SunRocket VoIP’s Hogwash

PR and the BlogosphereSorry Steve, I just can’t get worked up about this. I appreciate a company trying to ‘touch’ the blogosphere and I am thankful there are forums to ‘get a company’s attention’ now (although I realize there are others).

I think the pay is to encourage use of the site, not necessarily to pay negatives, however since they only accept negatives, I guess that’s the end result.

I wish you hadn’t pulled out. I would have liked to have seen what you did with it.

Ethical Marketing

Ethics in Business: 

What have I learned? Thinking ethically… 

* builds long term relationships with customers, which will lead to repeat business — e-biz

Is your product a quality product? Then why are you allowing your marketing group to design a sneaky marketing campaign?

Is your product a quality product? Then why are you allowing your marketing group to design a sneaky marketing campaign?Want an example? Sure you do 😉

Is your product a quality product? Then why are you allowing your marketing group to design a sneaky marketing campaign?Want an example? Sure you do 😉Verizon

The mobile giant has arguably the best coverage in the United States. Were they to push that as agressively as they do their other “talking points” they’d have no need to gouge their customers as they do.

They lock out the bluetooth capabilities of most of their bluetooth phones. This causes you to:

  • pay them for ringtones
  • pay them for EVDO
  • pay them for video
  • pay them for texts through AIM

And, while they don’t offer services for these features, you can’t use your phone to do these things because of their sneaky blocks:

  • file transfer
  • secure login on web sites

It’s really sad because I’d pay for the EVDO (already do), some of the ring tones, ala carte videos, etc. out of laziness anyway, and so would the vast majority of Verizon’s users. We’d play a bit with transfering free content, but we’d pay them for it too. And, I would pay my Verizon bill without the fervent hatred I currently pay it with.

Now that other options are coming into my area, I’ll switch when my contract is out. Wonder how many others will flee also?

Why not just market ethically?

How do you get your advertising noticed?

That’s especially difficult when using traditional media, like billboards. Rather than resort to sex-shock jokes or lots of skin, the cigarette company, Parisienne got a nice amount of coverage from this clever idea. From AdAge:

British American Tobacco was repackaging its Parisienne brand in Switzerland with new colors and new designs to represent the different flavors available. Media’s task was to ensure that the message was communicated as fast as possible.

Out-of-home media responded to the challenge. First, a substantial national outdoor campaign ran with images of the existing packaging. After three days, once consumers had had a chance to absorb the creative, the posters were changed. Eighty percent of the 500 sites were changed in the normal way — with paper and paste — but the remaining sites were used to turn the re-branding into an event.

Promo teams were sent out to re-color the remaining 20% of the Parisienne sites to create a handmade effect. Along with the re-coloring, the new executions also used the tagline “Newly painted, coming soon.”

Naturally, the impact was rapid, encouraging people to look at the posters, and Parisienne got a lot of PR from the painting activity.

Sometimes it just takes a little imagination…

Google’s Advertising Faux Pas

While car enthusiasts and automobile sites may be happy to display a highly-relevant ad featuring the Ford Explorer, many online sites not directly publishing auto-related content are up-in-arms that Ford was allowed to purchase a large chunk of advertising on blogs this week.

The main problem publishers complained about was the fact that the auto-giant’s ads were clearly not related to their site’s content, which seems to go against the normal Google Adsense targeting rules.

Ford’s advertising has not made them many online friends this week. But, it will all be over in a few weeks and Ford will see no ill effect. Google, on the other hand, really did not need this distraction right now, so soon after the AOL deal. They’ve been claiming that nothing would change their ‘do no evil’ mantra and that getting in bed with the devil (sorry AOL) would have no effect on their clean search engine.

This can’t be good for Google. I’m sure they’re hoping we’ll all forget it ASAP and if they fix it just that fast, we will. We’ll see…

Update: Google Responds It’s site-targeting, silly…

Yahoo Decreases Headline Sizes For YPN Ads

I’ve continually bemoaned the YPN click-rate, which led me to remove them from my site. Of course, the reason no one clicked the ads was because you couldn’t read the headlines. Duh… 

So, finally, Yahoo is making their headlines shorter:

Yahoo! framed the move as an attempt to make ads easier for users to read, but some search marketers say the decision also seems designed to court advertisers. Josh Stylman, a managing partner at Reprise Media, said it’s likely that Yahoo! believes it will be easier for advertisers to run campaigns on both Yahoo! and Google if they can use the same creative text. “It’s interesting that Yahoo! is moving in line with Google. It would obviously make it easier for Google clients to test Yahoo!,” Stylman said. — MediaPost

Look for YPN ads to return on the Sleepy Blogger 🙂

Images Increase Email Readership – Does the same hold true for RSS ads?

From MarketingSherpa


You’d think that textual emails would win the number-of-words-read sweepstakes, if only because there are no distractions from the text. MarketingSherpa’s new eyetracking laboratory tests proved the reverse is true. 


The presence of an image — even a fairly dull one such as the clip art we used for our test — can have a huge impact in how much time people’s eyes spend reading the copy of an ad. What’s interesting is most people looking at this email didn’t actually spend a lot of that time on the picture itself. The picture was such a frequently-seen image they could register it in almost peripheral attention mode. However, its presence raised their engagement level with the email, and willingness to read much more of the copy. 


