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Profanity in Advertising — What the @#$! do we care?

Profanity in advertising—is it REALLY needed in order to stand out in the all the marketing clutter? Are we becoming immune to it? A recent article on Talentzoo puts it this way: …times change, and we’re slowly breaking down our cultural norms and resistance to expletives. Consider the following ads: For as long as I can […]

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Sexy Halloween costumes for kids: A scary reality

‘Tis the season again for hot cider, pumpkin patches, rainy soccer games, and sexy kid’s Halloween costumes. Say what? Yes, you know what we’re  talking about. Take a quick stroll through any costume store or gaze online, and you’ll be besieged with images of girls looking 20 years older than they are. Disturbing. Our own […]

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Hey kids! Buy this! Can marketing to kids be responsible?

Everyone knows soft drinks are bad for your health and teeth, but the biggest soda companies have continued their advertising onslaught, with much of their marketing directed at kids. As a marketer and a mom, Andrea Moretsky has a unique take on soft drink marketing, and she shared it on Parent Map in Marketing Soda […]

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Shifting from reactive to proactive customer service that sells

Recently, Software Advice hosted an online debate called: “Is Customer Service the New Marketing?” The discussion highlighted customers’ increasing disillusionment with traditional advertising; and as a result, the importance of customer service as a market differentiator. The average consumer is bombarded with thousands of commercial messages per day. That’s a lot of clutter to cut […]

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How one college builds trust by educating prospects

Consumers today are better informed about the products or services they’re purchasing than at any other time in history. But it’s not because of marketers. In addition to researching on Google, peer-to-peer review sites like Angie’s List and Yelp have quickly become the most effective way for consumers to learn about business products and services. […]

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Hey Abercrombie, take your apology and suck it.

Oh, Abercrombie. You continue to steal the headlines with your chiseled shirtless teenagers gracing the cover of your shopping bags, scandalous advertisements, and beautiful hand-selected employees. And thanks to Business Insider for bringing CEO Mike Jefferies’ 2006 comments back to life, Abercrombie is once again in our headlines. In case you missed it, in 2006 Jeffries made […]

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Dove Real Beauty Sketches: Responsible Marketing, I think.

If you haven’t already seen this “Dove Real Beauty Sketches” clip that everyone is posting on Facebook, take a gander: Dove once again pulls through in this touching video about how women view themselves in such poor light compared to how others see them. It is sad how women are especially critical of every mole, […]

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‘Mermaids’ makes big ratings splash: But was it ethical?

It’s not the first time something like this has happened. ‘The War of the Worlds’ adaptation, which aired on the CBS radio network, caused quite a commotion in 1938. The New York Times reported that “a wave of hysteria seized thousands of radio listeners between 8:15 and 9:30 o’clock last night when a broadcast of […]

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12 examples of marketers that have exploited 9/11

Last year, we inducted Courrier International into the Responsible Marketing Hall of Shame for their insensitive exploitation of 9/11. This year, Euronews has listed a dozen more examples in Marketing and the exploitation of 9/11 that are every bit as disturbing.  Here are the images: The exploitation of 9/11 by marketers is disrespectful, irresponsible on every […]

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SPAM is SPAM if you say it is

SPAM is SPAM if you say it is

Are you a spammer? I don’t care what the technical definition is – if you make it hard for people to unsubscribe from your mailings, you might be viewed as one. Don’t require multiple clicks to unsubscribe. Don’t force someone to enter their email address into your system to unsubscribe. Be responsible and use an […]

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American eagles and flags coming soon to an ad near you

Osama Bin Laden was a bad man and the world’s a better place without him. And I’m just as patriotic as the next guy.  But mark my words, soon you’ll see ads with American eagles and the American flag popping up, just like after 9/11 as advertisers aimed to capitalize on American emotions. With thousands of […]

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9-11 Courrier International ad

Hall of Shame: Courrier International exploits 9/11

We’ve been pretty quiet on the blog lately, taking some of our own advice and trying to stay focused on some great client projects and our upcoming office move. But we simply couldn’t let this pass without saying something. French newspaper Courrier International‘s tagline is “learn to anticipate.” Really, this is a decent tagline that […]

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Solving the Problem of Childhood Obesity Within a Generation - White House

Can Responsible Marketing help fight childhood obesity?

From the The Wall Street Journal: The White House is calling on food makers to curb marketing of unhealthy foods to children, part of a broad assault against childhood obesity. The recommendation is part of a 120-page report released Tuesday that outlines steps to fight the national epidemic. One in every three children ages 2-19 […]

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Responsible or not? Nike resurrects Earl Woods

Just in time for Tiger Woods’ return to golf at The Masters, Nike has released the following ad featuring the voice of Tiger’s deceased father, Earl: Here’s what Earl is saying: Tiger, I am more prone to be inquisitive, to promote discussion. I want to find out what your thinking was. I want to find […]

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Marketing puffery never pays

Seems we’ve been up to our eyeballs in positioning and message strategy work at Outsource Marketing lately. Of course, positioning should be the cornerstone of all your marketing communications—without meaningful differentiation, you’ve got nothin’, after all. But your positioning has to be more than simply unique and matter to your prospects. It has to be […]

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A-Rod and Kobe and Phelps, oh my!

It was a risk when Activision cast four of the world’s most recognized athletes to dance in their underwear for a video game that that wasn’t sports-related. Imagine it: The greatest Olympian of all time (at least by medal count), the best basketball and baseball player today, and the person that has almost single-handedly popularized […]

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A-Rod deals another blow to the MLB brand

Few professional athletes have ever been bigger than George Herman “Babe” Ruth. His achievements on the baseball field were epic, garnering him the nicknames “The Sultan of Swat,” “The Colossus of Clout,” “The Titan of Terror,” “The King of Crash,” and of course, “The Great Bambino.” Arguably, the greatest player in the game today is […]

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VitaminWater or the CSPI: Who do you believe?

The Coca-Cola Company is being sued by the Center for Science in the Public Interest for deceptive claims regarding it’s VitaminWater product line. Coke markets VitaminWater as a “healthful alternative to soda by labeling its several flavors with such health buzz words,” and claims they “variously reduce the risk of chronic disease, reduce the risk […]

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On sweatshops, morality and marketing

Do you care if a pair of jeans you were about to buy was made with sweatshop labor? What if you looked really good in them—would you care then? Are you sure? In Sweatshop Labor is Wrong Unless the Jeans are Cute, Neeru Paharia and Rohit Deshpandé of Harvard Business School share the results of […]

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Is Belkin’s apology for astroturfing enough?

First, what’s “astroturfing?” Roughly, it’s when formal political, advertising, or public relations campaigns seek to create the impression of spontaneous “grassroots” behavior, hence the reference to the artificial grass, AstroTurf.* On Friday, The Daily Background Blog revealed that a Belkin employee was doing just that: Paying 65 cents for perfect reviews on Buy.com, NewEgg.com and […]

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