Wednesday, August 31, 2011

9244: JCPenney Is Not Very Smart.

AdFreak reported JCPenney is catching heat for selling a t-shirt that read, “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.” Online protests prompted the retailer to pull the item from store shelves and its website—while coughing up the standard apologies. As if JCPenney needed more evidence to prove its irrelevance to teens. Executives at JCPenney need to do their homework on cultural competence.

9243: JWT Shows Its True Colors On Diversity.

Came across this lame 2008 ad from JWT. Note that no White men were involved in the diversity effort. And as always, it looks like the minorities were forced to work with a substandard production budget. Plus, why are female JWT employees referred to as girls?

9242: Hucksters & Hamsters.

Truly Pathetic: Adweek posted a Readers’ Poll to ask if folks are happy to see the Kia Hamsters return. Really? Is that the best you can come up with, Adweek editors?

Even More Pathetic: 695 readers voted.

9241: Deodorant + DJs + Dove = Dumb.

Dove goes from “real beauty” bullshit to MTV glam—replete with stale uses of the word fresh.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

9240: Moo & Oink Attracts Moola.

From The Chicago Sun-Times…

Buyer surfaces for Moo & Oink

By Sandra Guy, Business Reporter

Moo & Oink, the 150-year-old iconic meat retailer in the African-American community, has attracted a potential buyer.

The interested buyer’s identity is being withheld until his offer is reviewed, but he is not a Moo & Oink insider, said Chicago attorney Bruce de’Medici.

The potential buyer is interested in the company’s retail stores as well as its intellectual property, such as its website, said de’Medici, who represents Silverman Consulting, a Skokie-based firm that took over Moo & Oink to try to recover value for creditors.

Other bidders have made offers to buy Moo & Oink, but the focus is on this one bid, de’Medici said.

“It would be nice if Moo & Oink could continue,” de’Medici said.

The bid caused Moo & Oink’s auction, scheduled for Monday, to be postponed. Moo & Oink operates four retail stores and lists a meat-packing operation on its website.

Moo & Oink had $10.1 million in liabilities and $6.1 million in assets as of June 7, according to a report in the Austin Weekly News that cited a letter released on Aug. 2 by Silverman Consulting’s managing partner Steven Nerger.

Nerger has been unavailable to comment, and he did not return a phone call on Monday.

Moo & Oink had lost $1 million in 2009; $1.9 million in 2010, and an additional $713,000 in the first six months of this year, according to the Austin Weekly News’ account of the letter.

Moo & Oink conveyed title to its assets on July 29. Its founding owners, the Levy family, tried unsuccessfully to sell the business in 2010, the Austin Weekly News quoted the letter as stating.

Two food analysts said Monday that Moo & Oink might be better off operating solely as a wholesaler or as a meat supplier to grocery stores and discount markets throughout the region.

Such a strategy would be timely because retailers such as Wal-Mart, Aldi, Save-A-Lot and others are opening stores in the so-called “food desert” where fresh produce is scarce and expensive and where no full-line grocery stores operate.

“There is a big movement among food retailers to sell locally produced goods, and shoppers are looking for local suppliers,” said Jon Hauptman, a partner at Barrington-based retail food consultancy Willard Bishop.

“Moo & Oink-branded products could do very well at a wide range of stores in the area, including in southern Wisconsin and in northwest Indiana as well as the Chicago region,” Hauptman said.

Bob Goldin, executive vice president at Chicago food consultancy Technomic, said Moo & Oink could more aggressively sell its branded meats and other foods to local independent grocers.

“As a retailer, it may be one of those retail concepts that has run its course,” Goldin said. “Retailing is tough, with so many competitors and in a tough economy.”

9239: Yo, Yodeler!

What would Canadians do with the millions of minutes PayPass has saved them? One citizen declared he would “yodel a rap song.” Culturally clueless Canucks set low expectations for themselves.

From Ads of the World

9238: Taking Credit For Anonymity.

Don’t mean to sound prejudiced, but it seems like Brazil is notorious for producing scam ads. Can’t help but think this Alcoholics Anonymous campaign by a Brazilian agency falls into the fake category. After all, doesn’t the organization have specific policies regarding advertising, as well as official traditions frowning upon this kind of promotion? Even drunkard Don Draper would question the concept.

From Ads of the World

Sunday, August 28, 2011

9234: Above The Influence Spot Is Brainless.

This Above the Influence commercial puts a literal spin on A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste. Dumb.

9233: Up To 6.5 Seconds On Diversity.