My first thought was that this could potentially be applied to RSS ads.  Would it increase your reader’s engagement to add some sort of distraction to break up your copy?  I have no clue, I’m just raising the question. 

Disturbing? Ads for cigarettes worse than those aimed at kids?

I know this will be a somewhat controversial post, because I know some who really do think cigarettes come from the devil, but I’m sure if you read the whole post, you may at least understand where I’m coming from. (yes, I know, ending a sentence with a preposition…   tut-tut)  

Compare these two stories from MediaPost

Reynolds Halts Controversial Promotion
PROMO Magazine
A promotion that angry critics said encouraged smoking combined with heavy drinking has been discontinued by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. The promotion raised the ire of three state attorneys general, as well as public advocacy groups. Called “Drinks on Us,” the promotion included mailed birthday greetings to young adults containing drink coasters, branded for Camel cigarettes, that encouraged the consumption of well-known alcohol brands including Jack Daniels, Southern Comfort, Finlandia Vodka, Kahlua, Bacardi Limón and Bailey’s via recipes and slogans such as: “Layer it on. Go ‘Til Daybreak,” “Mix Three Shots Together Over Ice, then Make Sure You’re Sittin'” and “Pour Over Ice, Then Let it Burn.” The promotion began January or February of 2005 and was scheduled to end next April, said R.J. Reynolds spokesperson Maura Payne. One of the complaining attorneys general, New York’s Eliot Spitzer, called the campaign “a complete abomination.  Virtually every parent in America knows what it is like to anxiously wait for a child to come home from a night out with friends, worrying that someone will be drinking and driving. Now R.J. Reynolds–apparently not satisfied just selling its own deadly products–is encouraging individuals to ‘celebrate’ their birthdays by abusing alcohol. It is just shameful.” 


Compromise Reached In FCC Rules On Kids’ Ads
Ad Age
A compromise has been reached in the battle over advertising to children that had pitted marketers who target kids and the media companies who run their ads on one side against advocacy groups and the federal government on the other. The fight was over new Federal Communications Commission curbs designed to limit the impact of advertising on kids’ TV shows and the Internet. The original FCC proposal would have forced broadcasters to start counting program promotions in shows aimed at children under 13 against commercial limits of 12 minutes per hour on weekdays and 10.5 minutes per hour on weekends, essentially reducing ad time. In addition, media companies would have been banned from showing Web addresses linking to pages in which program characters sold products. Finally, the rule would have limited broadcasters’ ability to preempt children’s programming. Under the compromise agreement, broadcasters can run program promotions in kids’ shows without counting them against commercial time, but only if the promotions are for other kids’ shows. In another change, the ban against host characters selling products on Web sites is far less stringent. 

Someone want to tell me why marketing booze and cigs to adults is NOW such a huge problem?  I mean, I’ve been forced to endure half-naked beautiful women bouncing up and down for Coors, Miller, Budwieser, etc. for years.  And, unless I’m blind (shut up) these women and the guys in the same commercials all are under 25.  Why is it when they add the cigarettes, we have to hear what an abomination the ads are?  Now, finally, the cigarettes are going to cause drunk driving to go up?  Now, I’m not a drinker nor a smoker, but I find the double-standard here ironic, to say the least.  Especially when you compare the cave-in by the media companies involved to the kids story that follows it. 

The FCC had some issues with kids getting more than 12 minutes per hour of ads?  I’d love for them to make a law that would limit ads to adults too! LOL  

But, seriously, is there a reason to cram more than twenty-four 30-second advertising spots per hour at our kids (not counting, apparently, the ads that advertise kids’ shows)?  The entire article shows how the FCC caved to the demands of the marketers. 

I’m a marketer, but I’m also a parent.  These stories are a sad commentary of misplaced public pressure.  Tobacco is the evilest, most vile and deadly substance known to man, according to the public, but alcohol (unless paired with tobacco) gets a clean bill of health.  And, since no one is really paying attention to little kids’ advertising at the moment, they can cram whatever crap they’re selling down their throats, until some parents’ group or campaigning senator starts to make noise about it. 

Sorry to rant, but this just drives me nuts!  Can’t we find some way to market, morally?  I’m not saying we have to junk all alcohol, cigarette, and even kids’ ads, but isn’t there a point where, without the government’s help, a station can say, “Well, the current number of ads on Dora the Explorer is approaching too many.  We can either book your crap product on next week’s Dora’s, or even on the Dora site.  Or, how about sponsoring Little Bill?  He’s got space available.”  

We know, from previous studies (if you press for stats here, I have them, I’m just in too big of a hurry to dig them up right now) that kids watch, no, I mean WATCH, all the ads that are shoved at them.  And, if you have kids, you know that these studies are pretty close to the mark.  Is that why we feel, as marketers, that we must absolutely cram as many ads in there as possible?  Have we considered that, aside from the fact we are interfering with legitimate child-thought on a continual basis, that we may be creating ad-blind adults.  So, when they have real money to spend, and not just mom and dad to whine-persuade, they may see NO ads?  

Flame on…