Tuesday, July 31, 2012

10371: Snickers Satisfies Meth Heads.

The Huffington Post reported a man was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport for trying to smuggle methamphetamine disguised as Snickers bars. Authorities were probably tipped when the guy was not acting like himself after eating a Snickers.

Meth Candy: Snickers Bars Filled With Methamphetamine Get Man Arrested At LAX

LOS ANGELES -- A California man faces federal drug charges for allegedly trying to smuggle more than 4 pounds of methamphetamine to Japan in what looked like dozens of Snickers bars.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said Monday that 34-year-old Rogelio Mauricio Harris of Long Beach was arrested last week at Los Angeles International Airport as he prepared to board a flight to Japan.

Harris was charged in Los Angeles with drug possession and faces at least 10 years in prison if convicted.

Federal agents conducting routine baggage inspections found 45 full-sized Snickers bars inside Harris’ luggage. Each bar was coated in a chocolate-like substance to make it look like a candy bar, but tests revealed the so-called candy contained methamphetamine.

Authorities estimate the 4 pounds of meth is worth about $250,000.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

10367: The True Voice Of Allstate.

Allstate continues to get lots of mileage from Dennis Haysbert— showing that Mayhem must not be fully working for the insurer.

10366: Nicely Nyasha Matonhodze.

10365: Hindsight Is Gaining Focus.

According to the website hype, “Hindsight is a curated collection of career wisdom provided by experienced professionals across creative fields, with an emphasis on advertising, design, media, public relations, publishing and production.” The website features videos intended to address “a mentorship gap in the industry,” Hindsight creator Mat Zucker told The New York Times. Zucker and his fellow online mentors are targeting “people coming into the industry and mid-level people who want to move up.” So far, the wisdom providers are not very diverse. There’s one Black woman making a cameo appearance in the Highlights Reel, but she is currently without a solo video. Plus, the website could use some work in the functionality department. If the program is luring White mentees, shouldn’t they be showing the videos to underserved communities and poor residents in the Appalachian Mountains? After all, that’s the standard tactic when seeking future minority candidates.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

10364: Native Americans Like This Whitey.

The Associated Press reported Native Americans in western Connecticut are celebrating the birth of a rare white bison. You’d think Native Americans would not get so excited over anything white.

Native Americans celebrate rare white bison

By Associated Press

GOSHEN, Conn. — Dozens of Native Americans wore the traditional garb of their ancestors, sang songs and beat drums on a western Connecticut farm Saturday in celebration of the birth of one of the world’s rarest animals — a white bison.

The miracle calf was officially named Yellow Medicine Dancing Boy at the elaborate ceremony at the Mohawk Bison farm in Goshen in the state’s northwestern hills. It was born June 16 at the farm of fourth-generation farmer Peter Fay.

Many Native Americans consider white bison a symbol of hope and unity; some consider their births sacred events. Experts say white bison are as rare as one in 10 million.

Yellow Medicine Dancing Boy is not an albino, and Fay said DNA testing confirmed the animal’s bloodlines are pure and there was no intermingling with cattle.

Lakota tribe members from South Dakota were among the hundreds of people who gathered at the celebration. Other tribal elders from the Mohawk, Seneca and Cayuga tribes participated.

Crowds patiently waited by the roadside before slowly marching into the pasture and lining up alongside a fence as the ceremony began. Children squeezed up against their parents and peered through the fence.

Some women were dressed in colorful tunics and other items indigenous to Native American culture, including bracelets, feathers and boots. Men also wore traditional costumes. Those leading the ceremony wore plain and small headdresses.

Fay, 53, runs the farm below Mohawk Mountain and invited Native Americans to the event, which also included a feast and talks by tribe elders.

“I’m almost like the calf to them because I’m the caregiver. They’ve been here almost every day, teaching me,” said Fay, who has a herd of bison tattooed on his right shoulder.

Fay attended a sweat lodge ceremony with the elders on Friday night in Cornwall. The nearly two-hour ceremony was a way to repair damage done to their spirits, minds and bodies. It acted as a prayer for a name for the calf to come to them through the spirits.

Saturday’s ceremony was held under an arbor next to a large fire, amid thunder and large dark rain clouds. Marian and Chubb White Mouse, members of the Oglala Lakota tribe in South Dakota, traveled to Goshen from Wanblee, S.D., to lead the ceremony.

Marian White Mouse told the crowd the birth of a white bison is a sign from a prophet, the White Buffalo Calf Woman, who helped them endure times of strife and famine.

