Friday, February 17, 2006

The Internet - A Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

This blog has been an interesting project, but I am going to give it a rest for a while with the hopes that I can start some disussion amongst my readers. You have been fairly quiet recently (and I do mean you, Mr. Sophisticated Briton) so please, let's get some dialogue going.

Here are some interesting ads and conversation starters along the lines of sustainability and advertising:

Here is a haunting website about anorexia nervosa Don't Die For A Diet and the ads leading to it are absolutely heart-wrenching, but I can't find the link.

Here are a couple of interesting ads by AOL about whether the Internet is a good or bad thing - top right The Internet - A Good Thing or a Bad Thing?

There are the riots in Pakistan.

Duracell and BP Greenwashing.

I'm going to leave you with these topics and this final link to an article about how some synthetic products are actually better for you than all-natural ones. The reason? I want to start getting some debate going on this blog.

I want to hear what YOU think!

The American Humane Association

After I posted the 'Going Bananas' article on this blog (and on American Chronicle) last week I suddenly started to receive phone calls from the American Humane Association. I had a chance to talk with Kathryn Jahnigen, PR Associate and Karen Rosa, Director of the American Humane Association's Film & TV Unit. After our talk, I felt that I should set the record straight about a few misconceptions from the previous post. To read the full story see American Chronicle

The most important fact, however, is that the chimps in the Careerbuilder ad were not harmed or treated cruelly while on set, bringing all this monkey business full circle.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Controversial Cartoons

Communications is a strange industry.

It’s all talk, really, just a bunch of words and images. It doesn’t build houses, or cure cancer, or land shuttles on the moon.

It seems almost insignificant.

It is always just as I resolve that this whole advertising business is just a bunch of silly skits and cartoons, with no affect on the mindset of the average consumer, when I turn around and the world is burning.

Words and pictures have an affect, a strong and powerful affect.

Look no further than the riots going on in Pakistan right now, where people are dying , or in Paris, Montreal and Toronto.

A small and simple and seemingly innocuous series of sticks and words can drive an entire religion into a frenzy.

But this is far from a new phenomenon.

One sentence, so they say, started up the French Revolution. It took the death of one influential man to start rioting across the United States, and another to bring on a World War.

Like a spark in a powder keg, sometimes it only takes a small catalyst to set off an explosion of anger, and often those catalysts are something as simple as a cartoon.

Here is a cartoon drawn by ‘Punch’ cartoonist John Tenneil from 1890. His cartoons often mocked Kaiser Wilhelm, and this particular one created a massive commotion, as it illustrated the dismissal of Prince Bismark two days before it actually happened, (as Tenneil’s grandmother let the news slip whilst having tea with the Queen).

Another famous political cartoonist is Gary Trudeau with Doonsbury. But he wasn’t exiled. Ovid was, however, for his silly little rhyming poetry about the Caesar.

So what is the solution? Editors are losing their jobs for their decision to reprint the famous ‘controversial cartoons’ of Mohammed. People want to see them. But the media is acting as its own censorship board.


Because images and words are powerful things and they must be used with care. It must be acknowledged that they have a strong affect on people and that they are capable of creating a great deal of good, or summoning the force of evil into this world.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Wal-Mart To Sell Worm Poop

Here's an article sent to me from a friend in the United States:

TerraCycle Plant Food is made from worm-processed organic waste and
packaged in reused soda bottles, many of which are collected in fund
raising efforts by school children and non-profit groups throughout the U.S.
and Canada.

TerraCycle liquefies the worm poop, extracting the valuable compounds
it contains and creating a potent, convenient, ready-to-use product that
can be sprayed directly on plants or poured on their soil.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Big Ask

Climate change is an issue that is increasingly making its way to the forefront in political and cultural awareness.

Without treatment: Nearly 40% of land based wildlife doomed to extinction within our lifetimes. 100 million more people flooded by end of century. But are people in political power doing enough? 70% of Brits think not.

Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke speaks out about climate change in a project refered to as the 'Big Ask

Here is a mild cinema ad
The Big Ask

Compared to something more shocking:
Big Ask Dominatrix. For some reason Google Player doesn't work very well with my machine -but it might with yours. If anyone knows of a better link, please let me know.

Monday, February 13, 2006

A World Without Advetising

It's true that 90% of advertsing out there is pretty annoying. Some of it may be interesting, interesting enough for people like me to want to make a career out of it, but the truth is, it is going to be a long time before ads are as interesting and useful as something like this:

Amnesty International Gun Ad

But this is most likely because Europeans are miles ahead of us in terms of what makes good advertising.

Either way, I was trawling around Wikipedia the other day and I came across this article about a world without advertising:

"Public interest groups and free thinkers are increasingly suggesting that access to the mental space targeted by advertisers should be taxed, in that at the present moment that space is being freely taken advantage of by advertisers with no compensation paid to the members of the public who are thus being intruded upon. This kind of tax would be a Pigovian tax in that it would act to reduce what is now increasingly seen as a public nuisance. Efforts to that end are gathering momentum, with Arkansas and Maine considering bills to implement such taxation. Florida enacted such a tax in 1987 but was forced to repeal it after six months, as a result of a concerted effort by national commercial interests, which withdrew planned conventions, causing major losses to the tourism industry, and cancelled advertising, causing a loss of 12 million dollars to the broadcast industry alone."

So when you are relaxing in your living room tonight and watching the Olympics, just remember, none of this would be possible without billions of dollars in advertising revenue.