The website of Draftfcb President-CEO Laurence Boschetto indicates that the executive is available for speaking engagements—and the talking topics include “Employees as Consumers—Embracing Diversity.” The associated links spotlight a fluff piece from The Wall Street Journal and a pseudo press release on Draftfcb’s involvement with TORCH. Conspicuously absent is Boschetto’s column at The Big Tent that inspired some colorful comments. Can’t help but believe any original thoughts Boschetto has about diversity could be covered in 6.5 seconds or less.

9232: Pharrell Williams Starts Pure Bullshit.

Pharrell Williams blathers on about starting pure with a blank canvas in this Smirnoff commercial. The spot starts by drawing a blank in the conceptual department and turns into pure bullshit. Williams looks like he wishes he could snap his fingers and disappear, which he actually does—although nearly 58 seconds too late.

9231: Clearer Skin In Five Minutes.

Who needs Botox or cosmetic surgery when there’s Photoshop® services?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

9230: McMission Accomplished.

A new study predicts half of U.S. adults will be obese by 2030. The report also says U.K. citizens will experience similar trends. Plus, expect obesity-related diseases and health care costs to increase along with waistlines. For most people, the findings are cause for concern. For Ronald McDonald, it’s mission accomplished.

9229: KFC = Kenyan Fried Chicken.

USA TODAY reported KFC is now in Kenya. Can’t wait to see the Draftfcb advertising. Perhaps the fast feeder will simply repurpose this gem.

KFC goes to Kenya: first U.S. fast-food chain in E. Africa

By Jason Straziuso, Associated Press

NAIROBI, Kenya – You can’t buy a Big Mac in Kenya. There are no Burger Kings. But there’s good news for chicken lovers: KFC just opened its first restaurant in East Africa.

The shiny red-and-white KFC in the new wing of an established Nairobi mall is the first American fast food outlet in East Africa’s most developed economy, and there are indications its entrance could herald a rush of U.S. chains into this untouched but potentially lucrative landscape.

The major reason that neither golden arches or Whoppers are found in Nairobi is concern over the supply chain. KFC investors worked with a Kenyan chicken supplier for more than a year to bring it up to the quality control standards demanded by KFC’s parent company, Yum Brands (YUM), based in Louisville, Ky.

The restaurant’s Aug. 11 opening was met with long lines of enthusiastic customers. Some waited up to 90 minutes to be served.

At 2 p.m. Tuesday, about 40 people stood in a single line that flowed to five cash registers. Most of the restaurant’s 100 seats were filled.

Customers Zahir and Rahat Lalji smiled as they ate a Zinger sandwich and a two-piece chicken meal. Rahat Lalji said she had been anticipating the opening for months.

“We really appreciate that this KFC came to Kenya after many years. We’re really happy it’s here,” said Zahir Lalji, a 36-year-old in the transportation business who studied in Canada and worked at a McDonald’s there.

“We’re hoping McDonald’s will come in,” he said. “Pizza Hut, Dunkin’ Donuts. It’s an open market for those with investment capital.”

Gavin Bell, the restaurant’s general manager, said KFC’s Kenyan chicken supplier — Kenchic — had to make more policy and procedural changes in the last year than in the company’s first 20, including ensuring that the chicken was kept cold “from farm to fork” and that supplies could be easily traced in the event of recalls. Calls to Kenchic for interviews were not answered.

“Those are tall orders for companies that haven’t based themselves on that,” Bell said. “Those are standard practice in Europe, America, Australia. However in this part of the world we are raising the benchmarks of the supply chain, and the hospitality standards at the same time.”

David Kincheloe, president of the U.S. group National Restaurant Consultants, said he began looking into a KFC franchise in Kenya for a different investor 2 years ago, but the biggest obstacle was the supply chain. Kincheloe said it’s logical that KFC is paving the way for more U.S. brands.

“Yum Brands is working their way into the African market,” he said, referring to KFC’s parent company. “Once you’re able to get KFC in and you’re able to work out the issues with the supply chain maybe you’ll see a Long John Silver’s, a Pizza Hut, a Taco Bell.”

The Nairobi KFC investor group includes a man whose family owns 40 KFC restaurants in South Africa, and there are plans for expansion here. Two more KFCs are slated to open in Nairobi this year, and Bell said the group wants to open 15 restaurants in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda in the next three years.

Bell said he believes McDonald’s doesn’t want to be left out of East Africa. “It’s only a matter of time … and a matter of finding the right partnership for the brand, the franchisee and the franchisor,” he said of a possible McDonald’s entry. McDonald’s didn’t return a call seeking comment.

