Saturday, December 31, 2011
January: Advertising Age opened the month with a fluff piece on BrandLab, eliciting commentary from MultiCultClassics and industry icon Roy Eaton. Meanwhile, the comment thread turned ugly at AgencySpy for a post on GlobalHue. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. commented on Madison Avenue. No comments were required when examining the official diversity statements from Campbell-Ewald, Draftfcb, DDB, JWT, Ogilvy, Euro RSCG, McCann Worldgroup, PHD, Kaplan Thaler Group, Avrett Free Ginsberg, WPP, Gotham, Merkley + Partners, Havas, a handful of shops without diversity statements, IPG, Leo Burnett, Publicis, Deutsch, MDC Partners and Omnicom. Tiffany Edwards, education and diversity director for The One Club, left a comment in response to MultiCultClassics’ critique of the exclusive awards organization. Steffan Postaer kicked off a new series—“C’mon White Man!”—with a self-absorbed salute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Black Enterprise saluted Blacks in the advertising business, although the publication could only name four creatives in White firms. And Advertising Age closed the month with a bunch of articles exposing the dismal state of diversity, prompting commentary from Harry Webber.
February: Black History Month offered its share of historical and hysterical moments. Alex Bogusky landed the second installment of “C’mon White Man!”—by launching a new enterprise that looked like the common White enterprises. Summer’s Eve senior brand manager Angela Bryant publicly apologized for an offensive promotion which inevitably seemed tame compared to what would be unveiled in the near future. Jeff Goodby made his inaugural debut in “C’mon White Man!”—by executing a blatant mercy hire of Barbara Lippert as his shop’s curator of pop culture. Marian Salzman became the first female to be honored in “C’mon White Man!” Groupon aired its premier TV campaign during the Super Bowl, earning a championship trophy for insensitivity and ignorance worldwide. A Draftfcb douchebag duo designed an app to meet chicks—and hooked up as losers for “C’mon White Man!” JWT New York followed the Draftfcb dimwits with agency-wide recognition in the “C’mon White Man!” series. Craig Brimm authored a multicultural marketing manifesto, urging minority shops to avoid becoming Black history. An ex-Publicis executive filed a $100 million gender bias suit against the holding company, mere months before Publicis Groupe Chairman-CEO Maurice Levy proclaimed he was seeking an adman as his successor.
March: Rich Silverstein introduced “One Job for America”—although it wasn’t clear if the Lippert mercy hire fulfilled his agency’s quota for the endeavor. Y&R and the UNCF celebrated the 40th anniversary of the famous “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste” campaign—although Madison Avenue has failed to embrace diversity for over 70 years. IPG CEO Michael Roth, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell and Omnicom CEO John Wren admitted their corporations are awful in regards to talent recruitment—although the three stooges were referring to White talent. The Institute for Advertising Ethics shat out its “Principles and Practices of Advertising”—although Shona Siefert’s “Proposed Code of Ethics for the Advertising Industry” was much better (and it was written by a convicted criminal!).
April: Pabst was blasted for concocting Colt 45 Blast with Snoop Dogg. The only other thing worth mentioning was a lawyer’s perspective in Advertising Age titled, “Seven Legal Issues That Agencies Should Be Thinking About in 2011.” Of course, the list did not include diversity.
May: The Top Ten Earners in Advertising are—surprise, surprise—all White men. “Where Are All The Black People?” resulted in Jeff Goodby offering a scholarship to send Black ad students to the land of all the White people. Ogilvy North American Chairman John Seifert, Ogilvy North American CCO Steve Simpson and StrawberryFrog CEO Scott Goodson perpetuated all the White male hiring and firing practices that prohibit progress on Madison Avenue all the time.
June: Peter Madden felt inspired by a young minority’s character—but not inspired enough to consider, say, hiring more minorities. Tiffany Rolfe felt inspired to speak out on the dearth of women in agency creative departments—but not inspired enough to consider, say, hiring more women. Summer’s Eve felt inspired to try a viral video approach to selling vajayjay cleansers—but not inspired enough to consider, say, firing the advertising agency that ultimately turned the brand into the laughingstock of the year.
