An organization representing Calgary developers is apologizing over an article it posted online that suggested gay couples, visible minorities and people with tattoos might not feel comfortable living in the suburbs.
Blimey. If he had substituted, “wouldn’t be seen dead” for “might not feel comfortable,” I’m sure that would have been more factual. I mean, have you seen the suburbs around Calgary? No, neither have I.
Sony has filed a patent application for “SmartWig”, as firms jostle for the lead in the wearable technology sector. It says the SmartWig can be worn “in addition to natural hair”, and will be able to process data and communicate wirelessly with other external devices…
“And Sony – which is trying to regain some of the sheen it has lost in recent years – clearly understands that and wants to play a major role in the sector.”The Japanese firm said the wig could be made from horse hair, human hair, wool, feathers, yak hair, buffalo hair or any kind of synthetic material.
Facebook apologized Tuesday for featuring an ad for a dating website that used a picture of Rehtaeh Parsons, the 17-year-old Nova Scotia girl who died after attempting suicide in April.
A spokesperson for the company, who did not want to be named, issued a statement late Tuesday that said the ad was a “gross violation” of the company’s policies and has been removed.
“This is an extremely unfortunate example of an advertiser scraping an image from the Internet and using it in their ad campaign,” the spokesperson said in the emailed statement.
“This is a gross violation of our ad policies and we have removed the ad and permanently deleted the advertiser’s account.
“We apologize for any harm this has caused.”
The company said the dating website was Ionechat.com. It could not be reached for comment.
The ad featured a picture of Parsons under the heading, “Find Love in Canada! Meet Canadian girls and women for friendship, dating or relationships.”
Parsons was taken off life-support following a suicide attempt, which her family says was brought on by months of bullying following an alleged sexual assault.
The female model is one of Kolb’s employees who agreed to pose for the image, which is featured on the back of another employee’s truck.
Other tailgate decals include zombies (pretty sure there may be some “Walking Dead” copyright violations, there) and a military sniper.
“When you’re going to go put a wrap on the side of your vehicle, you want that image to be realistic and to portray the image of your company,” Kolb said in the news report.
The blonde tied up in the back of this employee’s truck certainly is realistic, but it’s up for debate what it portrays about Hornet Signs.
When the Hopkins researchers surveyed ER patients who’d been drinking, they found that Budweiser was the number one brand consumed, followed Steel Reserve Malt Liquor, Colt 45 malt liquor, Bud Ice (another malt liquor), Bud Light, and a discount-priced vodka called Barton’s.
Though Budweiser has 9.1 percent of the national beer market, it represented 15 percent of the of the E.R. “market.” The disparity was even more pronounced for Steel Reserve. It has only .8 percent of the market nationally, but accounted for 14.7 percent of the E.R. market. In all, Steel Reserve, Colt 45, Bud Ice, and another malt liquor, King Cobra, account for only 2.4 percent of the U.S. beer market, but accounted for 46 percent of the beer consumed by E.R. patients.
“Some products are marketed to certain groups of people in our society,” explained Traci Toomey, the director of the University of Minnesota’s alcohol epidemiology program, who was not involved in the study. Higher-alcohol malt liquor, for example, is heavily advertised in African-American neighborhoods. “So we might want to put some controls on certain products if we find they are tied to greater risk. But how they are marketed and priced is critical information and that has been very hard to study.”
Google patents ‘pay-per-gaze’ eye-tracking that could measure emotional response to real-world ads
Advertisers spend heaps of cash on branding, bannering, and product-placing. But does anyone really look at those ads? Google could be betting that advertisers will pay to know whether consumers are actually looking at their billboards, magazine spreads, and online ads. The company was just granted a patent for “pay-per-gaze” advertising, which would employ a Google Glass-like eye sensor in order to identify when consumers are looking at advertisements in the real world and online.
LG released 100 helium balloons, each with a free smartphone voucher, at the so-called G in the Cloud event, which took place in an outdoor park in the South Korean capital city.
The phones, which sell for KRW 950,000 in South Korea ($851; £550), would be given to people in possession of the voucher, the company said.
Customers arrived with BB guns to shoot down the balloons and surged forward when they were released.
What if one of the most powerful media companies in the world made words come out of its customers’ mouths to promote its new ad platform?
Twitter posted on its blog today about a new, wider release of an integration the company is doing with TV commercials. In the blog post is a shot of a new Twitter ads dashboard showing tweets from Twitter users raving about TV commercials.
The tweets look completely real, but SFGate discovered that while the Twitter users who are featured are real, their tweets are not. The users featured raving about TV commercials never said anything of the kind, and were unaware their profile pics and accounts were being presented in a post on Twitter’s blog sent out to hundreds of thousands via the @Twitterads Twitter account and retweeted to more than 1.5 million.