The national chairman of the Kenyan National Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Laban Onditi, said the fact that KFC chose to open in Kenya first, among all other East African countries, shows the country is an investment destination.

“In Kenya there is still a very virgin market that has not been fully tapped,” he said.

Kenya does have fast food restaurants from South Africa, like the hamburger restaurant Steers. It also has Pizza Inn and Chicken Inn, but no American chains until now.

Chicken Inn is where Albunus Kithokoi was working until he landed a job as a KFC manager. His training included more than three months working at KFC outlets in South Africa. When the 37-year-old opened the restaurant’s glass doors for business, he folded them up near a sign explaining how Colonel Sanders opened his first restaurant in Kentucky in 1939.

“This is a brand that everyone knows. They say the queue is long, but it’s worth it. They don’t mind the wait,” Kithokoi said.

Among the many groups of children at KFC was Beverly Onyango, who turned 12 on Tuesday. Onyango, who has done quite a bit of international travel and is familiar with American fast food, named KFC as her favorite restaurant. She’s eaten at outlets in Dubai and Thailand, but is happy to finally have one in Nairobi.

“Not having to go somewhere else is good,” she said.

9228: Taco Bell Is Authentically Lame.

Guess nonauthentic Mexican food warrants a wannabe hip hop commercial. Meanwhile, the Taco Bell YouTube Channel features a Das Racist video—along with a comment that reads: A shit song. I absolutely hate it.

9227: Hook Up With Live Links.

With Live Links, you’re a phone call away from seeing complete strangers in lingerie.

9226: 6.5 Seconds Left For Draftfcb…?

Advertising Age reported Taco Bell CMO David Ovens resigned, and Yum! Brands officials insisted advertising agency Draftfcb won’t be affected by the move. In other words, the countdown to an agency review can start now. Ad Age also reported Miller Lite Brand Marketing VP Grant Leech left the company, and MillerCoors officials insisted advertising agency Draftfcb won’t be affected by the move. In other words, the countdown to agency annihilation can start now.

9225: White People Take Over Foreign Land.

Wow, watch how the White family with its wondrous device mesmerizes the natives in this Sony Handycam commercial.

9224: Mo’ Mozambique.

If art was a human being, music would be the orgasm. Mozambique Music Awards. It’s our music. It’s our culture.

Life without music would be less noisy, less cluttered and less interesting. Mozambique Music Awards. It’s our music. It’s our culture.

Some songs get stuck in the head, while others are stuck in the blood. Mozambique Music Awards. It’s our music. It’s our culture.

From Ads of the World

Friday, August 26, 2011

9223: Michael Wolff In The Doghouse…?

The New York Post revealed that Adweek Editorial Director Michael Wolff may be on the hot seat, as his bosses are pissed about everything from the publication’s poor advertising revenue to the Madison-Avenue-light content to Wolff’s allegedly awful management style. Hey, have the head honchos noticed the work of ace reporter Robert Klara? But seriously, if the top brassholes are unhappy, they have only themselves to blame. Wolff’s hiring was the equivalent of ad agencies bringing in ex-standup comedians as copywriters or foreign cabaret performers as executive music producers. Next time you need an editorial director for an advertising trade journal, consider recruiting someone with expertise in, say, advertising.

Staff Cries Wolff

Adweek exit seen

By Claire Atkinson and Keith J. Kelly

Adweek’s top editor, Michael Wolff, is on the hot seat, The Post has learned.

Senior executives at Prometheus Global Media, which owns the title, have been telling business associates that they are unhappy with Adweek under Wolff, sources said.

The unhappiness has sparked a discussion among Prometheus executives and Adweek brass about whether Wolff’s contract, scheduled to run through September, will be renewed, the sources said.

The unhappiness is related to Adweek’s anemic advertising revenues and the free-spending ways of Wolff, the title’s editorial director, sources added.

Equally troubling, insiders told The Post, was Wolff’s management style, which has moved more than one staffer to complain to human resources about brusque treatment. The insiders were told, according to sources, to sit tight because the situation would be resolved soon.

Another ad source noticed that Wolff has ceased identifying himself in interviews as editorial director at Adweek.

Separately, Prometheus bosses have been apologetic about some of the public stances taken by the outspoken Wolff in his columns on the media business.

They’re also red-faced over complaints that despite its title, Adweek isn’t giving Madison Avenue enough coverage. One ad industry source noted that the $3 billion General Motors ad review, broken by rival AdAge, didn’t appear on Adweek’s Web site for almost a day.