July: Goodby Silverstein & Partners produced the “Got PMS?” milk campaign and received responses that made PMS sufferers look calm—plus, Jeff Goodby received a record third “C’mon White Man!” acknowledgement. Jim Glover published “Mad Man” and received a review from Pepper Miller and a reaction from Harry Webber. Ogilvy & Mather dabbled in cross-cultural marketing and received indifferent yawns. Summer’s Eve fully exposed its “Hail to the V” campaign and received instant condemnation. A D&AD-sponsored panel at Cannes 2011 discussed diversity in advertising and received a critique from MultiCultClassics for their contrived and clichéd thinking—as well as their displaying a White Pencil throughout the proceedings. Bob Hoffman bemoaned the complainers of offensive advertising and received a few complaints himself. Oh, and Draftfcb received the pink slip of the millennium from SC Johnson.
August: Rich Silverstein ripped off a logo—and won an award at Cannes for his thieving style. Donny Deutsch defended a woman’s right to be a Sugar Baby—the perfect position for an aging adulterer to take. Draftfcb and NIVEA told Black men how to become civilized—in a totally uncivilized fashion.
September: R/GA proved it regularly hires women of color, provided they’re exotic dancers. Uncle Ben quietly returned, yet he’s no longer a corporate honcho with a fancy office. JWT promoted itself as a true international agency, apparently hoping to fool people into believing a global network equals diversity. JWT Atlanta hyped itself as diverse via the Bill Sharp Award, a scholarship program for—you guessed it—minority students. Dan Wieden won an ADCOLOR® Award—now that’s fucked up! A fake letter from John Wren revealed the real racism on Madison Avenue.
October: The logo for Advertising Week 2011 was brainless. The sequel to “Where Are All The Black People?” failed to answer its own question. Jeff Goodby is on a “C’mon White Man!” hot streak. However, Donny Deutsch is making a serious run to overtake Goodby’s lead. Michael Wolff tried to reinvent Adweek, but should have started by familiarizing himself with the industry. The 4As officially asked members to stop being racist.
November: Walmart marketing wonk Tony Rogers declared advertisers should “blow up” their multicultural marketing budgets. Um, somebody tell Tony the majority of advertisers don’t have multicultural marketing budgets. TBWA\Toronto shot an autobiographical documentary in a Nigerian Nollywood style, complete with an all-African cast. Um, guess there weren’t enough mailroom attendants at the shop to cover the roles. Burrell Communications sought to bash cross-cultural marketing with research results questioning its effectiveness. Um, this amounts to a battle over crumbs, no? A study indicated IPG hasn’t paid taxes for at least three years. Um, IPG, meet IRS.
December: New York City Councilman Larry Seabrook enjoyed a mistrial in his corruption case. The obscene part is, diversity advocate Seabrook went to court long before Cyrus Mehri will pin charges on Madison Avenue crooks. Additionally, the month witnessed an amazing example of Corporate Cultural Collusion and karmic payback. In 2007, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners won the $1.4 billion Sprint account—probably due in part to its Omnicom ties that have led to plenty of shifty moves through the years. The agency found itself on the other side of the equation, however, as it suddenly lost the communications client without a review. The “winning” advertising agency isn’t even an advertising agency. Digitas Chicago suddenly assumed command, despite having no actual experience producing anything besides clickable banners. How did it happen? White male bonding between new Sprint CMO Bill Malloy and Digitas Chicago President Tony Weisman. Industry buffs know Weisman as a key player in the 2006 Walmart-Draftfcb-Julie Roehm debacle.
Happy New Year.
Advertising Age reported U.S. Latino shop Conill will retain the JC Penney account, while the retailer is splitting with White agency Saatchi & Saatchi. Um, isn’t it time to consider giving the entire account to Conill or another minority agency? It’s not like the White shops have managed to turn around the perpetually struggling store chain.
Amid Other Roster Changes, JC Penney Keeps U.S. Hispanic Shop Conill
Retailer Dropped Parent Saatchi & Saatchi but No Changes for $46M Latino Business
By Laurel Wentz
JC Penney is keeping its U.S. Hispanic agency Conill even as the retailer ends its five-year relationship with Saatchi & Saatchi and adds other agencies to its roster. Conill, 100% owned by Saatchi & Saatchi, was appointed to JC Penney’s $46 million U.S. Hispanic account last year in a move by the retailer to consolidate its business.
A JC Penney spokeswoman confirmed by email on Thursday that Conill will continue to be one of the company’s agency partners, in charge of handling its Hispanic business.