“We come with one prayer, one heart and one mind,” she said tearfully. “This is truly a miracle. I hope that this one prayer will keep my people together, keep all of us together.”

Barbara Threecrow, an elder from the Naticoke tribe who lives in Hudson Valley, N.Y., sat holding a sacred Canupa of beaver skin containing a pipe.

“I believe this is an awakening,” Threecrow said. “This is a way of telling people to remember the sacredness of all of life.”

10363: Why Dane Cook Is A Shitty Comedian.

Comedy is a funny thing, especially because of its inherent subjectivity. MultiCultClassics has never been a fan of Dane Cook or his alleged comedic skills, and usually sees no need to consider the moron at all. Yet the comic’s latest blunder warranted a post.

Cook recently appeared at the Laugh Factory and delivered a joke about the Aurora massacre, prompting empty-headed debates about the timing and inappropriateness of the gag. For more details—including an actual video clip of the performance—click here to view an article from the Huffington Post.

As expected, Cook quickly tweeted, “I am devastated by the recent tragedy in Colorado & did not mean to make light of what happened. I made a bad judgment call with my material last night & regret making a joke at such a sensitive time. My heart goes out to all of the families & friends of the victims.” The “apology” is a formulaic falsehood, clearly demonstrating why Cook does not deserve to be called a professional comedian. Hell, he may have even relinquished his right to be designated as a human being.

The tweet demands a brief dissection. First, it’s important to realize Twitter messages are technically going to one’s “followers” versus the general public—so exactly who was Cook apologizing to? If Cook were honestly “devastated” by the incident, he would not have conceived the joke. Professional comedians are well aware of “comedy killers”—subject matter that should never be touched. So Cook’s “bad judgment call” underscores his total lack of professionalism, as well as his deficit of intelligence. People like Cook do not “regret” these types of planned pratfalls—they live for the accompanying attention. For Cook to type, “My heart goes out to all of the families & friends of the victims,” insults everyone with its absolute absence of sincerity. Indeed, the joke showed Cook has no heart. And his online mea culpa indicates that the man is a bona fide coward.

Now, Cook’s defenders point to the fact that his audience ultimately laughed at the comments. Plus, the Huffington Post writer opined, “While some may feel that any jokes related to a tragedy are inappropriate, the clip could be seen as illustrating a fundamental tenet of comedy: that laughter leads to catharsis, and catharsis leads to healing.” No, what was illustrated was a snapshot of standard Dane Cook fans. That they paid money to see the jerk already speaks to the group’s collective IQ level. That they giggled at a horrendous tragedy completes the picture. Hey, if you willingly attend Ku Klux Klan rallies, it’s safe to label you a racist. If you gleefully attend Dane Cook performances, it’s safe to label you an insensitive cretin. These fans owe the rest of society an apology too.

When Michael Richards used the N-word, it essentially ended his career. Gilbert Gottfried tweeted tsunami jokes, and he was rightly shunned and fired from his longtime voiceover gig with Aflac. Cook’s comedic crimes are on par with—and arguably worse than—those of Richards and Gottfried. His “punishment” should be no less severe.

10362: Sizzling Sessilee Lopez.

10361: Pain Attractions & Fright-Seeing.

This Alterna Travel Store campaign—from McCann Erickson, Belgrade, Serbia—is apparently tapping into the bucket list concept.

From Ads of the World.

10360: Corny, For Christ’s Sake.

Given all the drama surrounding Chick-fil-A, is this really a good idea for Legal Sea Foods?

10359: Black & Latino Agencies Win Small.

Advertising Age’s Small Agency Awards included a handful of non-White advertising agencies among the winners. According to Ad Age, “This year saw an increase in entries from minority-owned shops and what are typically described as ‘multicultural’ shops. A number of such shops took home awards based on results they’re garnering not just for ethnic marketing, but for general-market marketing as well.”

Congratulations to all—especially commonground, LatinWorks, Walton Isaacson, and La Comunidad.

Baldwin&, Mono Take Top Honors at 2012 Ad Age Small Agency Awards

Akestam Holst Named International Agency of the Year

Twenty-two-person ad agency Baldwin& was named Agency of the Year in Advertising Age’s Small Agency Awards at the fourth-annual awards show. The show, along with the Small Agency Conference, was held in Minneapolis this year. Hometown agency Mono’s “Human Doing” campaign for BlueCrossBlueShield Minnesota was named Campaign of the Year.