Wolff has been clear from the start that he wasn’t running a trade mag, however, and relaunched the title in April, spending thousands of dollars on glossy photo shoots.

The launch issue drew much notice for its misspelling on the cover of social media company Zynga, which was referred to as Zenga.

Prometheus’ Jimmy Finkelstein, asked in a series of text messages whether he planned to renew Wolff’s contract, did not respond.

Wolff, who is on vacation, did not respond for comment.

Wolff, a former Vanity Fair contributing editor, arrived last October with great fanfare and a mandate to put some life into a collection of tired trade magazines including Adweek, Brandweek and Mediaweek.

The titles were acquired from Nielsen Co. for an estimated $70 million by Finkelstein in December 2009.

Prometheus is funded by Finkelstein’s Pluribus Capital and Guggenheim Partners.

In an April 18 interview with Yahoo News on Wolff, Observer Editor Elizabeth Spiers said: “I guess they thought Michael would at least bring them some buzz, which he has in a way, but probably not the kind they were hoping for.”

9222: Make A Confusing First Impression.

Don’t understand this Vistaprint commercial at all. A free set of Vistaprint business cards to anyone with a good explanation.

9221: Chrysler Ad Doesn’t Quite Work.

This Chrysler ad appeared in the latest issue of Jet magazine. Wonder if anyone else thinks the headline is kinda strange given Black unemployment rates in the U.S. stand at 16.2 percent overall, 17.5 percent for Black men and nearly 41 percent for Black teens.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

9220: How State Farm’s Alien Attacks Minorities.

Here’s another example of a client giving its White advertising agency unlimited commercial production dollars, while the Black agency and Latino agency are working with table scraps and pesos, respectively.

At the 2010 Association of National Advertisers’ Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference, attendees complained about White agencies stealing commanding the lion’s share of marketing budgets. A State Farm marketing VP declared, “There is enough business for everybody,” so “do your part, bring your best stuff to the table and it will work out for you.” Ironically and appropriately, in lists featuring the least trusted practitioners, advertising executives score slightly more favorably than insurance salespeople.

9219: Top 10 Culturally Clueless Product Mascots.

Time magazine published the Top 10 Creepiest Product Mascots:

1. Burger King’s King
2. Quizno’s Spongmonkeys
3. Jack of Jack in the Box
4. The Hamburglar
5. Domino’s Noid
6. The Kool-Aid Man
7. Count Chocula
8. The World’s First Ronald McDonald
9. Michelin Man
10. The Dairy Queen Lips

The lame list inspired MultiCultClassics to create the Top 10 Culturally Clueless Product Mascots:

1. Aunt Jemima
2. Uncle Ben
3. Rastus
4. The Frito Bandito
5. Calgon’s “Ancient Chinese Secret” Wife
6. The Pine-Sol Lady
7. Chad and Ranjit
8. Annie the Chicken Queen
9. Black and Latina Talking Vaginas
10. Diana—Honey Bunches of Oats

9218: The Future Role Of White Admen.

At The Big Tent, marketing expert David Burgos wrote a column titled, “What Will the Role of Whites Be in a Multicultural America?” Dunno what the correct answer might be on that question. But based on the advertising industry’s historic failure with diversity, the role of Whites on Madison Avenue in a multicultural America will remain completely unchanged.

9217: Adweek Belongs In Frozen Food Section.

Adweek staffer Robert Klara is fast becoming a candidate to join the intellectually challenged writers at AgencySpy. Klara’s collection of columns has covered inane topics like product colors, paper towels and celebrity shampoo endorsements. The latest gem examines the evolution of frozen TV dinner advertising. Actually, Klara displays his ignorance on the subject by failing to make a single reference to Al Molinaro of On-Cor fame.

9216: New Girl Scouts CEO A Smart Cookie.


Hispanic attorney named new Girl Scouts CEO

By Michelle Healy, USA TODAY

Anna Maria Chavez remembers joining Girl Scouts at age 10 and loving the crafts, cooking and camping adventures.

Growing up in tiny Eloy, Ariz., “we didn’t go camping much when I was little, so this was a great experience,” says Chavez, a Texas attorney selected Wednesday as the new CEO of the 3.2 million-member Girls Scouts of the USA.

Travel opportunities with Girl Scouts were particularly meaningful, giving Chavez “the first opportunity I had to go away by myself, without my family. It really opened my eyes and gave me a certain amount of courage.”

Today, building courage, confidence and character is the expressed goal of the 99-year-old organization, which says it also teaches girls and young women the value and power of leadership and service through its programs and activities, including financial literacy, environmental conservation, math and science education and health.

