Ashworth College agreed to settle charges it misled students.

For-Profit Educator Ashworth College Settles FTC Charges It Misrepresented Career Opportunities, Transfer Credits

Federal regulators’ crackdown on the for-profit education industry continued today as Georgia-based Ashworth College agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges the company misled students about career training and credit transfers. [More]

McDonald’s Now Threatening To Sneak Into Your Kitchen, Steal Your Food

McDonald’s Now Threatening To Sneak Into Your Kitchen, Steal Your Food

Five years ago, we warned you that before long, “artisanal” would become the new “organic,” and companies would adopt it in their marketing. The prediction came true, and companies like McDonald’s and Arby’s are advertising “artisan” mass-produced meat products. In advertising their artisan grilled chicken products, McDonald’s may be taking their “we use real food, honest” thing a little too far. [More]

(Harry McCracken)

McDonald’s, If It’s Come To This, Just Improve Your Food

“We’ve heard the same rumors you have,” says a recent publication from McDonald’s. “Fillers in our beef, so called ‘pink slime.'” The message is fine, but the location is problematic: McDonald’s is not only protesting a little too much, but this message is on a tray placemat. In one of their restaurants. The kind that you look at while you eat your McDonald’s food. [More]

Tobacco Companies Sue FDA Over Cigarette Packaging Guidelines

(mendhak)

For more than 5 years, the FDA has had authority to regulate tobacco products, and last month, the agency issued guidance to the tobacco industry about when cigarette makers must seek FDA approval on changes to packaging. The country’s largest tobacco businesses now believe the FDA is overstepping its authority and violates their rights to free expression. [More]

(Pamela Greer)

Retailers Only Have Eyes For You With Latest Online Marketing Efforts

On the one hand, it can be very convenient to get a coupon emailed to you based on your obsession with tacos. On the other, having every website you visit blast your eyes with ads for the same darn pair of lime green shoes you already bought as part of a Halloween costume and never intend to buy again. But some retailers say they’re working on tailoring such marketing efforts down to each person individually, to maximize effectiveness and cut down on irritation. [More]

Burger King is letting a Gloria the chicken decide which locations can serve Chicken Fries for the day.

Burger King Is Apparently Leaving Product Decisions Up To A Chicken Now

When determining where to launch new menu items, you would think that fast food restaurants take a number of issues into consideration: popularity in that area, cost, projected sales. Apparently for Burger King and its soon-to-return Chicken Fries, the only opinion that matters is that of an actual chicken named Gloria. [More]

Cute babies in ducky towels are the one universal language.

Why Is Amazon Mom Called Amazon Family Outside Of The U.S.?

Amazon does business in many different countries, and knows how to market to people all over the world. The Amazon Mom program started a few years ago, providing special discounts and fast shipping on items needed for babies. Yet why is it called “Amazon Mom?” Most primary caregivers are mothers, but there are plenty of children being raised by single fathers or two fathers: don’t they buy diapers, too? [More]

(Andrew*)

Lawsuit Against Jim Beam Challenges Bourbon’s “Handcrafted” Claim

When it comes to making a name for a brand, the words companies use to describe their products are chosen very carefully for maximum appeal. But the thing is, those words have to be true. Jim Beam is the latest liquor maker to face challenges over its claims that its bourbon is actually “handcrafted.” [More]

Should For-Profit Colleges Be Allowed To Spend Taxpayers’ Money To Put Their Names On NFL Stadiums?

Should For-Profit Colleges Be Allowed To Spend Taxpayers’ Money To Put Their Names On NFL Stadiums?

