Creepy Advertising

August 15, 2010

Interesting article on re-targeted advertising on Wired.

Imagine walking into a shoe shop in the high street, picking up and looking at a few pairs of shoes, before putting them down and leaving the store. Then imagine checking out a few other shops before popping into a newsagent, where you start flicking through a newspaper. As you do this, a display appears with the exact same shoes that you were interested in half an hour earlier, along with a deal attempting to lure you back to make a purchase.

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Product Placement

September 13, 2009


With companies reducing their marketing budgets; combine that with the growth of PVRs and use of Sky+ that allow viewers to fast forward through the adverts, commerical television has had it tough with advertising revenues.

BBC reports that product placement, which is allowed in the USA and was banned in the UK, will now be legal in commercial UK television programmes.

Product placement is to be allowed on British TV shows, in a move due to be announced next week.

Independent broadcasters will be allowed to take payments for displaying commercial products during shows.

The change is intended to bring in extra funds for commercial broadcasters. Experts believe it could raise up to £100m a year.

This though won’t impact on the BBC who would still be banned,

There are currently strict rules against product placement and this ban would remain in place on BBC shows.

Of course advertisers and broadcasters may want to take note of many complaints about excessive product placement in US television, shows and many films.

Quantum of Solace recevied many complaints about its product placement as it had a lot of placements, however it can be a big earner with a reputed £50million coming from product placement in the film.

At the end of the day, we already see a lot of television with product placement (think of any sport broadcast) and will this make a big difference to the viewer? Probably not. Will it raise revenues for the TV companies? Probably yes.

Photo source.

Vodafone complaint upheld, on “unlimited” ad

June 15, 2008

The ASA have upheld a complaint about a Vodafone advert which according to the ASA implied unlimited mobile internet.

The advert said “Any website, any time. £7.50 a month. Make the most of now.” It was only in the small print at the bottom of the advert which said that there was in fact a 120MB limit!

The ASA said

However, we considered that consumers would also infer from the headline claim that they could access the internet as often as they liked for £7.50 a month.

We noted there was a disclaimer stating “120MB UK data allowance per month” at the bottom of the ad, but considered that this was not prominent enough to avoid being overlooked and also that it contradicted the impression created by the headline claim. We considered that the download allowance was a significant condition attached to the service and was likely to influence consumers’ decisions about whether to purchase the product. Because that information was not stated in, or immediately next to, the headline claim, we concluded that the ad was likely to mislead about the nature of the service being offered.

I have to agree with the ASA, the implication of the advert was any time, any where, when ever you wanted. However a 120MB download limit in this era of photographs, YouTube’esque video, audio podcasts and other media-rich internet means that 120Mb (even on a phone) would not really be sufficient for a month, and I suspect a lot of users would go over this limit and then be hit with high charges.

When marketing new goods and services to customers you need to ensure that not only do you upsell the benefits and features of  your product, but that you do not breach ASA codes on advertising, by “hiding” or “misleading” consumers on the full details of the product.

The role of the ASA and other regulatory bodies is to ensure that companies do not breach either legal regulations or voluntary codes when operating in the business environment.

Full adjudication.