Adblock Plus, an adblocking plugin recently unveiled as a trojan horse for a new ad network, claimed Google and AppNexus were among its partners. This is not so, according to Google and AppNexus. Read the rest
As the fight over the FCC's Unlock the Box plan heats up, the cable and satellite TV companies have pulled out all the stops in a bid to force you to continue spending more than $200/year to rent an insecure, power-hungry, badly designed set-top box, rather than introducing competition by letting you buy your cable-box on the open market. Read the rest
The Book of Gossage by Howard Luck Gossage and Jeff Goodby Copy Workshop 2006, 308 pages, 8 x 10 x 1 inches (softcover) $42-$50 Buy a copy on Amazon
Just down the street from San Francisco’s North Beach strip clubs and Beat Museum, I had the privilege of interning for an ad agency located in one of the city’s original firehouses. When I started, I had no idea that the building once belonged to Howard Luck Gossage, an advertising legend. After taking a spin down the firepole I was given a copy of The Book of Gossage and told that if I wanted to work in advertising I needed to read this book. It opened my eyes to how amazing advertising can be, and introduced me to an icon that too few people know about.
The book is dense, as it’s part textbook, part history lesson, and is filled with some incredibly witty and thought-provoking ads. The book collects a bulk of Gossage’s writings where he tackles the big issue: Is Advertising Worth Saving? He also covers topics like: How To Be Creative, The Shape of an Idea, and Our Fictitious Freedom Of The Press.
His ads filled tires with pink air, started the international paper airplane competition, and prevented the Grand Canyon from being flooded. While his creative insights alone would be worth the price of this book, there is also a lot of historic context that’s provided by colleagues, and people who were influenced by his work. Hearing about his charm and love of parties makes you understand why people like Tom Wolfe, John Steinbeck, and Stan Freberg would just hang out at his agency. Read the rest
Augmented reality, where stuff is visually superimposed on the real world using special glasses or whatever, is often touted as a more convincing and likely future than, say, everyone ending up in some kind of VR entertainment matrix hooked up to nutrition and shitting tubes. Sadly, AR will be even worse, at least if it resemble Keiichi Matsuda's hellish Hyper-Reality. Read the rest
I much prefer this 1950s Egyptian television commercial for Coca-Cola to the brand's much better known 1971 jingle "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)." Interestingly, in the early 20th century, there was apparently debate in Egypt over "whether Muslims were permitted to drink Coca-Cola and Pepsi cola." According to a source cited by Wikipedia, the eventual fatwa was in favor of the sodas:
"...The rule in Islamic law of forbidding or allowing foods and beverages is based on the presumption that such things are permitted unless it can be shown that they are forbidden on the basis of the Qur'an." The Muslim jurists stated that, unless the Qu'ran specifically prohibits the consumption of a particular product, it is permissible to consume.
(via Weird Universe)
The Financial Times ran a column critical of Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman. The company's marketing chief, Henry Gomez, threatened to cut the advertising it ran in the newspaper. Lucy Kellaway's response is perfect.
My piece was not biased and I fear you misunderstand our business model. It is my editors’ steadfast refusal to consider the impact of stories on advertisers that makes us the decent newspaper we are. It is why I want to go on working here. It is why the FT goes on paying me.
Kellaway seems almost happy to have gotten such a direct threat in the first place, in an age of smarmy PR outreach and cold silence. But it's no surprise that HP is the one to break ranks. When did it get its reputation for this sort of "nice ads you have there" nastiness? Read the rest
Pagefair is an ad-blocking circumvention tool that publishers can use to track readers who've taken technological countermeasures to protect their privacy. The company has sold its service to many publishers -- including the Economist -- by deploying moral arguments about the evils of ad-blocking. Read the rest
The FCC has rejected Consumer Watchdog's petition to force Internet companies like "Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pandora, Netflix, and LinkedIn") to honor the "Do Not Track" flag that browsers can send to web-servers, informing them that users do not want their Internet activity to be tracked and shared with third parties. Read the rest
As the supply of publishers went up, advertisers gained leverage they could use to insist on more invasive ads and more unethical editorial practices. Read the rest
A well-known software developer pulled his wildly successful ad-blocking utility just two days after releasing it on Apple's App Store. Marco Arment, who co-founded Tumblr and created Instapaper and Overcast, says he felt guilty about selling the ad-blocker, called Peace, because it "just doesn’t feel good." Arment explained why he pulled the app in a post on his blog (which runs ads served by The Deck):
I still believe that ad blockers are necessary today, and I still think Ghostery is the best one, but I’ve learned over the last few crazy days that I don’t feel good making one and being the arbiter of what’s blocked.
Ad-blocking is a kind of war — a first-world, low-stakes, both-sides-are-fortunate-to-have-this-kind-of-problem war, but a war nonetheless, with damage hitting both sides. I see war in the Tao Te Ching sense: it should be avoided when possible; when that isn’t possible, war should be entered solemnly, not celebrated.
Even though I’m “winning”, I’ve enjoyed none of it. That’s why I’m withdrawing from the market.
He is giving refunds to everyone who purchased the app. Read the rest
Far out vintage ads for drug paraphernalia, from a water pipe that looks like a set of bathroom fixtures to "The Boosters," a brand of additives that moisten weed and act as a desiccant for cocaine. Read the rest