This past Sunday — and for the second time in seven years — the Super Bowl was played at a stadium carrying the University of Phoenix name. The for-profit online school paid more than $150 million to slap its brand on the stadium, with much of that money coming from taxpayers. Some groups say that for-profit schools should not be allowed to make such splashy marketing investments at a time when there are so many questions about the quality of education provided by for-profit institutions. [More]

(Dee)

Girl Scout Cookie Van Parks Outside Gym, Is Not Trying To Tempt Customers

We admire the enterprising spirit of this family, who decorated their van to maximize their Girl Scout cookie sales, promising delivery and seven delicious flavors. Our staff mostly consists of retired Girl Scouts, and we believe in supporting them, no matter how much it costs. Then we learned where the reader who submitted this photo spotted the van: in front of her gym. [More]

(funky_abstract)

Brands Are Scanning Your Selfies And Party Photos To Look For Their Logos

Let’s say that you’re a brand, like Nabisco or the North Face, and you want to see what people are saying about you online. You could do a text search of Facebook and Twitter, but that’s soooo 2009, and you can’t guarantee that people will always label the photos they take. Instead, third-party companies are slurping up every public photo that you upload online and scanning them to see what you’re eating, drinking, and wearing. [More]

(Noel)

Would You Buy A Johnny Rockets CD Or Toaster?

Would you go see a drive-in movie where carhops bring you food from chain diner Johnny Rockets? That’s in the works, as the brand plans to extend itself beyond its 330 existing restaurants. How about a fast-casual “express” model serving the same food more quickly and without waiters? How about Johnny Rockets branded small appliances and frozen food? This is all coming soon, starting in 2015. [More]

Retailer Forgets To Check The News, Sends Email Welcoming An Independent Scotland

Retailer Forgets To Check The News, Sends Email Welcoming An Independent Scotland

The staff over at Made.com in the United Kingdom were apparently up too late glued to the TV last night to see whether or not Scotland voted to become a separate country. Because while Scotland decided to stay in the UK, a marketing email sent bright and early this morning welcomed a new country to its rolls — Scotland. Well, this is awkward. [More]

Spirit Airlines Promotion Tries To Cash In On Nude Photo Hack Story

Spirit Airlines Promotion Tries To Cash In On Nude Photo Hack Story

While some people may be feeling sympathy for the celebrities whose naked photos were hacked over the weekend, one company appears to be turning it into a cringe-worthy marketing campaign. [More]

The young men in Comcast's ad are all very impressed that their offline game does not have buffering issues.

Comcast Commercial Claims Their Fast In-Home WiFi Can Make Your Offline Game Work Better

Comcast’s been irking a large segment of the internet again this week. This time, though, it doesn’t have anything to do with their pro-merger mania, their stance on net neutrality, or the problems with their actual service. The latest kerfuffle is all about a thirty-second commercial — one that doesn’t even seem to get the basics of its own technology right. [More]

This Sleazy Pitch Embodies The Worst Side Of Online Advertising

Click image to read the full e-mail from the marketing company.

Every day, our inboxes are slammed with laughably bad PR pitches that range from the unrelated — “tell your readers to check out our booth at the International Fly Fishing Film Festival” — to the hyperbolic — “this tip-figuring calculator app will literally change the way you dine out!” We don’t share these with you because, well… they’re just awful. But we recently received one that was both insidious and all-too-indicative of the ways in which marketers dangle money in front of blogs in order to get them to deliver on-message content. [More]

No Device Is Safe From Verizon’s Enhanced Program Tracking Your Every Online Move

No Device Is Safe From Verizon’s Enhanced Program Tracking Your Every Online Move

It’s no secret that consumers’ online habits influence the advertisements they’re shown while surfing the internet. But Verizon Wireless just upped the ante when it comes to sharing your online activities with marketers. [More]

Maxwell House Coffee Settles For “Good,” Not Great Or Awesome

Maxwell House Coffee Settles For “Good,” Not Great Or Awesome

Young adults are no longer interested in mediocre coffee. As far as Maxwell House is concerned, that’s okay. They don’t need the cool kids with their pour-overs and their burr grinders. Their new marketing campaign targets customers who want coffee that’s just, you know, good enough. [More]