AT&T's 1993 "You Will" ads, the rightest wrong things ever predicted about the internet

In 1993, AT&T ran a series of ads trumpeting the future of the internet, called "You Will." Read the rest

In-depth investigation of the Alibaba-to-Instagram pipeline for scammy crapgadgets with excellent branding

Artist Jenny Odell created the Bureau of Suspended Objects to photographically archive and researched the manufacturing origins of 200 objects found at a San Francisco city dump; last August, she prepared a special report for Oakland's Museum of Capitalism about the bizarre world of shitty "free" watches sold through Instagram influences and heavily promoted through bottom-feeding remnant ad-buys, uncovering a twilight zone of copypasted imagery and promotional materials livened with fake stories about mysterious founders and branded tales. Read the rest

South Korean law bans mobile crapware, network discrimination, deceptive native advertising, and anti-adblock

Last year, Korean rules regulating abusive practices by online services went into effect, under terms set out in the "Amended Enforcement Decree of the Telecommunications Business Act Now Effective, Specifically Classifying and Regulating Certain Prohibited Acts of Telecom Service Providers." Read the rest

Cyberpunk anime ad for Murphy's Irish Stout (UK, 1997)

Probably the best cyberpunk anime ad for stout ale in the world. [via Tim Soret] Read the rest

Complying with the new EU data protection directive requires a top-to-bottom redo of the adtech industry

Back in 2016, the EU passed the General Data Protection Regulation, a far-reaching set of rules to protect the personal information and privacy of Europeans that takes effect this coming May. Read the rest

Climate deniers beat Google and topped the page on searches for "climate change"

Google has long maintained that it must keep the workings of its search and ad-placement algorithms a secret, lest they provide a roadmap to the kinds of bad actors who'd like tweak the results and give their bad ideas (or sleazy products) pride of placement on its pages. Read the rest

Terrifying Steve Ballmer ad for Microsoft Windows 1.0

Knowing Microsoft's longtime sales chief Steve Ballmer, I thought I knew what to expect from this early ad starring him. But the sheer maniacal force of it means I've already had enough internet for the day, and it's not even 7 am. Read the rest

Is 1984's "The Jordache Look" the most 80s commercial?

Some debate surrounds "The Jordache Look," a 1984 advertisement for the iconic brand's jeans. The proposition: that it is "the most 80s advert ever." If the presence of "ever" permits adverts from beyond the 80s to still be "80s," then I'm afraid there's no beating The Ambassador's Reception, shot by classy chocolatier Ferrero Rocher for screening in post-communist Eastern European markets, but so successful it ended up on British TV. Read the rest

Alarming lawyer ad

The best personal injury lawyer ad in human history is the chroma key apocalypse of Berger & Green, but this fellow Barry Glazer gives Pittsburgh's finest a run for their money: "I'm in it for vengeance"

Here's an interview with Barry, shot by Alexander Rubin:

Barry Glazer is a Baltimore-based attorney whose provocative, uninhibited television commercials have made him a local celebrity. But what about the man behind the ads? 'Attorney at Raw' investigates the Barry Glazer that few have seen, until now.
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Mobile ad technique allows stalkers to follow you around a city for less than $1000

This month, University of Washington researchers will present Exploring ADINT: Using Ad Targeting for Surveillance on a Budget — or — How Alice Can Buy Ads to Track Bob at the Workshop on Privacy in the Electronic Society in Dallas; the paper details a novel way that stalkers and other low-level criminals can accomplish state-grade surveillance on the cheap with targeted ad-purchases. Read the rest

For $25, you can target Facebook users based on race and sexual orientation

Point created an obviously fake company with tons of alarm-raising inconsistencies, allocated it $25, and then used their budget to target Facebook users based on race and sexual orientation, a move that, depending on the ad's content, can violate US civil rights law. Read the rest

Sweary mums are scaring off Mumsnet's advertisers

Mumsnet bills itself as "the UK's most popular parenting website," and it makes substantial revenues from the ads that run alongside the sprawling, vigorous discussions among the eponymous mums (and the occasional dad). Read the rest

He-Man and Skeletor dance again in ad

But wait, there's more!

Let's trawl the old inspirations, the long-ago internet moments whose memetic descendants are million-dollar TV ad campaigns for loan aggregators. When it comes to Skeletor, there are many to pick from. But one always comes back to CKY ft. Gnarkill's Skeletor vs Beastman, a NSFW wonder that was once part of the Internet's collective subconscious.

I'd chance that for many readers it will be unfamiliar. It's something long-displaced by cleaner and more consumer-friendly regurgitations of 80s trash culture. And perhaps quite repulsive. Is it queer, or homophobic? I always assumed the former, in which context the new ad seems a heteronomalized echo of something subversive. But now, after another 15 years of internet, I'm not sure. Perhaps the commercial is a better subversion.

[via Metafilter] Read the rest

Pop Tarts replaces model's eyes with mouths in nightmare ad

I am become death, destroyer of worlds.

Behold my works! Corinthian Leather: the collected political nightmare photoshops. Read the rest

Calgary airport regrets converting disabled parking spaces into "Lexus only" parking spaces

The Calgary airport authority has apologised for a botched marketing campaign in which it sold Lexus on the idea of designating some of its parking places as "Lexus only" and then, unbeknownst to the car company, used disabled parking spots for the purpose (presumably, they were luxuriously spacious). Read the rest

The failure of OK Soda's reverse-psychology ad campaign

OK Soda was a short-lived 1990s soft drink put out by the Coca-Cola company, remarkable for the brilliant postmodern irony of its marketing campaign. Thomas Flight's short documentary tells a fascinating story about its failure.

Can you sell disillusionment? Can you subvert something and achieve the same thing that what you're subverting achieves?

Coca-cola couldn't in 1993. But compare to the successful 2015 LeBron commercial for Sprite, which also sells disillusionment. What, Flight asks, did it do differently?

Flight does point out that OK Soda tasted bad, which might well have been a factor in its quick disappearance.

Conscious postmodernism in advertising usually leads to:

a) Cringe-inducing forced coolness. b) "How do you do, fellow-cynics?" c) the toxic media spillway that ultimately dumped America in a giant tub of Trump. d) The obvious impossibility of marketing piss with metahumor about the awfulness of marketing and of piss.

But sometimes someone gets it right. Read the rest

Google "respectfully disagrees" with €2.42 billion fine

Google expected to be punished by the European Union for anticompetitive shenanigans, but it didn't expect a slap this hard: €2.42 billion, the largest fine on record. The company says it "respectfully disagrees" with both the ruling and the amount and may appeal.

The commission believes it has struck a blow for consumers and for little firms at a time when online advertising - particularly on mobile phones - is dominated by Google and Facebook.

Google believes the regulator has a weak case and has failed to provide evidence that either consumers or rivals have been harmed.

In essence, it sees this as a political move rather than one based on competition law. You can be pretty confident that the Trump administration will share that view.

There's mounting anxiety in European capitals about something called Gafa - Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon - the four American giants that play such a huge role in all of our lives. That means we can expect further action to try to limit their powers, with the potential for growing political tension between Brussels and Washington.

Google abused its dominance of search to promote its own shopping services, the European Commission wrote, systematically shutting out competitors, distorting the market and hurting local shoppers.

Since the beginning of each abuse, Google's comparison shopping service has increased its traffic 45-fold in the United Kingdom, 35-fold in Germany, 19-fold in France, 29-fold in the Netherlands, 17-fold in Spain and 14-fold in Italy.

Following the demotions applied by Google, traffic to rival comparison shopping services on the other hand dropped significantly.

Read the rest

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