Archive for the ‘Advertising’ Category

The message is the massage, baby

Monday, February 7th, 2011

MediaBistro’s Agency Spy points us to “Advertising Pick-Up Lines” which is put together by a group of University of Missouri advertising students.

“If sexual innuendo spliced with industry speak is your cup of tea,” Agency Spy says, “by all means enjoy.”

ASME pushes clarity in online advertising

Friday, January 28th, 2011

The American Society of Magazine Editors this week released additional guidelines aimed at online product placement, paid links and interruptive advertising, which are aimed at making sure the reader is “able to distinguish ads from edit,” AdWeek says.

“The new guidelines say paid or sponsored links should be identified as such; Web sites should not promote products in exchange for advertising; and sponsored microsites should be visually distinct from the main Web site. A section on interruptive advertising says such ads should be subject to editorial approval. ASME wants such ads to have a prominent ‘close’ or ‘skip’ button and last no more than 10 seconds.”

Also, ads for tablet media should “look different from editorial pages to avoid confusing the two, since tablets’ ads often aren’t displayed opposite editorial the way they are in print.”

The guidelines, like ones released last fall, are purely voluntary and, particularly in this economy, are likely to be ignored, the report says.

Forbes, for one publication, is unconcerned. It is expanding a program begun last fall that puts advertisers and outside contributors on equal footing with its editorial staffers, AdWeek says in another report this week.

“Under a three-month-old program called AdVoice, advertisers could pay to have their labeled blogs appear alongside those of editorial staffers. Now, their contributions can run anywhere on the site that a staff writer or contributor can appear, not just the blogs section,” AdWeek says.

Microsoft and Toyota have signed on.

“The idea of Lewis D’Vorkin, the company’s new chief product officer, to mix advertising content with edit is a dramatic shift for a historic business brand that once prided itself on not using freelancers,” the report says.

Social media a boon to branded content

Friday, January 21st, 2011

Social media is providing a boost to fashion magazines’ use of advertorial copy — also called “edvertorial” and “branded content” — to the point that “editorial is the new advertising,” according to  Women’s Wear Daily.

“After seeing the power of marketing effective viral content, brands are scurrying to invest in this type of material — and in many cases, are cutting back on their traditional advertising spending as a result,” the report says.

“It’s taking an editorial approach to telling your brand story, and the social-media space just lends itself so beautifully to that combination,” said Miki Berardelli, chief marketing officer at Tory Burch.

But, as online technology continues to find its footing, advertisers say they still get a better quality of reader with print magazines. So, regardless of  the quantity or readers available online and the fact that its results can be immediately tracked, print ads won’t be going away entirely anytime soon.

The old editorial/advertising divide argument is moot in the fashion world, WWD reminds us. “[F]ashion magazines blurred that line long ago — just check the credits in fashion shoots against what labels advertise.”

A bright spot in the trend, sort of, is that “as magazines cut staff or shutter altogether, the new editorial focus of fashion brands is providing a soft — and sometimes lucrative — landing spot for journalists and editors.”

Online ad spending eclipses newspapers

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

A digital marketing and media research firm said Tuesday that advertisers this year will for the first time spend more money for online advertising than for newspaper advertising.

eMarketer says says total newspaper spending [print and online] for 2010 will drop to $25.7 billion, a 6.6 percent decline, while online advertising will jump 13 percent to $25.8 billion for the year. Spending on print newspapers alone will fall to $22.8 billion for the year.

Newspapers will see a gain of a 7.8 percent in online ad spending this year, to $3 billion – making online ad revenue 11.67 percent of the total spent on newspaper ads. (The numbers don’t add up correctly –  the $3 billion online and newspapers’ $22.8 billion for print alone, for example – because of rounding, the report says.)

“The spending gap will widen significantly next year,” the report says.

Geoff Ramsey, chief executive officer at eMarketer, said online ads are typically seen as more reliable because their effectiveness can be measured, whereas print ads “are often difficult to tie to a measurable financial result,” according to Bloomberg News. The bad economy has also accelerated the move toward digital platforms.

“It’s something we’ve seen coming for a long time, but this is a tipping point,”  Ramsey told The Wall Street Journal.

Total ad spending in the U.S. is expected to increase 3 percent to $168.5 billion in 2010.

eMarketer also says that total US online ad spending will continue double-digit growth through 2014, when it will surpass $40 billion.

Smartphone apps mine, forward personal data

Monday, December 20th, 2010

Your smartphone is spying on you and peddling the information to advertising companies, the Wall Street Journal said Saturday.

The WSJ tested 101 popular smartphone “apps” – games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones – and found that 56 transmitted the phone’s unique device ID – effectively a “supercookie” that cannot be erased, the article says –  to other companies without the  users’ awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone’s location. Five sent the user’s age, gender and other personal details to outsiders.

Examples the WSJ cites include TextPlus 4, a popular iPhone app for text messaging, which sent the phone’s unique ID number to eight ad companies and the phone’s ZIP code, along with the user’s age and gender, to two of the ad companies; and the music app Pandora, which sent age, gender, location and phone identifiers to various ad networks. Grindr, an iPhone app for meeting gay men, sent gender, location and phone ID to three ad companies.

Because of the test’s size, it’s not known if the pattern – more than half of apps sharing info – holds among the hundreds of thousands of apps available, the newspaper says.

The article has the “we care about our customers” statements you’d expect from iPhone maker Apple Inc. and Android maker Google Inc. But, “‘In the world of mobile, there is no anonymity,’ says Michael Becker of the Mobile Marketing Association, an industry trade group. A cellphone is ‘always with us. It’s always on.'”