The users were not pleased when they saw these bogus tweets attributed to them for the first time – after the post went up.
“It’s disturbing and has no place,” says Neil Gottlieb, who was unaware the Twitter blog post featured a tweet with him saying, “What is the song in the new @barristabar commercial? I love it!!” Gottlieb who runs the medical animation company 3FX in Philadelphia said, “To use my image and fake a tweet is wrong and needs to be addressed.”
Are talking window ads the next big thing or a pain in the glass? Watch them at work in a new video (above) from Sky Go and BBDO Dusseldorf.
The unique ads are designed to play as soon as a commuter rests his or her ear against the train window. An advertisement is piped through the person’s skull via bone conduction technology.
Mobile streaming service Sky Go uses a transmitter that attaches to public transit windows, emitting high frequencies that the brain processes into words heard by no one else on the train (except for the others who also have an ear to the window), according to the spot.
Sounds like you need to install a premium popup blocker
“Passengers got surprised and enjoyed this new form of advertising,” she wrote in an email.
Probably in much the same way that three out of four people enjoy gang rape.
Meet Rachel Law, a 25-year-old graduate student from Singapore, who has created a game that could literally wreak havoc on the online ad industry if released into the wild.
Her creation, called “Vortex,” is a browser extension that’s part game, part ad-targeting disrupter that helps people turn their user profiles and the browsing information into alternate fake identities that have nothing to do with reality.
Samsung sure is getting the most of its marketing dollars (via Dan Montopoli).
The company’s latest ad, which began airing June 10, has earned the lowest score of 26 Apple TV ads in the past year, according to Ace Metrix Inc., a consulting firm that analyzes the effectiveness of TV ads through surveys of at least 500 TV viewers.
Ace Metrix? This Ace Metrix?
Ace Metrix™, the new standard in television analytics, today announced Samsung has joined its roster of advertising clients, subscribing to the Ace Metrix LIVE™ platform.
Bloomberg, of course, does not find that detail worth mentioning.
Facebook has begun to charge British users up to £10-11 to message celebrities and other people outside the friends’ list. Facebook has remarked that the decision to charge British users aims to prevent the users (celebrities) from being inundated by messages from strangers. Another factor behind the Facebook decision is to prevent spam.Under the Facebook trial scheme, it costs 71p to despatch a conventional message on the site along with an automatic alert. However, the fees differ depending on the popularity of the recipient, with a present maximum charge of £10.68 to contact celebrity sportspersons like Olympic diver Tom Daley.
Oh, they’re charging the gullible to send messages to imaginary whores and they’re making out they’re fighting spam and protecting celebrities?
On a happier note, Margaret Thatcher is dead.
Experts said the “Harlem Shake” phenomenon was emergent behavior from the hive mind of the internet—accidental, ad hoc, uncoordinated: a “meme” that “went viral.” But this is untrue. The real story of the “Harlem Shake” shows how much popular culture has changed and how much it has stayed the same.
Traditional marketing is all about risk management. Say nice things about your product. Do whatever you can to prevent people from saying bad things about your product. Run down the competition, but do so without being obvious about it. Never under any circumstances admit you’re wrong. This “control the message” marketing philosophy is showing rapidly diminishing returns, especially when marketing to technologists.
To put it bluntly: young people can see right through this crap and they are functionally immune to things like product placement, jiggling imagery, spamvertising, cold calling and high-pressure sales. Not only have two whole generations been inoculated against this crap, using these techniques actively triggers enmity among today’s discerning technologists.
A new breed of advertising techniques is thus called for. Ones so at odds with the traditional approach that debates about them in marketing circles make Linux distro superiority catfights look like happy kitten fun time. The two big ones currently in use in IT are content marketing and community management.
Well, media placement doesn’t get much creepier than this.
Japanese PR company Absolute Territory has begun paying young women (18+) to wear advertising stickers on their thighs between the edge of their miniskirts and their high socks.
Ads will be creeping into Twitter clients as the social network has opened up an advertising API allowing advertisers to create more complex, targeted advertising using Promoted Tweets and Promoted Account campaigns on the social network.
According to an Amex Web page, the arrangement works like this. Amex cardholders first sync their card with Twitter. Then, when they come across products that are eligible to purchase under the plan — products that American Express will promote through a Twitter feed — they simply send out a tweet that includes a special hashtag. Amex will then send them an @-reply with a confirming hashtag. Finally, the buyer has to send out a second tweet with the special hashtag within 15 minutes.
