Archive for October, 2010

Charlotte Observer tries 3D in paper, online

Saturday, October 9th, 2010

The Charlotte Observer goes 3D Sunday with its special section for the beginning of race week at Charlotte Motor Speedway and will follow up with a 3D photo in the paper every day next week, editor Rick Thames explained Thursday.

The Sunday paper will come with 3D glasses for viewing racing photos in the paper and online at and That’

“Our sports and photo staffs sifted through hundreds of great racing moments from our archives for this 20-page section, Thames said. “It includes legendary drivers, faithful fans, grinding competition on the track and furious action in the pits.”

The Observer’s director of  photography, Bert Fox, said editors looked for depth, action and simplicity. “As 3D images, foreground objects come at you and background objects fall off,” Fox said. “In the photos, race cars stretch far into the background, a pit crew looks like they’ll jump into your lap, drivers jump in the arms of race fans and helicopters fly off the page.”

And, since readers will have the glasses, Thames said, they figured they should give them more to look at from Charlotte and the region throughout the week.

Ad revenue high on medical marijuana

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Alternative newspapers and mainstream metropolitan dailies are cashing in on medical marijuana, the New York Times says.

“It is hard to measure what share of the overall market they account for, but ads for medical marijuana providers and the businesses that have sprouted up to service them — tax lawyers, real estate agents, security specialists — have bulked up papers in large metropolitan news markets like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Denver,” the newspaper said Tuesday.

The Obama administration said last fall that it would not prosecute users and suppliers of the drug as long as they complied with state laws. Fourteen states and the District of Columbia make legal allowances for medical marijuana, the Times says.

Demand is so large that newspapers are publishing supplemental guides to medical marijuana with titles like “Chronic-le,”  which had 48 pages for its summer issue,  “The Rolling Paper” and “ReLeaf,” also 48 pages last week

Scott Tobias, president and chief operating officer of Village Voice Media, which publishes alternative weeklies across the country, said that in Denver, money from advertising for marijuana-related businesses has totaled 15 percent of the weekly Westword’s revenue this year and nearly 40 percent of its classified advertising revenue.

At The Missoula (Montana) Independent, medical marijuana advertising now makes up about 10 percent of the paper’s revenue.

Advertisers set up opt-out on behavioral ads

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Some 5,000 advertisers led by the American Association of Advertising Agencies and the American Advertising Federation have agreed to offer an opt-out device to thwart behavioral marketing, or the practice of sending ad messages based on the user’s online searches.

Behavioral advertising opt-out icon

Behavioral advertising opt-out icon

“The program promotes the use of the Advertising Option Icon (right) and accompanying language, to be displayed within or near online advertisements or on Web pages where data is collected and used for behavioral advertising,” the group’s statement says. “The Advertising Option Icon indicates a company’s use of online behavioral advertising and adherence to the principles guiding the program. By clicking on it, consumers will be able to link to a clear disclosure statement regarding the company’s online behavioral advertising data collection and use practices as well as an easy-to-use opt-out option.”

“The industry initiative is based on guidelines recommended last year by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission,” Bloomberg says. “The FTC’s proposals stemmed from the agency’s continuing inquiry into how companies tailor their advertising to individuals and whether practices based on consumer Web browsing intrude on privacy.”

Behavioral targeting is the cornerstone of such online marketing as Yahoo’s Newspaper Consortium, which includes such publishers as McClatchy, Cox, Belo, Scripps and Media News Group.

Addendum: Our original post about the FTC’s regulation of behavioral targeting slipped our mind this morning.

TV rules as advertising slowly recovers

Monday, October 4th, 2010

As advertising rebounds worldwide, television is the one old medium fully recovering while newspapers continue to fail and others show meager growth, The Economist says.

“First, its power to monopolize attention is undiminished,” the magazine says. Online and mobile video are growing but have nowhere near the presence of TV. Newspapers have largely moved online, where they make much less money. But TV viewing has risen – up to 158  hours per month in the first quarter of the year, two hours more last year.

And, TV works better. “Search engines and online banners are not nearly so good at making people aware of new products,” The Economist says. “Nor do they offer emotional experiences. Television’s ability to build brands by surrounding adverts with gripping content is unsurpassed. Online video is still not a serious competitor, partly because viewers are less tolerant of ads, partly because much of it is poor.”

Social network marketing is seen as one threat to TV, but so far what’s being spent on it is hardly measurable, the magazine says. Keith Weed, the head of marketing at Unilever, “forecasts a drift from paid advertising to ‘earned’ media, including Facebook, as companies learn to build brands through discussion.

Law to regulate commercials’ volume advances

Friday, October 1st, 2010

A law to require television stations and cable companies to keep commercials at the same volume as the programs they interrupt could become reality soon, the Associated Press says. The Senate and House have passed similar bills that only require reconciliation of “minor differences.”

“Correcting sound levels is more complicated than using the remote control,” the AP says. “The television shows and ads come from a variety of sources, from local businesses to syndicators.

“Managing the transition between programs and ads without spoiling the artistic intent of the producers poses technical challenges and may require TV broadcasters to purchase new equipment. To address the issue, an industry organization recently produced guidelines on how to process, measure and transmit audio in a uniform way.”

New rules would be adopted within a year of the law’s signing and enforced a year later.

It’s called the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or CALM.

Print can’t even market itself well, Shafer says

Friday, October 1st, 2010

Jack Shafer, media critic for Slate, is not so impressed with the Newspaper Association of America ad campaign aimed at persuading advertisers that newspapers remain a viable marketing medium.

The ads are “so bad I can imagine advertisers interpreting it as the newspaper industry’s no-confidence vote in itself,” Shafer says. “Nobody would blame advertisers if they looked at the NAA ad and used it as an excuse to pull their buys from … papers.”

A second campaign for magazines that the Magazine Publishers of America recently claimed is working also fails to impress Shafer, though he doesn’t explain specifically why.

“If anybody understands how to make a print advertisement that really, really works, it should be newspaper and magazine people,” Shafer says. “But these two campaigns are so bumbling, so unpersuasive, so dull, that you’ve got to wonder whether any advertising intelligence went into making them. Maybe the goal was to sell the newspaper and magazine businesses as outposts of the desperate and pitiful worthy of advertiser charity. If so, Clios all around.”