(and no more lives to live)
All children left behind (and no more lives to live) — ABC is dropping soaps “All My Children” and “One Life to Live.” They are replacing them with cheaper-to-produce lifestyle shows about food and makeup. Chances are I still won’t be watching.
The Maytag Man has even less to do — Maytag is setting aside its never-breaks-down image to focus on the stuff people throw in the wash. I guess they anticipate that the fact that people use washers to wash clothes will be startling news.
Eco loco — Environmental groups are challenging CBS’s practice of attaching a green logo to certain ads. They claim the logo implies an environmentally friendly product, when in fact it may mean that the advertiser gives a percent of proceeds to an environmental cause. I welcome such challenges, even seemingly nit-picky ones. Inevitably, government ends up defining legal use of terms like “recycled,” “organic,” “natural,” “free range,” etc., etc. But therefore, also inevitably, lobbyists get involved. When they do, the result is loopholes that create a playground for weasels. For instance, a so-called “free range” dairy cow can be shackled in a barn, never allowed to see the light of day. How can this be legal? Because the law exempts lactating cows from that nasty requirement about “free range” cows having to be permitted to range freely. This is but one of myriad, insane examples of legal mislabeling.
Earlier this week it was my privilege to address the American Advertising Federation of Reno. I titled my presentation “Branding and Direct Response: There’s Room in the Sandbox for Both.” I talked about what direct marketers could learn from branders, and vice-versa. The group was warm and welcoming, and, as far as I could tell from the podium, the presentation was well-received. I do quite a bit of public speaking, but speaking in Reno was particularly fun. I lived in Reno from age 11 to 21. I graduated from Reno High School and put in two years at the University of Nevada, Reno before finishing up at the University of Utah. It’s always fun to come home, but not often does one get to do so as an alleged “expert.” After the presentation, I visited some old haunts. The university, of course, is still there. But the mall where I sold shoes to earn my tuition? Not just changed, but razed. The site is nothing but a mall-sized gravel lot dotted with resting seagulls and surrounded by city. It was a bit surreal.