JC Penney is the 24th-largest advertiser in Hispanic media, according to the annual ranking in Ad Age’s Hispanic Fact Pack. In 2010, the company’s spending increased by 9% to $45.9 million, up from $42.1 million the previous year. Only two other retailers spent more on Hispanic media: Walmart Stores, ranked No. 15, spent $65.6 million through its longtime agency Lopez Negrete Communications, and Sears Holdings Corp. spent $53.9 million, and was No. 19, according to the Hispanic Fact Pack.
Until 2008, JC Penney’s U.S. Hispanic agency was Omnicom Group’s Dieste. After a March 2008 review, the business moved to the independent Vidal Partnership, and in September 2010 landed at Conill without a review.
Conill, named Ad Age’s Multicultural Agency of the Year in January 2011, is one of the top Hispanic agencies in a market where the savviest Hispanic shops are upping their game in the face of growing competition from general-market agencies as marketers spend more money to target multicultural consumers. The agency’s biggest clients include Procter & Gamble, Toyota and Sprint.
Conill’s moves include a focus on digital, which now accounts for 23% of all the agency’s revenue, up from 17% in 2010, and innovative use of media. And this year Conill set itself a three-year challenge to have 30% of its business come from work that goes beyond the Spanish language, as bilingual and English-speaking Hispanics become more challenging to reach, and lines between the Hispanic market and the general market increasingly blur. To that end, Conill recently hired Microsoft’s global media director, Brett Dennis, for the new role of chief media communications officer.
From The Austin Weekly News…
Minority firm buys Moo & Oink brand
Stores remain unsold but product to live on
By La Risa Lynch, Contributing Reporter
Moo & Oink, the shuttered retail meat company, will live on in name only as a minority owned company acquired the former store’s brand and other intellectual property for $530,000 during a public sale of the 30-year-old company last week.
Robert Beavers, chairman and CEO of Best Chicago Meat, purchased Moo & Oink’s iconic logo, name, website, catchy commercial jingle as well as the company’s recipes for several of its meat products. Best Chicago Meat, 4649 W. Armitage Ave., makes several well-known local meat products, including Jemm burger and sausage, Red Hot hotdogs and Scala’s, Italian meat and seasoning products.
“We are extremely proud to have Moo & Oink join our stable of brands,” Beavers said. “It’s a brand that is very well-known in the African-American community. Now it will be truly a minority owned.”
Beavers and his partner, Dave Van Kampen, were the highest bidders at the public auction held at 111 S. Wacker. The auction only attracted a few bidders. The opening bid started at $100,000. There were no bids to purchase Moo & Oink’s three city stores and its south suburban Hazel Crest location.
Beavers said competition from big box retailers made it prohibitive for them to purchase all the stores. He said many of the big boxes want to come into areas that are food deserts, an area where Moo & Oink was once the only shopping option. Food desert is a term that describes an area that lacks mainstream grocery stores.
Beavers said he has high hopes for the brand. The company wants to produce other products, such as barbeque sauce or seasoning that could carry the Moo & Oink brand. These products would be sold in retail stores.
The company also hopes to expand the brand’s reach outside of Chicago, targeting cities with high black population like Detroit, Birmingham, Memphis and Atlanta. Moo & Oink’s predecessors wanted to expand to those cities before its financial woes.
Van Kampen said the expansion into other markets is doable because of the Levy family’s efforts in growing the brand over the years. The Levy family operated Moo & Oink retail stores for years.
“I think they … (created) a great foundation and now we want to take it further … move it beyond this region,” said Van Kampen, president and COO of Best Chicago Meat.
An involuntary bankruptcy claim by Moo & Oink’s employee pension fund forced the company’s auction. The pension alleges Moo & Oink owes employees $3 million, a claim which the company denies.
The auction garnered $530,000 for the intellectual property and $68,000 for the furniture, store fixtures and equipment, including countertops, meat processing equipment and freezers.
The auction bought in a fraction of what is owed to First Midwest Bank, Moo & Oink’s largest creditor. Courtney Barr, an attorney for the bank, said the auction generated $598,000. The bank is owed $5.5 million.
Barr said the bank is “still in the hole for a significant amount.” She hopes the sale of Moo & Oink’s four real estate properties would make up the difference. The bank plans to use a real estate broker to put the properties up for sale in the spring.
Financing prevented another minority investor group from bidding in the auction. Attorney Exavier Pope, of The Pope Firm, which represented the group, said he was not surprised that another minority company bought Moo & Oink. He said his group stressed that Moo & Oink “needs to be African-American owned because it had African-American consumers.”
