Looking back at our breakdowns of so-called “native advertising,” the ad-world terminology for an advertisement made to look like a news story, you may have noticed that these execrable, nauseating (but profitable) ads were labeled things like “Sponsored by…,” or “Promoted,” or the blatantly vague “From our partners,” but none of them simply said “advertisement.” And the people who make money off this insidious nonsense say there’s a good reason. [More]
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Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments with regard to the legality of state laws that prohibit same-sex marriages. And while the issue has been politically divisive, many of the nation’s most powerful corporations — from airlines to insurance to beer to baseball teams — agree that banning gay marriage is not good for business. [More]
Yesterday, FCC Chair Tom Wheeler confirmed that he intends to have the Commission reclassify broadband as the vital piece of telecommunications infrastructure that it is, which has resulted in immediate backlash from the wireless and cable industry and the handful of astroturfed “advocacy” organizations they support. [More]
Earlier today, we told you about the Harvard Business School professor who engaged in a lengthy back and forth with the owner of a couple of Boston-area restaurants over the issue of a $4 overcharge. Apparently the Internet didn’t side with the prof, who is now apologizing. [More]
Alex uses a Blackberry Bold, and isn’t very happy with Blackberry right now. He was just minding his own business when the phone decided to over-the-air update itself, the update failed, and his phone just went ahead and wiped itself. When he called to complain, he says Blackberry virtually shrugged and told him that he should have uninstalled the app that caused the update problems. Even though it was an app that shipped with the phone. Alex wondered: what if other businesses ran things the same way? [More]
Just days after both the White House and the Federal Communications Commission expressed concerns about the Librarian of Congress’ decision to make it illegal for consumers to unlock their own cellphones, a U.S. Representative from California says she intends to introduce legislate to right this wrong. [More]
In January, a decision by the Librarian of Congress made it illegal for cellphone owners to unlock new devices without the permission of their current wireless carrier. This decision sparked public outrage, including a petition on the White House website calling for the administration to give this right back to consumers. The White House has since responded to say it concurs that this decision is a little messed up. [More]
The group Consumer Watchdog is pushing hard for Congress to establish a “do not track” list for online consumers, which I’m all for. I’m not sure whether releasing a ridiculously unpleasant cartoon in Times Square is the right strategy, though–especially when you use the very service you’re warning people about.
Utah, that’s which state! Or so says Harvard researcher Ben Edelman, who “analyzed subscriber data from an unnamed ‘top 10 seller of online adult entertainment.'” When comparing broadband subscribers, Utah comes in first with an average of 5.47 per 1000. In second place is Alaska with just over 5.03 per 1000, and coming in third is Mississippi.
About 10 women who paid up to $4,000 for dresses they never received picketed the bankrupt Calvary Bridal House in Millburn, NJ this past weekend, screaming and holding hand-made signs that said things like “Fraud” “Scam” and “”Bride in stress, where’s my dress?”
Not content with having some of retail’s worst customer service, Sears has decided to wring out more dollars from its customers by jumping into the spyware game. Sears recently sent out an email inviting customers to join “My SHC Community” where they will have a chance to earn fabulous prizes and journal their online shopping experience. All you gotta do is provide your address and install a little ComScore program that monitors your every single step on the internet, from Sears to Myspace to your online banking, to your email headers.
According to Wired, Facebook users have hijacked Walmart’s dorm decoration discussion page, choosing instead to discuss the way Walmart “destroys communities and prevents unionization.” Oh, my!
“With the heat wave searing American soil lately, it becomes more and more important to not lock your baby in the van in a Walmart parking lot.”
Earlier this year, AT&T’s Cingular division and Travelocity both pledged not to advertise anymore via adware–programs that slip onto PCs and inject ads into a user’s browser. Verizon took a stance against computer invaders when it became a sponsor of an antispyware initiative. Yet, in March, ads from all three companies were being distributed through adware.
The Edelman team assigned to Wal-Mart, I learned, is divided into three groups: “promote,” “response,” and “pressure.” The Jobs and Opportunity Zones notion came from the promotions team. The response-team members–veterans of political campaigns–are supposed to quickly counter criticism in the press or on the Web. The pressure group works on opposition research, focussing on the unions and the press.
“Again we’ve had no shortage of big branding mistakes last year and even early this year,” said Kelly O’Keefe, an independent branding consultant and CEO of O’Keefe Brands.