Monthly Archives: October 2008

How good is the new Britney come back?!

In my opinion it’s in the so bad, it’s good territory with an amazing video and yes, I unashamedly love it. How have I formed this strong and ridicule enticing opinion when it doesn’t go on sale in the UK for weeks? It has been everywhere on the internet for ages. Everywhere for free! Seriously music industry – and I say this because I care – get your act together.

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Editor’s blog: Bambino crisis in Italy

For the last seven years, we’ve had a house in Le Marche region of Italy – and when we took my new-born son Ludo there last year, the natives went wild over him.

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Do we need further food advertising restrictions online?

It’s my first entry to the IAB blog on Brand Republic and I’m going to dive head-first into the thorny debate on junk-food advertising.

Brave: probably; crazy: quite possibly.

However, we do need to have a debate as to whether further restrictions on food advertising are needed online, and this week has seen a number of developments on this particular issue.

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The Queen goes all Google on us

Today’s big story in new media land is that the Queen is visiting Google. Obviously I believe if she really wanted to get to the heart of the digital industry then she should have started her day off with a quick nip around the IAB offices (especially now we’re in fancy new ones in deepest darkest Covent Garden). I guess if you worked for MSN you’d be wondering why she couldn’t just pop over the road and have a squiz at your own offices, just to avoid playing favourites. She could fit in Yahoo! with a visit to their Shaftesbury Avenue HQ (convenient as it’s on the way to our offices) and then a quick hop over to Hammersmith to say hello to the Platform A crew and she’d have covered a large part of the industry in one motorcade driven morning.

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Let’s get everyone widgetised by 2010

Although possibly a little late to hop on the bandwagon, I’m currently obsessed with widgets. Not obsessed to the extent thatI actually use that many you understand, but in terms of what they represent for the future of advertising – not just online – i think they’re pretty spot on. However there exists a contradiction surrounding the premise behind them, in that making marketing, and indeed your brand, useful, should not really be a new thing. What’s a corporate website if it’s not a useful source of information about your product, service or corporation? What’s a press ad, if not a useful form of communication with numerous readers, inviting them to engage with you further via a unqiue design and persuasive prose? All useful,I would argue, yet manifested in different ways.

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Take me to Kansas

As the cost of living spirals, house prices tumble and once mighty financial institutions disintegrate before our eyes, it appears many of us have only one thing on our minds… let’s go to the cinema.

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Does it matter that online campaigns are instantly forgettable?

welcome to the new IAB blog and our first attempts at trying to get some
thoughts out for comment and debate. When approaching my entry the first thing
that struck me was my lack of experience in writing for a blog… Sure I can
write stuff but that doesn’t make me experienced.

There’s a great story about
Van Gogh who was approached at a party to draw a picture. He duly responded,
though the recipient commented on the fact that it only took a few minutes to
draw. VG snapped back by saying, “it had actually taken a lifetime to draw.” I
don’t know or care whether it’s a true story, but its meaning does ring true.
I believe experience + creativity = something amazing. When I started in
advertising, Campaign magazine reported on the first Account Director at the
tender age of 30 – now you are lagging others if you’re not one by 25. Now I’m
in danger of being a moaner here, but I do believe there is a probation period
of listening, learning, and making mistakes, but most importantly understanding
what is at the heart of brands and brand building.

Just take a look at the best digital advertising agencies, they all bear the hallmarks of traditional
advertising disciplines. They are experts in brand marketing, production
values, client service and measurement. Why then do so few online campaigns
spontaneously spring to mind, and does it matter? The IAB recently ran a round
table of top-level online creative directors and they all genuinely didn’t give
a hoot that their wares weren’t being celebrated down the pub alongside the
latest Lynx ad or new spectacle for Sony Bravia. No, they were utterly absorbed
by the challenge of making their product better for their clients business –
check out the Orange work by Poke or Dare’s Johnny X campaign. So why is there
this unspoken tension within the industry that our work is better than yours,
and we’re better than you at this and you’ll never be as good as us at that, I
believe ‘experience’ is at the heart of it. Brand experience from the
traditionalists and digital experience and know-how from the online camp.
Experience tells me that if we park our egos, we can truly work together for the
good of the brands.

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Editor’s blog: Green shoots of recovery for Baugur

When you’re an Icelander cast adrift in the turbulent North Atlantic, you grab whichever lifebelt is chucked your way before you freeze to death within seconds. That’s the advice one would give to the beleaguered Jon Asgeir Johannesson of Baugur, which is thought to have between one and two billion pounds of debt held by the Icelandic banks that collapsed last week.

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Editor’s blog: Feeling Robbie’s £1bn pain

Robbie, as he’s known to his mates, kissed goodbye to 1 billion inside 24 hours. As someone far too wrapped up in the fortunes of Icelandic banks, he was forced to offload his stakes in Sainsbury’s and Mitchells & Butlers – as Kaupthing went into the gyre and then off down the Swannee.

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Editor’s blog: What does the crunch mean for you?

1) I went to the dentist for my regular six-monthly check up yesterday. Nothing special to report – the usual minor plaque scrape and ‘make sure you floss very carefully at the back’ – and I was sent packing after paying my 75 bill. My dentist, like 99% of others in London, doesn’t want to know about the NHS these days. They like things private, with cash on the nail. Anyway as I was booking the next appointment for April 2009, I suddenly thought: why don’t I extend the six months to eight or nine? Wouldn’t make any difference. I’m not going to expire from gum disease in the interim. Save a couple of quid. It’s tiny little marginal decisions like this – some made semi-consciously – taken by all of us, that slow things down. I’m not remotely worried about the welfare of my dentist – she’ll be fine (show me a hard-up dentist). But her amalgam-maker, her drill-manufacturer and the mouthwash-producer are going to feel a little pinch.

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