Last year, Baldwin&, based in Raleigh, N.C., won Campaign of the Year for its “Find Your Burt” effort for Burt’s Bees.

New York-based Sub Rosa took home silver in the overall agency of the year category. Johannes Leonardo’s “Project Re: Brief” effort for Google was awarded silver for campaign of the year.

Previous overall winners include Via, in Portland, Maine; Pereira & O’Dell in San Francisco; and Rockfish Interactive, based in Rogers, Ark., which is now owned by WPP.

“The creative ideas and the strategic thinking we are seeing out of the small agency community is highly impressive,” said Ad Age Agency Editor Rupal Parekh, one of the judges. “The work these shops are doing is original, unexpected and above all has a huge impact on their clients’ bottom lines. I’d stack up any of the shops on our list this year against big agencies in terms of quality of output. They are really leveling the playing field.”

This year saw an increase in entries from minority-owned shops and what are typically described as “multicultural” shops. A number of such shops took home awards based on results they’re garnering not just for ethnic marketing, but for general-market marketing as well.

“This is our fourth Small Agency Awards and we continue to be impressed by the quality of entries, proving that size has no bearing on the ability to offer effective marketing ideas,” said Editor Abbey Klaassen. “I can confidently say that our winners exemplify creativity, entrepreneurialism and ingenuity—there’s a lot to be learned from them, no matter what your size.”

To learn more about these agencies, look out for the August 6 issue of Ad Age, which will feature profiles on each of the award-winners.


GOLD: Baldwin&, Raleigh, N.C.

SILVER: Sub Rosa, New York


GOLD: Mono, Minneapolis: BlueCross BlueShield’s “The Human Doing”

SILVER: Johannes Leonardo, New York: Google’s “Project Re: Brief”


GOLD: Akestam Holst, Stockholm, Sweden


Glass Agency, Sacramento, Calif.


GOLD: Manifold, San Francisco

SILVER: The Distillery Project, Chicago


GOLD: Commonground, Chicago

SILVER: Mekanism, San Francisco


GOLD: LatinWorks, Austin, Texas

SILVER: Walton Isaacson, Los Angeles


GOLD: Walrus, New York

SILVER: Cross Media, New York


GOLD: Bailey Lauerman, Lincoln, Neb.

SILVER: Modern Climate, Minneapolis


GOLD: JESS3, Washington, D.C.

SILVER: La Comunidad, Miami


GOLD: Rain, American Fork, Utah

SILVER: Proof Advertising, Austin, Texas


GOLD: Magner Sanborn, Spokane, Wash.

SILVER: Muh-Tay-Zik Hof-fer, San Francisco

Friday, July 27, 2012

10358: White Women Live Easier On Mad Men.

AMC series Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner revealed Peggy Olson will return next season, despite having left Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce for another job. Sure, bring back the White woman, but dump every Black female character forever—even if she damn near served as an extended family member as Carla the housekeeper did. True to real life, White women do have it easier than other women in the advertising world. And of course, rest assured that Weiner will also call on his talent-free son to make a grand re-entrance.

Mad Men Creator Weighs In on Peggy’s Future, Mega-Megan Backlash and the Season 7 Outlook

By Matt Webb Mitovich

Though Mad Men creator Matt Weiner famously holds his cards very, very (very) close to the vest, there is one thing he was willing to reveal about Season 6, when TVLine spoke with him about the AMC drama’s latest haul of 17 Emmy nominations.

Peggy, played by Elisabeth Moss, “is going to be on the show next year,” Weiner shared. “I can’t say how much, in what capacity or what [her story] is going to be, but she has not left the show.”

Weiner likens the questioning of Moss’ status to the concerns he fielded after the Drapers headed for divorce a couple seasons back. “Everyone was like, ‘I guess January Jones is off the show,’ and I was like, ‘Why would she be?’ I never understood that.”

But whereas Don is forever connected to Betty through their kids, one could argue that Peggy’s tie to the canvas was mostly through her work at Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, and that seemingly ended when she tendered her resignation.

“When people leave Sterling Cooper, sometimes it is the end for [the character],” Weiner allows. “But I will spoil that one tiny piece of anticipation and tell people that Elisabeth will be showing up to work.”

The same Season 5 that saw Peggy bid SCDP farewell also injected a heavy dose of Megan Draper, played by relatively new cast member Jessica Pare. Weiner admits that he “took a couple knocks” for thrusting Don’s new bride into the spotlight, but says it was a necessary follow-through on someone now wed to the show’s lead character.

