Sometimes it’s hard to ignore the lure of a “risk-free trial” when it comes with a product that promises to leave your skin youthful, radiant and as soft as a baby’s bottom. But as the Federal Trade Commission once again reminds us, those deals often come with strings attached and hollow promises. [More]
For-Profit Educator Ashworth College Settles FTC Charges It Misrepresented Career Opportunities, Transfer Credits
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]
“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]
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]
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.
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]
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]
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.”
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]
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]
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]
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.
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]
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]