His group’s initial interest to purchase all the stores was to save jobs and preserve food shopping options in low-income communities. Pope said his group did not bid in the auction because they were unable to get their financing in on time. Pope said it was disheartening that no one attempted to save the business.
“That’s a travesty,” he said.
Several employees were on hand to watch the auction’s outcome. Ronald Raddle, 51, of West Englewood, hoped the company would be sold in tact to keep employees’ jobs.
Raddle, a Moo & Oink butcher for 18 years, said it has been hard finding work since grocery stores are carrying more packaged meats.
“I got to find something else,” he said. “I can sweep, wipe windows. I will do anything to put food for my family on the table.”
Friday, December 30, 2011
This Mickey D’s Big Mac and Snack Wrap spot created by a Black ad agency inspired YouTube comments like “Flava in Ya Ear, Diabetes in Ya Body,” and “[G]reat way to get Black and Latino people to keep eating poison. They can jig to ‘flava in ya ear’ while stacking pounds.”
This Big Mac and Snack Wrap spot created by a White ad agency just inspires WTF.
Here’s another foreign ad for Alcoholics Anonymous that violates the program’s policies on promotion. Besides, if you were so drunk that you saw double, how would you manage to read the body copy, phone number and URL?
From Ads of the World.
From The Chicago Sun-Times…
No way to explain away Ron Paul’s racist reports
Sorry, Ron Paul, you don’t get a pass on this one.
Every time Congressman Paul pops into the public consciousness, a string of racist, anti-gay and anti-Semitic newsletters he published under his name in the 1980s and 1990s comes up.
As they should.
It irritates the Republican presidential contender — a libertarian purist who has a real chance of prevailing in Iowa next week — that in recent days his hateful newsletters are again in the news and he can’t simply swat them away.
“I didn’t write them. Didn’t read them at the time and I disavow them. That is your answer,” Paul told CNN’s Gloria Borger last week.
Here’s a quick sampling of the prose, all written without a byline, in newsletters that bear Paul’s name (The Ron Paul Political Report, the Ron Paul Freedom Report, etc):
• An attack on Ronald Reagan for signing legislation to create the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday: “We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day.”
• On the 1992 Los Angeles riots: “Order was only restored in L.A. when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.”
• On gays and AIDS in 1994: “Those who don’t commit sodomy, who don’t get blood transfusions, and who don’t swap needles, are virtually assured of not getting AIDS unless they are deliberately infected by a malicious gay.”
We could make a big deal about how Paul’s disavowal of the newsletters started off weak and has only gotten stronger over time. But we won’t.
We could also side with critics who say Paul must name the authors or prove he was unaware of the content of his newsletters. But we won’t.
There is simply no way to explain away Paul’s connection to these abhorrent newsletters.
In the context of choosing a presidential nominee, all that matters is the fact that for more than five years this venom was published under Paul’s name. Venom, we should add, that wasn’t a once-in-a-blue-moon occurrence. The examples are endless.
It may be true that Paul never read his newsletters. He was practicing medicine at the time. It may also be true that he truly rejects this thinking.
But for years his name was associated with destructive, hurtful and divisive words and thoughts.
This man is not fit to be president.
Thursday, December 29, 2011
Advertising Age reported on the latest marketing
BP Launching National Ad Blitz After Christmas to Tout Gulf Recovery
WPP’s Ogilvy, Purple Strategies Behind the Campaign
By Rupal Parekh
Targeting the legions of Americans who’ll be home and relaxing on their couches the day after Christmas, BP is launching a 60-second ad Dec. 26 in an effort to convey progress in the cleanup of the Gulf Coast region after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the spring of 2010.
It’s the first spot in a series of ads—which will once again feature BP employees—that will provide updates and run nationally through early 2012. The latest ad was produced by Purple Strategies, which worked in tandem with Ogilvy on the digital ads, and Ogilvy PR in Washington, which is working on a social-media campaign.
The ad marks BP’s first since late 2010. In the days following the massive oil spill, BP launched its “Voices of BP” campaign, which featured employees promising Americans that the company would restore the Gulf Coast and rectify damage to the environment caused by the oil spill. A subsequent campaign, “Voices of the Gulf,” made local business and community leaders the stars of the ads, promoting tourism along the Gulf Coast.
