Bloggers Paid to Write Positive Stories, Model Questioned


Underscore Marketing President Tom Hespos, at the recent New York ad:tech conference, interviewed PayPerPost representative Britt Gustafson. PayPerPost has sparked a bit of a controversy since its launch four months ago because it pays bloggers to write positive stories about marketers without requiring bloggers to disclose which stories on their blog are PayPerPost stories and that they have received money to write them. Personally, we think it's a terribly shameful business model and one that will cause much harm to the already struggling trust level of bloggers. Give the interview a read and we'd love to hear your thoughts.

by Steve Hall    Nov-12-06    
Topic: Bad, Social, Weblogs

WOMMA Offers Blogger Contact Guidelines to Marketers


Perhaps in reaction to a recently launched company that pays bloggers to write positive things about brands without disclosure and the spread of stealth blogs and flogs, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association has released for industry discussion Ten Principles for Ethical Contact by Marketers, a document that basically amount to 1. Don't lie; 2. Be nice and 3. Don't manipulate. The ten points in full are below:

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by Steve Hall    Nov- 3-06    
Topic: Good, Policy, Weblogs

Intel Gives Laptops to Bloggers, Hopes For Nicey Nice


Intel has launched what it calls The Intel Centrino Duo Blogger Challenge. For Intel, Ogilvy PR gave six bloggers (Gothamist's Jen Chung, Popgadget's Mia Kim, Make Magazine's Bre Pettis, The Mommy Blogger's Mindy Roberts, Paul Stamatiou's Paul Stamatiou and Chezpim's Pim Techamuanvivit) Intel Centrino Duo laptops to seek their views. Like the Sprint Ambassador campaign and the many other blogger campaigns before, Intel hopes to get some grass roots juice and cred, none of which can usually be attained through traditional advertising excepting, of course, Apple's advertising.

The promotion also has a twist in that there's a mystery seventh blogger who supposed to be well know and will be unveiled at noon EST November 15th. Anyway, stay tuned to what the bloggers have to say and we'll see how this campaign goes.

UPDATE: Big fucking surprise. The mystery blogger is former Microsoft employee and famed blogger Robert Scoble.

by Steve Hall    Nov- 2-06    
Topic: Brands, Social, Weblogs

Following Wal-Mart, McDonald's Caught With Fake Blogs


Perhaps directing some of the attention away from Edelman who was behind the Wal-Mart fake blog (flog) thing, are two new blogs for McDonald's, but not labeled as such. The co-promote with Monopoly. The Consumerist points to 4railroads and McDmillionwinner (link goes to Google cache as someone inside McDonald's apparent said "oops" and pulled the blog) and explains how the two sites are inter-related. Even though they carry dead giveaway copy written not by bloggers but by copywriters, the two blogs do not mention any association with McDonald's or Monopoly.

It's not that the blogs were launched in a clandestine manner. In fact, an October 19th press release makes reference to the 4railroads blog. It's just that things should be marked as they are. There's nothing wrong with cute, teaser campaigns but to pass something off as something it's not because it's thought slapping a brand name on it will lessen it's effect is, well, just not right.

by Steve Hall    Oct-31-06    
Topic: Brands, Opinion, Weblogs, Worst

Dog Poked, Sony Hypnotizes, Edelman Spanked


- Dog butt with flower in its ass sells dog food.

- To coincide with its famous Paint ad, Sony has put out a collection of optical allusion print ads - the kind that make you think there's something wrong with you but in a good way. See them here.

- The California Milk Processors Board, with help from Goodby Silverstein & Partners has created a two minute theater ad called Aliens.

- Tom Hespos weighs in on the Edleman/Wal-Mart blog drama. We couldn't have said it better ourselves.

by Steve Hall    Oct-27-06    
Topic: Commercials, Magazine, Strange, Weblogs

Hopeless Romantic Raising Money For Super Bowl Proposal Ad


Having already raised $61,931, a "hopeless romantic" has created a site called My Super Proposal where he is trying to raise enough money to buy a Super Bowl commercial in which he will propose marriage to his girlfriend. The URL of the site is, of course, registered anonymously so punditry on whether this is real or the machinations of some brand will have to wait. Acknowledging thaefact there are some pretty dedicated (weird?) people in this world along with mischievous marketers bent on doing the next coolest thing, it could go either way. We'll just have to wait and see.

by Steve Hall    Oct-24-06    
Topic: Online, Promotions, Strange, Super Bowl 2007, Weblogs

PC Mag Celebrates, Timberland Protects, Adland Solicited


- To celebrate its 25th anniversary, PC Magazine will launch a year-long celebration, starting with its December 4 issue, which will take an editorial look at the hits - and the misses - of the past 25 years.

- Working with Arnold, Brickyard VFX has created an effect-heavy spot that illustrates how Timberland, well, does something. Of note, the spot was shot in full sunlight.

- Adland received an oddly worded offer to by her site and she helpfully replied in the kindest, most helpful manner so the poor lawyer on the other end might approach things a bit differently next time.

by Steve Hall    Oct-24-06    
Topic: Magazine, Weblogs

Disgruntled Client Videos Client-Bashing Agency


This sounds fake, looks fake, feels fake an probably is fake. Hopefully, it's not another Subway video disaster in the making. Posted in the Adrants forum and on YouTube is a video taken, apparently, by a client's cell phone camera which shows the agency bashing the client while she was out of the room (she left her camera phone on as she left). The text of the conversation, which you can read here on a blog called The Disgruntled Client seemingly set up simply to trash this client's agency, seems contrived and fake.

Some Adrants forum members have doubted the purity of this video and the blog surmising it to be just another poor attempt by an oh-so-cool agency to promote themselves using attempts at social media wit. We've sent an inquiry to the blog's owner for clarification but have not yet received a reply. We're leaning toward fake but we'll report back any information, if any, we receive from The Disgruntled Client.

by Steve Hall    Oct-19-06    
Topic: Social, Strange, Video, Weblogs

Blog Tenure Questioned, YouTube Gets Boob Reduction


- Ariel wonders where once famed bloggers like Robert Scoble and Dave Winer are today and wonders if bloggers are only as good as their last post.

- Like Tara Reid's boob size, the once fun bag sized YouTube is now undergoing a fun bag reduction with the addition of yet another CxO.

- The marketers for a book that craps on Christians are crapping their marketing all over conservative Christians to fuel controversy.

- AdFreak's got a hilarious spoof pharmaceutical ad that claims Tequila will cure all ills. Of course, just like a real pharmaceutical ad, there's all sorts of disclaimers.

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by Steve Hall    Sep-28-06    
Topic: Weblogs

Datran Media Outperforms With New Blog


Fights with Mark Naples aside, Datran has joined the bloguverse (isn't that better than blogosphere? After all, with blogging growing and a universe being bigger than a sphere, it's a valid replacement for the oh-so-tired and overused "blogosphere") with a blog named Outperformance Marketing because well, Performance Marketing was taken and ouot performing is better than performing. The name choice is explained on the blog thusly, "Datran Media coined the term Outperformance Marketing to describe our commitment to employ superior performance-based marketing strategies. The Outperformance Marketing Journal is our way of sharing this commitment beyond our walls to marketers everywhere." Not that they're actually going to share anything they could otherwise sell but, hey, it's an admirable venture. Editorial will provide email marketing news and research written by "an industry leading editorial staff" ie. Datran marketing folks

by Steve Hall    Sep-22-06    
Topic: Weblogs