Passing Scene: Banned Commercials, Royal Wedding, Interesting Stats

Maureen McDonald sent along this Dodge TV spot discovered possibly while doing research for The Sirens of Chrome book a year or so back. It features perky models and was banned from the air she says, back in the quaint ’69 – ’70 season. Click on the image to play the commercial.

Wooden Horse News quotes a Conde Nast executive as saying all 20 of its publications will have a digital edition by the year end. . . . Automobile Magazine added a $4 Ipad edition shortly before completing its 25th year of publication this month. Deputy editor Joe DeMatio told Detroit News interviewer Melissa Preddy that the magazine will continue to rely on its historic strengths: “travel and adventure and story telling that is car-related” (and columnists with attitude) entering its second quarter century. . . . Bob Garfield ‘s Advertising Age column referenced elsewhere in this issue makes the very real point that “Brand Journalism,” a phrase brought to the fore by marketers employing social media, is an oxymoron. “Journalism is conducted at arm’s length, and brands have grasping hands.”

Sometimes it is good to be a PR man. From England’s Media Digest: “It has long been a habit of writers on the Daily Mail to behave occasionally as caricatures of a Victorian maiden aunt who has suddenly come upon an uncovered male member. And so it was this week, when they set about the PR Director of Audi who has been invited to Prince William’s wedding. It appears that the behaviour which so shocked Associated’s guardians of public morals was his gambit to lease cars at favourable rates to various members of the Royal Family and, as a consequence, gain one of the coveted tickets. Many PR folk, of course, view Audi’s PR budget with deep-seated envy and wish that they too could supply cars to the rich and famous and enjoy the consequent publicity. Just how cynical is it to suggest that this latter view in some way spawned the story? The fact is, of course, that Audi PR has long been a major supporter of many of the Royal Family’s pet charities, as well as a supplier of leased cars. But perhaps the Mail’s shocked scribes have forgotten that it is not that long ago that as well as writing the occasional news story, the prime task of their own motoring correspondent was to arrange cars for proprietor, editor and other executives. And it wasn’t just the Mail’s motoring man who was charged with this vital task. It used to be a Fleet Street fact that unless the motoring man got his boss a decent motor, he didn’t stay the paper’s motoring man for long. The Siberia of the industrial desk loomed large in the mind when a note came down from on high saying: ‘I need a decent motor for the weekend’. I wonder if anyone from the Mail has been invited to the wedding?

David Koretz, writing for Online Publishing Insider, offers these thought-provoking statistics:

  • This year, publishers worldwide will serve more than seven trillion display ads. Those ads will be sold by hundreds of thousands of publishers, more than 400 ad networks, and a growing number of DSPs.  To make matters worse, the amount of online advertising inventory is growing at rates of more than 50% year over year as mobile devices and 4G help skyrocket the number of Web-connected devices.
  • 2012 alone could add three trillion impressions to the pile of inventory that has to be sold.
  • Fortunately, not all of this inventory is car-related but enough to create a huge demand for auto-related content – thereby placing quantity ahead of quality and diluting the rewards for providers.

General Motors Chairman Dan Akerson may call them 1 million “Nerds” but Toyota happily calls them U.S. Prius owners. . . . Jim Meigs, editor-in-chief of Popular Mechanics at a recent E-Reading Digital Conference, sponsored by the Association of Magazine Media: “Magazines have been liberated from the limitations of paper.” -Wooden Horse News 03/27/11.