The latest messaging is timed to coincide with the shifting of BP’s efforts from cleanup into an environmental-restoration and -research phase. In a statement, Geoff Morrell, BP America’s VP-communications said: “We made a commitment not only to restore the Gulf but also to keep the American people informed of that effort. We’ve made significant strides over the past year and believe it’s a good time to provide a progress report to the nation.”
From The Associated Press…
Death of ‘Tarzan’ chimpanzee sidekick Cheetah called into question
Experts say famous chimp likely died years ago
The Associated Press
PALM HARBOR, Fla. - A Florida animal sanctuary says Cheetah, the chimpanzee sidekick in the Tarzan movies of the early 1930s, has died at 80. But other accounts call that claim into question.
Debbie Cobb, outreach director at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, said Wednesday that her grandparents acquired Cheetah around 1960 from “Tarzan” star Johnny Weissmuller and that the chimp appeared in Tarzan films between 1932 and 1934. During that period, Weissmuller made “Tarzan the Ape Man” and “Tarzan and His Mate.”
But Cobb offered no documentation, saying it was destroyed in a 1995 fire.
Also, some Hollywood accounts indicate a chimpanzee by the name of Jiggs or Mr. Jiggs played Cheetah alongside Weissmuller early on and died in 1938.
In addition, an 80-year-old chimpanzee would be extraordinarily old, perhaps the oldest ever known. According to many experts and Save the Chimps, another Florida sanctuary, chimpanzees in captivity generally live to between 40 and 60, though Lion Country Safari in Loxahatchee, Fla., says it has one that is around 73.
A similar claim about another chimpanzee that supposedly played second banana to Weissmuller was debunked in 2008 in a Washington Post story.
Writer R.D. Rosen discovered that the primate, which lived in Palm Springs, Calif., was born around 1960, meaning it wasn’t oldest enough to have been in the Tarzan movies of Hollywood’s Golden Age that starred Olympic swimming star Weissmuller as the vine-swinging, loincloth-wearing Ape Man and Maureen O’Sullivan as Jane.
While a number of chimpanzees played the sidekick role in the Tarzan movies of the 1930s and ‘40s, Rosen said in an email Wednesday that this latest purported Cheetah looks like a “business-boosting impostor as well.”
”I’m afraid any chimp who actually shared a soundstage with Weissmuller and O’Sullivan is long gone,” Rosen said.
Cobb said Cheetah died Dec. 24 of kidney failure and was cremated.
”Unfortunately, there was a fire in ‘95 in which a lot of that documentation burned up,” Cobb said. “I’m 51 and I’ve known him for 51 years. My first remembrance of him coming here was when I was actually 5, and I’ve known him since then, and he was a full-grown chimp then.”
Film historian and Turner Classic Movies host Robert Osbourne said the Cheetah character “was one of the things people loved about the Tarzan movies because he made people laugh. He was always a regular fun part of the movies.”
In his time, the Cheetah character was as popular as Rin Tin Tin or Asta, the dog from the “Thin Man” movies, Osbourne said.
”He was a major star,” he said.
At the animal sanctuary, Cheetah was outgoing, loved finger painting and liked to see people laugh, Cobb said. But he could also be ill-tempered. Cobb said that when the chimp didn’t like what was going on, he would fling feces and other objects.
Wednesday, December 28, 2011
From USA TODAY…
Cheetah, chimp star of Tarzan movies, dies at 80
By Douglas Stanglin, USA TODAY
Cheetah, the chimpanzee that appeared in Tarzan movies in the early 1930s, has died of kidney failure at the age of 80, WTSP TV reports.
The Suncoast Primate Sanctuary in Palm Harbor, Fla., says the community "has lost a dear friend and family member" with the death of Cheetah on Dec. 24.
Sanctuary outreach director Debbie Cobb tells The Tampa Tribune that the chimp was outgoing, loved finger-painting and liked to see people laugh.
Cobb says Cheetah came to the sanctuary from the estate of Johnny Weissmuller, former American Olympic gold medal swimmer who played Tarzan in the 1930s.
Cheetah played Tarzan's comic sidekick from 1932 to 1934, the sanctuary tells WTSP.
Ron Priest, a sanctuary volunteer for seven years, tells the newspaper that Cheetah stood out with his ability to stand up and walk like a human, with shoulders tall, and back straight.
Cobb says the average chimp survives 25 to 35 years in the wild and 35 to 45 years in zoos.
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Monday, December 26, 2011
This is quite possibly the worst Miller Lite “Man Up” commercial to date. The bartender is positively hateful. Plus, the production budget must have led to casting restrictions. The Black woman in the background of the opening scenes suddenly reappears wearing a matching scarf at the end of the spot.