I’m going to “synch” my credit card with my twitter account?
And I’m going to wait for them to send me tweets?
And then I’m going to tweet them back when I want to buy something?
Why would I want to do this?
“With regards to the size of the bread and calling it a footlong, “SUBWAY FOOTLONG” is a registered trademark as a descriptive name for the sub sold in Subway® Restaurants and not intended to be a measurement of length.”
One of the striking features of the drug world is how pharma companies become noticeably more inventive immediately before their patents are due to run out and their drugs are about to enter the public domain. That’s because they need to find a way to differentiate themselves from the generic manufacturers that are then able to offer the same medicines for often vastly lower prices.
Usually this takes the form of modifying the formula of a drug slightly, patenting it, and then seeking to convince the medical profession that the new formulation is better in some way. Butsometimes it involves more novel approaches, as here:
In coming months, generic drug producers are expected to introduce cheaper versions of OxyContin and Opana, two long-acting narcotic painkillers, or opioids, that are widely abused.
But in hopes of delaying the move to generics, the makers of the brand name drugs, Purdue Pharma and Endo Pharmaceuticals, have introduced versions that are more resistant to crushing or melting, techniques abusers use to release the pills’ narcotic payloads.
As the New York Times article quoted above reports, having introduced these “tamper-resistant” designs, the pharma companies are now pushing to get a ban on generic versions that lack this feature. If you think of “tamper-resistant” techniques as a kind of DRM for drugs, the pharma companies are effectively asking for their own version of the DMCA, which forbids the circumvention of DRM.
The drug companies have dressed this up as a service to society, but some aren’t buying it:
While companies like Purdue Pharma insist the public’s health is their main concern, others note that producers introduced tamper-resistant versions of their products just as the drugs were about to lose patent protection. In court papers filed in response to Endo’s lawsuit, the F.D.A. described the company’s action as a “thinly veiled attempt to maintain its market share and block generic competition.”
There’s no doubt that the abuse of painkillers is a significant problem, but according to another recent story, in The Washington Post, alarming levels of addiction to OxyContin and similar painkillers may be partly the drug companies’ fault. For instead of warning doctors about this issue, the latter were assured that there were “minimal risks of addiction and dependence” if they prescribed these kinds of drugs for their patients:
according to a Washington Post examination of key scientific papers, a court document and FDA records, many of those claims [about minimal risks] were developed in studies supported by Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, or other drug manufacturers. In addition, the conclusions they reached were sometimes unsupported by the data, and when the FDA was struggling to come up with an opioid policy, it turned to a panel populated by doctors who had financial relationships with Purdue and other drugmakers.
So it would seem that rather than mandating the use of tamper-resistant packaging for these kinds of painkillers, a better long-term solution would be to avoid the use of these drugs altogether, where possible.
Is the McDonald’s beef washed in ammonia? (No). Do you put anti-nausea agents in the food? (Absolutely not)
Those and a multitude of other no-holds-barred questions (including the “secret” recipe to Big Mac sauce) were answered at McDonald’s Canada’s groundbreaking “Our Food. Your Questions.” social media site, a real-time twist on standard corporate frequently asked questions Web features.
The company gamely promised to answer any and all consumer questions about its food that were not profane. It was pretty much a polar opposite approach to the U.S. parent company’s mum reaction to the 2004 film Super Size Me, in which documentarian Morgan Spurlock gained weight and made himself ill on a steady 30-day diet of McDonald’s food. The critical response to the Q&A site was overwhelmingly positive and in the process McDonald’s managed to debunk a number of long-standing myths about its food.
What is the difference between unethical and ethical advertising? Unethical advertising uses falsehoods to deceive the public; ethical advertising uses truth to deceive the public.
– Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879 – 1962)
Verizon has filed a patent for a DVR that can watch and listen to the goings-on in your living room. In the application, the company proposes to use the technology to serve targeted ads appropriate to whatever you’re doing in the, uh, privacy of your own home—fighting, cuddling, or hanging out with your cats.
Verizon is far from the first company to think of this unassailably creepy use for a set-top box. Comcast patented similar monitoring technology in 2008 for recommending content based on people it recognizes in the room; Google proposed yet another patent for Google TV that would use audio and video recorders to figure out how many people in a room are watching the current broadcast.
Verizon filed for the application in May 2011, and it was just published last week. (By law, all patent applications are published after 18 months.) In the document, which was first noticed by FierceCable, Verizon gives two examples of the context-sensitive DVR’s use in a couple’s living room: sounds of arguing prompt ads for marriage counseling, while sounds of “cuddling” prompts ads for contraceptives. Charming.