“You take a huge risk when you don’t do the show you did the year before,” Weiner explains, alluding to how Season 4 ended with Don and Megan’s engagement. “People just hated her. They were like, ‘She’s manipulative! Is he really going to marry her? Hopefully she’ll be gone.’ But I was like, ‘No, this is this guy’s second marriage, and he’s going to take it seriously.”

Regardless of so much ado about “Zou Bisou Bisou,” Mad Men is coming off its most-watched season, averaging 2.6 million weekly viewers (up 15 percent over Season 4). And while AMC thus far has only renewed the show for Season 6, Weiner insists that a cycle beyond that is a certainty.

“We cannot rely on the official language of things. There will be a Season 7,” he says. “Jon Hamm is signed on for it, I’m signed on for it… I mean, if Season 6 has one viewer… but I don’t think [ratings] is what it’s about. I think Season 7 has already been internationally sold… It’s going to happen.”

10357: Ten Things Latinos Need To Know.

At The Big Tent, Fernando Rodriguez typed a piece titled, “Six Things Advertisers Need To Know About the Growing Hispanic Market.” It’s a typical perspective on the value of pursuing the Latino market. Yet the article’s title—as well as recent revelations—inspired MultiCultClassics to create the following:

Ten Things the Growing Hispanic Market Needs To Know About Advertisers.

1. The overwhelming majority of advertisers do not support multicultural marketing.

2. The advertisers that do support multicultural marketing do a lousy job of it.

3. Advertisers let White advertising agencies—with a history of not hiring minorities—produce Latino-targeted campaigns.

4. Advertisers also let White advertising agencies invent Latino advertising agencies to steal work typically earmarked for real Latino advertising agencies.

5. Advertisers lazily recycle White advertising with Spanish-speaking voiceovers to target Latinos.

6. Advertisers lazily recycle French advertising to target Latinos.

7. Advertisers clumsily hijack Latino culture to create fake authenticity.

8. Advertisers force Latino advertising agencies to depict soccer and telenovelas, while White advertising agencies get to hire Sofia Vergara.

9. Advertisers think Latinas have talking vaginas.

10. Advertisers treat Latino advertising agencies like undocumented laborers.

10356: Low Concept For Lowe Campaign.

This recruitment (?) campaign for Lowe MENA, Dubai, UAE, shows the agency is not committed to diversity. Or decent ideas.

From Ads of the World.

10355: NYC Councilman Larry Seabrook Cooked.

From The New York Times…

Bronx Councilman Is Convicted of Fraud and Loses Seat

By Benjamin Weiser

City Councilman Larry B. Seabrook, a mainstay of Bronx politics for nearly three decades, was convicted on Thursday of orchestrating a broad corruption scheme to funnel hundreds of thousands of dollars in city money to his relatives, friends and a girlfriend through a network of nonprofit organizations that he controlled.

A federal jury in Manhattan, which deliberated over the course of three days, convicted Mr. Seabrook on 9 of the 12 counts he faced, including wire and mail fraud. He faces maximum sentences of 20 years on each of the nine counts.

The conviction of Mr. Seabrook, 61, a Democrat, automatically vacates his Council seat; a special election to fill the remainder of his term will be held on Nov. 6, a city official said.

His undoing was his use of Council discretionary funds, or earmarks, to finance the nonprofit groups that purportedly ran job training and diversity programs.

Instead, Mr. Seabrook used the money to enrich those closest to him: Prosecutors said that Mr. Seabrook installed his girlfriend, Gloria Jones-Grant, as executive director of the nonprofit groups even though he knew she was “incompetent,” and that through those positions and consulting, she received more than $300,000 in city money.

The trial, which lasted just over a month, was the government’s second effort to convict Mr. Seabrook, a veteran Democratic politician. In a trial last year, a jury considered the same charges for more than a week before it reported on Dec. 9 that it was deadlocked, and a judge declared a mistrial.

In a statement, Preet Bharara, the United States attorney in Manhattan, said that Mr. Seabrook had “abused the power of his office to influence public contracts and to fund his own corrupt friends and family plan.”

“Today’s conviction,” Mr. Bharara added, “ensures that the councilman will pay for betraying the public trust.” Judge Deborah A. Batts of Federal District Court will sentence Mr. Seabrook on Jan. 8.

