....LMB: "Media News"....

February 07, 2003

Connecticut to Vote on Ad Tax- I'm gleeful about this one. "As early as tonight Connecticut legislators could vote on a proposed 6% sales tax on state and national advertising." Said billboard advertising exec John Barrett, "We are quaking in our boots. It would have a major impact on us. Advertisers are all working on fixed budgets. Because the advertising industry doesn't have much in variable costs, it would come right off our bottom line." And I hope it destroys you.

STEVE HEYER'S MANIFESTO FOR A NEW AGE OF MARKETING- I really have been meaning to write a comprehensive article on this topic. Advertisers are scared out of their minds these days, finding that simply buying space in existing entertainment media is increasingly expensive and ineffective. Therefore advertisers are seeking to integrate themselves with the entertainment producers and also produce their own entertainment. They're calling it "Madison + Vine," the name of a famous advertising district with a (formerly) famous movie-making district.

The Steve Heyer fellow mentioned above is a honcho at Coca-Cola, which seems to be embracing this radical shift in the biz. This is a speech he gave at the "Madison + Vine" conference this week.

Some fun quotes:

- "Coca-Cola isn't black water with a little sugar and a lot of fizz anymore than one of your movies is celluloid digital bits and bytes, or one of your songs is a random collection of words and notes. Coca-Cola isn't a drink. It's an idea. Like great movies, like great music. Coca-Cola is a feeling."

- "Coca-Cola is refreshment and connection. Always has been... always will be."

- "We will use a diverse array of entertainment assets to break into people's hearts and minds. In that order. For this is the way to their wallets. Always has been. Always will be."

Man, I gotta stop there. That speech is so full of jargon, buzz-words and self-congratulatory emptiness it's making my eyes hurt.

Bad Data- good news analysis by Notes on the Atrocities. The author digs into a poll-centric news story, only to find that poll questions themselves are biased and misleading, which leads to an unreliable and shady news story.

Posted by Jake at 03:49 PM

The Heyer thing is fascinating on several levels.
First, it's just bad, very bad speechwriting, with that high-school Speech 1 technique of stopping every few paragraphs to ask questions like "How?"... or "Why?" or "So...?"... and then answering them. My favorites: "So, where are we going?" Next question: "So, where are we headed?"

Second, it's a model of all that's wrong with corporate America, starting with the meaningless, biz-nonsense buzzwords which strive to turn nothing into multi-syllabic science: "a network of touch points that enrich people's lives. Experience-based, access-driven marketing..." and make the speaker sound like he is a Swiftian character from the Island of Laputa (while also screaming "I am a vastly overpaid, overvalued, and pampered American CEO, and this is the crap that makes me thus").

Third: The thing proposed here, if one can glean it, is appalling.

Posted by: R. Porrofatto at February 8, 2003 10:44 AM

I agree with the author

Posted by: ip address at May 4, 2003 12:35 AM
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Lying Media Bastards is both a radio show and website. The show airs Mondays 2-4pm PST on KillRadio.org, and couples excellent music with angry news commentary. And the website, well, you're looking at it.

Both projects focus on our media-marinated world, political lies, corporate tyranny, and the folks fighting the good fight against these monsters.

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November 16, 2004

Tales of Media Woe

Senate May Ram Copyright Bill- one of the most depressing stories of the day that didn't involve death or bombs. It's the music and movie industries' wet dream. It criminalizes peer-to-peer software makers, allows the government to file civil lawsuits on behalf of these media industries, and eliminates fair use. Fair use is the idea that I can use a snippet of a copyrighted work for educational, political, or satirical purposes, without getting permission from the copyright-holder first.

And most tellingly, the bill legalizes technology that would automatically skip over "obejctionable content" (i.e. sex and violence) in a DVD, but bans devices that would automatically skip over commericals. This is a blatant, blatant, blatant gift to the movie industry. Fuck the movie industry, fuck the music industry, fuck the Senate.

Music industry aims to send in radio cops- the recording industry says that you're not allowed to record songs off the radio, be it real radio or internet radio. And now they're working on preventing you from recording songs off internet radio through a mixture of law and technological repression (although I imagine their techno-fixes will get hacked pretty quickly).

The shocking truth about the FCC: Censorship by the tyranny of the few- blogger Jeff Jarvis discovers that the recent $1.2 million FCC fine against a sex scene in Fox's "Married By America" TV show was not levied because hundreds of people wrote the FCC and complained. It was not because 159 people wrote in and complained (which is the FCC's current rationale). No, thanks to Jarvis' FOIA request, we find that only 23 people (of the show's several million viewers) wrote in and complained. On top of that, he finds that 21 of those letters were just copy-and-paste email jobs that some people attached their names to. Jarvis then spins this a bit by saying that "only 3" people actually wrote letters to the FCC, which is misleading but technically true. So somewhere between 3 and 23 angry people can determine what you can't see on television. Good to know.

Reuters Union Considers Striking Over Layoffs- will a strike by such a major newswire service impact the rest of the world's media?

Pentagon Starts Work On War Internet- the US military is talking about the creation of a global, wireless, satellite-aided computer network for use in battle. I think I saw a movie about this once...

Conservative host returns to the air after week suspension for using racial slur- Houston radio talk show host (and somtime Rush Limbaugh substitute) Mark Belling referred to Mexican-Americans as "wetbacks" on his show. He was suspended for a couple of weeks, and then submitted a written apology for the racial slur to a local newspaper. But he seems to be using the slur and its surrounding controversy to boost his conservative cred with his listeners.

Stay Tuned for Nudes- Cleveland TV news anchor Sharon Reed aired a story about artist Spencer Tunick, who uses large numbers of naked volunteers in his installations and photographs. The news report will be unique in that it will not blur or black-out the usual naughty bits. The story will air late at night, when it's allegedly okay with the FCC if you broadcast "indecent" material. The author of this article doesn't seem to notice that Reed first claims that this report is a publicity stunt, but then claims it's a protest against FCC repression. I'd like to think it's the latter, but I'm not that much of a sucker.

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Mission: Mongolia

Jake's first attempt at homemade Mongolican barbecue:


What went right: correctly guessing several key seasonings- lemon, ginger, soy, garlic, chili.

What went wrong: still missing some ingredients, and possibly had one wrong, rice vinegar. Way too much lemon and chili.

Result: not entirely edible.

Plan for future: try to get people at Great Khan's restaurant to tell me what's in the damn sauce.

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