise” has excelled. “Our extensions continue to perform extremely well,” he said. “There’s some natural cannibalization from the base coming from these [line extensions].”

11227: Combs At Cannes.

Adweek reported on a Cannes event starring Sean Combs and Translation CEO Steve Stoute. Guess it shows that the festival has degenerated into a promotional venue—as Combs and Stoute are hardly eligible candidates for Lions. Then again, the majority of Cannes visitors fall into the same category. It’s also rather pathetic for Combs to be lecturing adpeople, especially given his questionable work in the arena. But as the Adweek article implies, Combs and Stoute are probably good for an afterparty or two.

Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs Pitches Revolt and Tells Advertisers How To Be Cool

‘I’m extremely immature’

By Lisa Granastein

CANNES, France—After holding court Tuesday night on the Croisette with media and advertising moguls (and an afterparty or two), Sean “Diddy” Combs was all business today, taking the main stage at Cannes Lions with Translation CEO Steve Stoute to pitch the fall launch of his music cable network, Revolt TV, and give his take on how he successfully reaches millennials—or kids, as he prefers to call them.

The Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment Group founder and CEO said the decision by MTV seven years ago to stop playing music videos, the explosion of digital media and his own proven ability to tap into what’s cool are what helped make Revolt a reality.

“There was no longer a platform for musical artists to trust with their art and with their creativity, and also no place that was covering music [as ESPN covered sports and CNN covered news],” Combs explained. “For music, you just had to go into the abyss or the stratosphere with no plan, no destination. I was trying to get myself booked on Dancing with the Stars, because there was no place for me to go to tell my story.”

Revolt “will be authentic and speak their language,” he said of its coverage of artists. “I want to celebrate who they really are … Cool is priceless.”

This will be the first TV network built with social layers. Revolt also promises to help advertisers connect with up-and-coming artists in order to leverage strategic marketing partnerships. If you look at Twitter, top shows in the U.S. and globally are music-related, he said. “That’s a lot of power.”

Asked by Stoute about which marketers and brands inspire him, Combs pointed to those that are disruptive, risk takers and draw emotion, including Richard Branson and the new Jay-Z Samsung campaign. “I hate watching commercials just like everybody else,” he said, to big laughs. “The truth shall set you free. So, I’m here to tell the truth, alright. That’s why the best creatives win awards here. And if you ain’t going to be great, you need to go home and get the fuck out of here!”

Marketers need to stay fresh and relevant if they want to successfully target millennials, he said. “These kids are extremely, extremely smart. They don’t like no B.S., and they don’t like a one-way street,” he said, offering the example of launching a corporate Facebook page two years late. “That’s not being part of the culture, or what’s important to them. One of the mistakes is that brands don’t listen enough to what’s important to this generation. There’s a way that you can advertise to them, and also a way to empower them. If you empower them, you’ll get your return 10 times forward.”

Combs has his own way of staying fresh and reaching kids. “I’m extremely immature,” he joked. “I’m a child in a grown man’s body. I’m actually at the party. I’m at the festival.” He also said he keeps a lot of kids around him, asks a lot of questions and sometimes eavesdrops on their conversations. It also helps that he has six children, who are all under the age of 22. “I have a perfect research team living in the house.”

As for the naysayers who say others have tried and failed at music networks, Combs said that most importantly, his network will be “social by design” and global.

“It’s a dream, man. All I can do is get up in the morning and try to make it possible,” he said. “So, I wish myself luck.”

11226: Obesity Is McDisease…?


Medical group recognizes obesity as a disease

Nanci Hellmich, USA TODAY

The American Medical Association decided Tuesday to recognize obesity as a disease, requiring a range of medical interventions to advance obesity treatment.

The American Medical Association, the nation’s largest physician organization, decided Tuesday to recognize obesity as a disease that requires a range of medical interventions for treatment and prevention.

The decision was made at the group’s annual meeting in Chicago.

Experts in obesity have struggled for years to have obesity recognized as a disease that deserves medical attention and insurance coverage as do other diseases. Previously the AMA and others have referred to obesity as “a major public health problem.”

“The American Medical Association’s recognition that obesity is a disease carries a lot of clout,” says Samuel Klein, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. “The most important aspect of the AMA decision is that the AMA is a respected representative of American medicine. Their opinion can influence policy makers who are in a position to do more to support interventions and research to prevent and treat obesity.”

About a third of adults in this country are obese, which is roughly 35 or more pounds over a healthy weight. A third of children and teens are overweight or obese. Obesity increases the risk of many other diseases including type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some types of cancer.

Patrice Harris, an AMA board member, said in a statement, “Recognizing obesity as a disease will help change the way the medical community tackles this complex issue that affects approximately one in three Americans.”

If obesity continues to grow, about 42% of Americans may end up obese by 2030, according to a projection from researchers with RTI International, a non-profit organization in North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park.

Those extra pounds rack up billions of dollars in weight-related medical bills. It costs about $1,400 more a year to treat an obese patient compared with a person at a healthy weight, research shows.