From The Root…
No Blacks, Latinos on Forbes’ Under-30 List
Forbes magazine Monday unveiled its list of “30 Under 30” — “These are the people who aren’t waiting to reinvent the world. Forbes, leaning on the wisdom of its readers and the greatest minds in business, presents the 30 disrupters under 30, in each of 12 fields, making a difference right now.”
One field was the media, and Yvonne Latty, who teaches journalism at New York University, was proud to see former student Mary Pilon on that list. “She was a superstar in a year long honors class I taught 3 years ago…loved her!” Latty said in an email.
Then Latty looked for the people of color. There was Maneet Ahuja, a hedge fund specialist at CNBC who is of South Asian Indian background. That was it.
“This is a big problem and one that is just getting worse…depressing,” Latty messaged Journal-isms. “There is this small slice they choose from and we are not represented in the slice that they look at…sad cause these lists shape what the people think are ‘hot’.
“…it is very frustrating for me[.] one minute I am thrilled to see my incredible, talented student on the list and then I look at it again…I don’t see any black faces and scrutinize the white faces to see if one of them just maybe could be latino…then I realize they are not,” said Latty, who is both Latino and black.
Alexandra Talty, a Forbes spokeswoman, told Journal-isms by email on Thursday, “While there are over fifty people of color on our other 30 Under 30 lists, diversity in media remains a national issue, which this list reflects.”
That rationale was rejected in an informal survey of journalists of color familiar with 20-something media people who are “disrupters.”
Read the full story here.
Sunday, December 25, 2011
The Associated Press revealed why many holiday presents may not be accompanied by gift receipts.
A whole lotta naughty — more shoppers stealing this holiday
By Sarah Skidmore
More than spirits are being lifted this holiday season.
Shoppers may be grabbing lots of things off shelves, but many are leaving stores without paying for them.
During the four weeks leading up to Christmas, an estimated $1.84 billion in merchandise will be shoplifted this year, according to The Global Retail Theft Barometer, a survey of retailers worldwide. That’s up about 6 percent from $1.7 billion during the same period last year.
Some people always get sticky fingers during the holidays. After all, crowded stores and harried clerks make it easier to slip a sweater under a coat undetected. But higher joblessness and falling wages have contributed to an even bigger rise this year.
Advertising Age reported Popeyes CMO Richard H. Lynch was promoted to Chief Global Brand Officer. Not sure if Annie the Chicken Queen will get a new title too. How does one promote a queen?
People on the Move: Popeyes Promotes Richard H. Lynch to Chief Global Brand Officer
By Anna Baskin
Richard H. Lynch, chief marketing officer at Popeyes since 2008, has been named chief global brand officer, responsible for global marketing, as well as internal and external communications.
Prior to joining Popeyes, Mr. Lynch was principal of GO, LLC, a marketing consultancy specializing in restaurant and food retail, where he developed brand strategy and innovation plans for Burger King, Ruby Tuesday and Buffalo Wild Wings. Mr. Lynch has also held senior strategic positions with Campbell Mithun Advertising, Tracy-Locke Advertising in Dallas and Ketchum Communications in San Francisco.
Saturday, December 24, 2011
On CTA trains, a poster hyping the Chicago Bears features the scene above with a headline that reads, “That’s The Way The QB Crumbles.” First, Bears Defensive End Julius Peppers was fined $10,000 for the illegal hit on Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Second, Bears Quarterback Jay Cutler crumbled in November and is out for the season—and Cutler’s replacements are crumb bums. Oh, and Rodgers is having a pretty decent year since winning Super Bowl XLV.
From The New York Times…
Rush to Buy New Sneakers Leads to Arrests
By Timothy Williams
Oh, the joys of holiday shopping: the eve of Christmas Eve, Air Jordans and the sting of pepper spray in the eye.
When retailers around the country put the new retro Nike Air Jordan basketball shoe on sale Friday, they were hoping for a modest last-minute boost two days before Christmas. What they got instead was a surge of shoppers so intent on buying a pair of the $180 shoes that in at least a dozen cities the police had to be summoned, and in a few cases, arrests were made.