Girl Scouts “provides a pipeline to leadership in this country,” says Kathy Cloninger, the outgoing CEO, who is retiring after leading the organization for eight years.

Although many know Girl Scouts for its “wonderful cookie program, Girl Scouts has a wonderful story of preparing women for leadership that may not be out there in the public domain,” says Chavez, 43, who has been CEO of Girl Scouts of Southwest Texas since 2009.

Prior to that, she worked in numerous federal and state government positions, including as a deputy chief of staff for urban relations and community redevelopment for Janet Napolitano, former Arizona governor and current U.S. secretary of Homeland Security. Napolitano is herself a lifetime Girl Scout member.

“It’s living the American dream to start as a girl member several decades ago and now be part of the national leadership team,” says Chavez, a Mexican-American who will be the first person of color to lead the group, which includes 2.3 million girl members and nearly 880,000 adult members.

Like most non-profits, the Girl Scouts organization has been affected by the battered economy, but has remained strong, says David Thompson, vice president of public policy for the National Council of Nonprofits. Girl Scouts is “a premiere name-brand non-profit that has gone through transition, transformation, reorganization and restructuring. It’s led the non-profit community in that regard. It’s done a great job of adjusting its mission to where there are girls in need of support and leadership training,” he says.

Among recent initiatives was a national brand campaign, a new program portfolio for girls built around “leadership journeys,” as well as consolidating the number of Girl Scout councils, or local offices, from 312 to 112.

“We had no idea the economy was going to sink when we started with the mergers,” says Cloninger. “But we ended up in a better position to weather the economy than if we had stayed with many of the smaller staffs. We were able to operate with a greater economy of scale.”

Girl Scouts still service “every ZIP code,” says Cloninger, whose tenure also saw an extensive outreach to girls in traditionally underserved communities, including minority and immigrant populations, isolated rural communities, public housing, homeless shelters and juvenile detention centers.

A targeted effort to take Girl Scouts to the growing Hispanic population resulted in a nearly 55% membership increase between 2000 and 2010, says Cloninger.

“We are still looking for opportunities to serve more girls in more communities. We’re still committed to reflecting the nation’s diversity,” she says.

9215: Interracial Romance From South Africa.

Wow, look! A White guy hooks up with an African princess in this Cash Converters commercial from South Africa. Why, it seems like only about 25 years ago that interracial romance was illegal. Yep, the post-racial planet has arrived.

From Ads of the World

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

9214: Slaves Of Fashion.

From The New York Daily News…

Vogue Italy slammed for ‘slave earrings’ post on website; piece hypes huge hoops as ‘slave styles’

By Philip Caulfield, Daily News Staff Writer

Angry readers are slamming Vogue Italy with charges of racism for running a feature on its Website promoting “slave earrings.”

The article, published on on Aug. 5, hyped the trend of glamorously oversized circular earrings and featured a photo of a runway model sporting a pair of hubcap-sized hoops.

“Jewelry has always flirted with circular shapes, especially for use in making earrings. The most classic models are the slave and creole styles in gold hoops,” the typo-riddled blurb said.

“If the name brings to the mind the decorative traditions of the women of color who were brought to the southern Unites States during the slave trade, the latest interpretation is pure freedom.”

The controversial piece ran under the title “Slave earrings,” and called them “a classic always in evolution.”

Although the piece was live for more than two weeks, fashion blogs and social media sites erupted on Sunday and Monday with charges that Vogue Italia was glamorizing slavery.

“Thanks for the heads up on the slave earrings in Vogue. Clearly written by an ignorant air head who is totally vacuous,” one angry reader tweeted.

“There is absolutely nothing fashionable about the history of enslaved Africans,” a Vogue commenter wrote.

“Oh brainless Vogue…” another reader tweeted.

Vogue Italia’s editors apologized for the piece, saying the writer’s intention was lost in translation.

“We apologize for the inconvenience. It is a matter of really bad translation from Italian into English,” editor-in-chief Franca Sozzani told Britain’s Telegraph. “The Italian word, which defines those kind of earrings, should instead be translated into “ethnical style earrings.”

The title of the piece, which is still live, was changed to “Ethnic earrings.”

The blurb still references the slave trade, but the word “slave” was removed.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

9213: Grey’s Culturally Clueless Cookies.

Grey displays cultural cluelessness internationally, as evidenced by this campaign from its office in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Fluff & Stuff cookies manages to stereotype gays, old men, women and Blacks—and they even throw in a nun.

From Ads of the World