Why does this  matter? “The main companies setting ground rules for app data-gathering have big stakes in the ad business,” the WSJ says. “The two most popular platforms for new U.S. smartphones are Apple’s iPhone and Google’s Android. Google and Apple also run the two biggest services, by revenue, for putting ads on mobile phones.

“Apple and Google ad networks let advertisers target groups of users. Both companies say they don’t track individuals based on the way they use apps.”

And, “Ad sales on phones account for less than 5 percent of the $23 billion in annual Internet advertising. But spending on mobile ads is growing faster than the market overall.

“Central to this growth: the ad networks whose business is connecting advertisers with apps. Many ad networks offer software ‘kits’ that automatically insert ads into an app. The kits also track where users spend time inside the app.”

The WSJ says it tested its own iPhone app, btw, and it did not send out data.

Beauty in ads makes women feel beastly

Monday, December 13th, 2010

Objects of beauty in advertising, such as fashion products, actually make women feel less attractive, a study by The Journal of Consumer Research says.

The New York Times reported the study last Friday, saying, “advertised products, unlike [just a photo of] unadvertised products, affect both whether and how the viewer thinks of herself afterward. In other words, an image of the high-heeled shoe in a stylish advertisement is likely to trigger a sense of inadequacy.”

Study subjects “who were shown advertised beauty-enhancing products were likely to think about themselves more afterward than other women would. Perhaps not such a big deal. But the thoughts they had about themselves (when asked questions such as ‘How attractive do you find yourself?’ and ‘How satisfied are you with your body?’) were decidedly gloomier.”

The unanswered question – to be studied next, according to the Times – is whether this decreases buying intentions or results in “shopping therapy.”

McClatchy shines in latest revenue report

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Not only has McClatchy stock gained nearly $1 since CEO Gary Pruitt made his presentation to investors and analysts Wednesday morning at the annual UBS Global Media Conference in New York, Pruitt says classified advertising revenue is leading the way in the firm’s improving 2010 ad revenue picture.

It’s a Bizarro world.

As Poynter’s Rick Edmonds points out, the death of classified advertising is pretty much  “a consensus truism about the decline of the newspaper industry.” But McClatchy says not only that classifieds are leading its improving outlook, but among classifieds, employment advertising is up 2.1 percent since first turning positive in May.

It’s all a part of the continuing “less-bad is good” scenario. Here’s the score, directly from McClatchy’s news release: “Advertising revenues were down 5.8 percent in October and November 2010 combined, compared to declines of 6.4 percent in the third quarter, 8.2 percent in the second quarter and 11.2 percent in the first quarter of 2010. Year-to-date advertising revenues through November 2010 were down 8 percent. Total revenues for October and November 2010 combined were down 5.1 percent and were down 6.2 percent year-to-date through November 2010.”

But the stock is soaring, says The Street, based on Pruitt’s optimistic outlook. “We have seen improvement in revenues in every quarter of 2010 and that has continued into the fourth quarter,” Pruitt said in his presentation. “Looking forward to 2011, we expect advertising revenues to continue to improve.”

Edmonds reports that Pruitt said classifieds are recovering faster than other segments of the company’s advertising base and should be a healthy business for years to come.

More than half of McClatchy’s employment classifed income is now from the digital version, and rates for online classifieds, which have always lagged print, are pulling even with print, and may pass them in another year or two, according to Pruitt, again with employment ads taking the lead.

Edmonds also points out that McClatchy derives revenue from part-ownership in such online classifieds sites as CareerBuilder, Classified Ventures and  Homefinder. McClatchy announced that Classified Ventures, which includes and, will pay McClatchy a special dividend of $20 to $25 million by the end of the year.

“McClatchy, like most of the newspaper companies presenting this week, is operating profitably and using a big share of those earnings to pay down debt,” Edmonds concludes [The publisher will have $1.775 billion of outstanding debt and “a very manageable maturity schedule” at the end of its fiscal year, Pat Talamantes, McClatchy’s chief financial officer, said.]. “And like the other companies, it is not making any promises that revenues, currently declining about 5 percent year-to-year, will grow in 2011.

“’I can’t tell you when we will go positive,’ Pruitt told a questioner, ‘but we think that we will.’”

TV commercials to be turned down

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

Congress has finally passed the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act — the CALM Act — regulating the volume of television commercials. And, eventually, not anytime soon of course, the volume will be cut.

“The act directs the Federal Communications Commission to regulate volume levels in a manner that has already been embraced by the Advanced Television Systems Committee, an industry group,” the New York Times says. “The FCC has a year to take action, and then the affected television providers have another year to comply.”

Newspapers pushed for guarantees

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Two print media buying groups that control about $2 billion in annual spending are demanding that newspapers provide circulation guarantees, and the nation’s largest newspapers are acceding, according to Mediaweek.

Dean Singleton, chairman and CEO, MediaNews Group, told the publication that newspapers have never guaranteed circulation, and suggested using “audience” or readership instead. Readership numbers are higher than circulation, based on the theory that most copies of a newspaper are read by more than one person.

Singleton also said that rate bases would complicate the ad-sales process because buyers don’t want multiple ways of doing business, Mediaweek said. (Wouldn’t it mean switching to this way of doing business, complicating things for a time for ad sellers?)

MediaVest and Starcom USA are the two groups pushing for the new standards. The New York Times and USA Today are among those said to have agreed to the demands.

Tribune Co. and The Wall Street Journal already offer circulation guarantees.

Radio revenue rising

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

The Radio Advertising Bureau says advertising revenue rose 5 percent year-over-year in the third quarter and is up about 6 percent for the year through September.

There was growth in every segment, the RAB said. But, “Local advertising revenue, long the mainstay of the radio business, increased a relatively modest 3 percent to $2.97 billion in the third quarter, while national jumped 10 percent to $700 million,” Media Daily News said Friday.