In Charlotte, N.C., shoppers smashed glass doors to get to the sneakers. In suburban Atlanta, the police made four arrests when a crowd broke down a door to get into a store before it opened. In Richmond, Calif., a man fired a single gunshot in the air just after a mall opened. In Louisville, officers had to stop fights that popped up among a crowd of waiting shoppers. And in a suburb of Seattle, the police used pepper spray.
It wasn’t just any sneaker they were after, but the Air Jordan 11 Retro Concord, a version of the shoe Michael Jordan first wore in 1995 and was promptly fined by the National Basketball Association for failing to conform to the league’s dress-code rules. Once the model was made available to the public, it became a big seller, its black-and-white tuxedo design sometimes substituted for dress shoes.
Early Friday morning, however, police departments unaware of the shoe’s provenance were caught flat footed.
In Tukwila, Wash., south of Seattle, sneaker aficionados started showing up at the Westfield Southcenter Mall before midnight to wait for the shoes to go on sale at 4 a.m.
Mall officials had told the authorities that they expected a crowd of no more than 400 and would need only two police officers to help with security.
But within a couple of hours, 2,000 people were waiting, rather impatiently, said Mike Murphy, a spokesman for the Tukwila Police Department. Some, he said, were smoking marijuana and drinking.
“It was not a nice, orderly group of shoppers,” he said.
The city of 19,000 had only nine other officers available, Mr. Murphy said. All were called to the mall.
“Clearly that wasn’t enough to control the crowds,” Mr. Murphy said. “Fights started breaking out, so some pepper spray was used to disrupt the fighting. That stopped the fighting, but of course it agitated the crowd.”
Twenty-five extra officers from around the area were brought in, and before long things quieted down without serious injury, Mr. Murphy said.
The police said people had broken two doors to get inside the mall and that an 18-year-old was arrested for punching a police officer. Another man was told to leave after he displayed what the authorities said were gang signs.
Mr. Murphy said that by 6 a.m., the four stores in the mall that had the shoes were sold out — a total of about 1,500 pairs.
Friday, December 23, 2011
From The New York Times…
Black Women Enlisting at Higher Rates in U.S. Military
By James Dao
Black women are enlisting in the military at far higher rates than are white or Hispanic women, and they now represent nearly a third of all the women in the armed forces, a new study by the Pew Research Center has found.
The study found that of the 167,000 enlisted women in the military, 31 percent are black, twice their percentage in the civilian female population. Black men represent about 16 percent of the male enlisted population, roughly equal to their proportion in the civilian population.
White women, by comparison, represent 53 percent of women in the military, while accounting for 78 percent of the civilian female population.
The study, which is based on demographic data collected by the Defense Department, confirmed what military experts have known for years: that black women are a crucial source of new recruits for the armed forces, especially for the Army and the Air Force.
Why black women enlist at higher rates than white women or black men has not been extensively studied, said Beth J. Asch, a senior economist and defense manpower specialist at the Rand Corporation. But she suggested that the military tries to attract high school graduates who are looking for job training, good benefits and help with college tuition — and that a high percentage of black women fit that bill.
“That is the group the military targets,” Ms. Asch said.
There were more than 200,000 female enlisted and commissioned officers in the military in 2010, up from about 55,000 in 1973. Women now represent 14 percent of the enlisted ranks and 16 percent of commissioned officers.
The study, which also drew on surveys conducted by the Pew Center this year with 1,873 veterans, showed that women in the military differ from their male counterparts in several ways.
Military women, for instance, are less likely than military men to be married, 46 percent to 58 percent. But while nearly half of the married women in the military have spouses who are also in the military, just 7 percent of married military men have wives in the forces.
The study also found that women were far more likely than men to serve in the Air Force, but far less likely to join the Marine Corps. That probably reflects the central role of the infantry in the Marines, since women are barred from ground combat units.
Though nearly a third of the women in the military are in administrative jobs, the study found that many more were being assigned to combat areas than in the past: 24 percent of women who served since 1990 spent time in combat zones, compared with 7 percent before 1990.
It also found that even though women were less likely than men to have served in a combat zone, they were almost as likely to report having had traumatic experiences or difficulties readjusting to civilian life.
Women in the military were also more critical of the recent wars than their male peers, the survey showed: 63 percent of women said the Iraq war was not worth fighting, compared with 47 percent of men; 54 percent of women said the same about Afghanistan, compared with 39 percent of men.
These ads from Dusseldorf, Germany, essentially encourage citizens to notify authorities even when a criminal situation is not obvious. But who could possibly misinterpret the scene depicted below?
From Ads of the World.