Super Bowl Advertisers Spending Millions To Run Ads About Their Ads

Advertisers love the Super Bowl, since it’s one of the few times that huge numbers of people sit and watch the same thing in real time, while paying attention to the commercials. Some marketers want to increase the impact of their ads even more, by spending over $1 million promoting their Super Bowl commercials. They’re shelling out to advertise their ads. [More]

Pokemon Go, Iron Man Play-Doh, Game Of Life: Empire Among 2016 Tasteless Toys Nominees

Pokemon Go, Iron Man Play-Doh, Game Of Life: Empire Among 2016 Tasteless Toys Nominees

Many of us will be out shopping (or at least rolling over in bed to shop on our phones) this holiday weekend, and more than a few of us will be picking up toys for the youngsters we love (or are obligated to be near at least twice each year). In advance of this retail rush, the Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood has put out its list of kids’ toys that will warm the cockles of marketing executives around the world, and make other folks long for the days of wooden trains on pull strings. [More]

Amazon Bans Most Users From Writing Reviews In Exchange For Free, Discounted Items

While Amazon has long looked down on reviews that were written in exchange for free or deeply discounted items, these write-ups were allowed so long as they followed the rules: The review must be honest, and the compensation must be fully disclosed. But as we showed earlier this year, a number of compensated reviewers were gaming the system — posting hundreds of reviews a month, almost universally positive, and for products they sometimes couldn’t possibly have used. Now Amazon has announced a nearly full ban on compensated reviews. [More]

CBS Will Let You Watch New Star Trek Show Without Commercials… For $4/Month More

CBS Will Let You Watch New Star Trek Show Without Commercials… For $4/Month More

As CBS prepares to put bona fide original content — like the upcoming online-only version of Big Brother and next year’s new Star Trek: Discovery series — on its $6/month All Access streaming service, the network realizes that hey, maybe people will pay a bit more to avoid having to watch all those flippin’ commercials. [More]

Expect Fewer Obnoxious DraftKings & FanDuel Ads This Football Season

Last fall, daily fantasy sports seemed to come out of nowhere, with the industry’s two biggest players — DraftKings and FanDuel — also suddenly emerging as two of the biggest spenders on TV advertising. Constant commercials, sponsored segments on sports shows; even the final season of FXX’s The League had a bizarre, shoehorned-in season-long DraftKings subplot. All these ads brought DFS gamers to the two sites, but they also attracted the attention of state regulators, resulting in Nevada and New York being added to the list of states where DFS is not (for the moment) allowed. Now the two sites say they plan to rein in their ad spending and make ads that don’t play up the aspects that make DFS look a lot like gambling to some people. [More]

Warner Bros. Paid Popular YouTubers To Post Positive Clips About Video Game

Being a “social media influencer” must be a pretty sweet deal: People send you free stuff, and pay you money just in the hopes that you’ll say nice things about their products. Problem is, those companies can get into trouble if the influencers don’t properly reveal that they were paid for their commentary. [More]

Heath Alseike

Bankruptcy Court Agrees To Let Sports Authority Out Of One Of Its Team Sponsorships

A sporting goods retailer that’s going out of business doesn’t need to plaster its name on billboards at sporting events, and that’s why Sports Authority would prefer to end its sponsorship contracts with various teams and to sell the naming rights to the arena where the Denver Broncos play. Most of those disputes over sponsorship contracts remain unresolved, but the former retailer and the reigning Super Bowl champions have come to an agreement over the sponsorship of the Broncos. [More]

Your Kids’ Lesson Plans Are Being Brought To You By Pfizer, WD-40, & Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

It’s one thing for a huge drug company, manufacturer, trade group, or media conglomerate to use their considerable coffers to fund educational programs, but what about when the ultimate goal of those programs is to just advertise products, movies, and TV shows to kids and their parents under the guise of education? [More]

David Menidrey

Americans Apparently Don’t Hate Mobile Ads As Badly As Rest Of The World

If you’re using ad-blocking technology on your smartphone, you’re not alone. Some 2.5 million Americans are employing mobile browsers and other tech on their devices to avoid unwanted ads, but that’s nothing compared to the vast number of consumers blocking ads in China, India, and Indonesia. [More]