After the verdict, Mr. Seabrook, accompanied by his wife, lawyers and other supporters, spoke briefly outside the courthouse.

“My reaction is that I continue to have faith in God, faith in the system, faith in my attorneys,” he said, adding that he would “now prepare myself for whatever is next.”

Mr. Seabrook’s lawyers said they would consider all of his legal options.

“I’ve known Councilman Seabrook since the beginning,” one lawyer, Anthony L. Ricco, said, “and it was very sad to sit in the courtroom and experience what I knew to be the end of his political career.”

Mr. Seabrook, who served in both houses of the State Legislature, had been on the City Council since 2002, representing communities including Baychester, Co-op City and Williamsbridge.

The case, announced in 2010, stemmed from an inquiry by the city’s Department of Investigation, which referred its findings to Mr. Bharara’s office.

Calling Mr. Seabrook “a master of diversion and misdirection,” Rose Gill Hearn, the investigation commissioner, said that his conviction would end his “power to channel the flow of taxpayer funds to himself, his family and his cronies.”

Mr. Seabrook’s use of earmarks illustrated the lack of transparency and oversight in how such funds have been used in the past. The Council allocates about $50 million toward earmarks annually, a Council spokesman, Jamie McShane, said.

“We have enacted specific reforms to address the abuses highlighted by this case in an effort to prevent abuses like this from ever happening again,” Mr. McShane added.

Jurors left the courthouse without commenting. In closing arguments this week, the defense and the government clashed over whether Mr. Seabrook had been aware of fraud in the nonprofit groups.

Another of his defense lawyers, Edward D. Wilford, said in a closing argument on Monday that his client had put “good ideas” in place to benefit the people of the Bronx. “Unfortunately, the people that he hired to run those programs had a different agenda; their agenda was to steal, rob and pillage,” Mr. Wilford said.

But in a rebuttal summation Tuesday, a prosecutor, Randall W. Jackson, said the evidence showed Mr. Seabrook had clearly been involved in the fraud, which occurred from 2002 to 2009, the indictment says.

Mr. Jackson cited, for example, testimony by Mr. Seabrook’s girlfriend, Ms. Jones-Grant, that she had given Mr. Seabrook money to help with his legal defense.

“Of course Mr. Seabrook accepted the money,” Mr. Jackson told the jury, “because they were partners throughout this thing.”

In all, a government trial exhibit shows, the nonprofit groups made payments of more than $600,000 to Mr. Seabrook’s relatives and friends, including two of his sisters, a brother, two nephews, a granddaughter and Ms. Jones-Grant.

“Most of us spend money on our family members — that’s one of our big expenses,” the prosecutor, Mr. Jackson, said. “But Mr. Seabrook was outsourcing that expense to the city.”

In one scheme, Mr. Seabrook arranged for the nonprofit groups to rent office space through another company he controlled, which then billed the city at a higher price. The inflated rent scheme defrauded the city of about $100,000, prosecutors said.

At Mr. Seabrook’s district office on Boston Road in the Bronx, employees declined to comment on the conviction, and shut the door before any questions could be asked.

Mr. Seabrook was acquitted of three counts related to an alleged kickback scheme in which prosecutors said he had taken nearly $50,000 in payments from a Bronx businessman whom he had helped to win a contract to install boilers in the new Yankee Stadium in 2006.

The trial was not a duplicate of the earlier case, but throughout the retrial, the prosecutors, Mr. Jackson, Karl Metzner and Steve C. Lee, focused on the same central themes: that Mr. Seabrook had betrayed the people of the northeast Bronx who needed training and jobs, by “sending their money to his girlfriend and his family members,” as Mr. Metzner told the jury Monday.

“The people who have spent their lives on the outside looking in,” Mr. Metzner said, “they ended up being sold out by the man who could have helped them.”

Aaron Edwards and Colin Moynihan contributed reporting.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

10354: PepsiCo’s Multicultural Marketing Sucks.

A comment left at the previous post highlighting PepsiCo’s alleged renewed interest in Latinos revealed that the soft drink company has a messed up way of wooing non-White audiences. In short, PepsiCo is full of shit—or caca, for Spanish-speaking blog visitors. Given that commercials starring Sofia Vergara and Nicki Minaj were created by White agency TBWA\Chiat\Day, and the latest “Latino” spot is actually a repackaged concept from CLM BBDO in France, it looks like PepsiCo’s definition of cross-cultural involves crossing out multicultural shops.