StubHub Becomes First NBA Jersey Advertiser, Thanks To 76ers

StubHub Becomes First NBA Jersey Advertiser, Thanks To 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers are arguably the perfect choice for a company looking to test the waters by being the first to advertise on an NBA jersey. The team has been awful for the last few seasons, so most fans’ opinion of the Sixers can’t sink any lower. And those fans who still have some reserve venom in the tank now have a new reason to scream at the team. [More]

Chocolate Milk Maker Behind Sketchy “Cognitive Skills” Study Hoped To Cash In On Concussion Movie

Chocolate Milk Maker Behind Sketchy “Cognitive Skills” Study Hoped To Cash In On Concussion Movie

Last December, researchers from the University of Maryland put out a press release claiming — without showing any of the science to back up the assertions — that a certain brand of chocolate milk could improve cognitive skills of concussed athletes. The study — paid for by the chocolate milk company — was widely derided and the school has since admitted that the press release was rushed and botched. So what was the hurry in getting this incomplete science news out there? Apparently, in the hopes of riding the coattails of a new Will Smith movie. [More]

NBA Jerseys Will Carry Sponsors’ Badges Starting Next Season

Nearly four years after the NBA’s Board of Governors first gave its blessing to the notion of turning their players into dribbling and dunking billboards for advertisers, the league is finally moving forward with the idea. [More]

Judge Tells Minnesota Vikings & Wells Fargo To Settle Stadium “Photo Bombing” Spat

Judge Tells Minnesota Vikings & Wells Fargo To Settle Stadium “Photo Bombing” Spat

It’s the first week of baseball season, and pro hockey and basketball teams are making their final pushes for the playoffs, so the last thing on many sports fans’ minds is football. Perhaps that’s why the judge in the “photo bombing” spat between the Minnesota Vikings and Wells Fargo is telling the two parties to stop wasting everyone’s time and just work something out. [More]


University Backtracks On Company-Funded Study Claiming Chocolate Milk Could Treat Concussions

Earlier this year, public health advocates criticized a University of Maryland research program for taking money from a beverage company and then claiming in a press release — with no reviewable data to back up its assertions — that this company’s chocolate milk product could improve cognitive skills of athletes who’d suffered concussions. Today, the university is admitting that maybe this was not the brightest idea. [More]

Lord & Taylor Gets Slap On Wrist For Paying Instagram “Influencers” To Run Secret Ads

Lord & Taylor Gets Slap On Wrist For Paying Instagram “Influencers” To Run Secret Ads

If you’re getting paid to chat up a product or brand on social media, you need to disclose your relationship with what you’re shilling. That’s why retailer Lord & Taylor ended up in hot water with the Federal Trade Commission after paying high-profile Instagram accounts to secretly market their clothing without revealing that these were just ads. [More]

Is Amazon Doing Anything To Fight Latest Wave Of Fake, Paid-For Reviews?

Since Amazon began allowing customers to post reviews on product pages, various waves of bogus reviewers have attempted to game the system by posting fictitious or dishonest write-ups. While Amazon has recently taken legal action against people paid to write fake reviews for products, and the site has a ban on most forms of “paid” reviews, there’s a new crop of compensated reviewers who are receiving free or discounted products in exchange for then writing “honest” reviews. But some of these users are writing dozens of reviews a day, sometimes for products they couldn’t possibly have tried. [More]

Ann Fisher

1/3 Of American Adults Use Online Ad-Blockers, Few Publishers Try To Stop Them

If you’re one of the approximately 1/3 of American Internet users who employ an ad-blocker in your web browser, we don’t mind, because Consumerist doesn’t accept advertising. Other websites that do depend on ads for their income definitely do mind that customers are using ad-blockers, but they don’t really do anything to stop users. Why is that? [More]

Schefter's Tweet should have been flagged as an ad for Domino's, but someone goofed and failed to mention this sponsorship.

ESPN Admits: Tweets By Adam Schefter & Chris Mortensen Were Unmarked Ads For Domino’s

Plenty of famous people post Tweets, Facebook updates, and Instagram photos where they mention a product or company name that they truly enjoy. But if those celebs are getting paid to slap their name on these messages, they need to be transparent about it. A pair of sportscasters at ESPN apparently missed that memo when they recently name-dropped Domino’s Pizza on Twitter. [More]