A case that will run and run: Duracell and Energizer’s court fight over rabbit mascots

  The Duracell and Energizer bunnies are set to fight it out in court, after a judge ruled that a legal tussle over the right to use a rabbit mascot can proceed. Duracell failed in a bid to dismiss a lawsuit by Energizer, which claims that its rights to use a pink bunny to advertise […]

How big tobacco lost its final fight for hearts, lungs and minds

  Tobacco companies lost an appeal against government plans to force them all to use generic packaging with health warnings on the side. They said it was effectively theft of intellectual property so if nothing else, they should be compensated (their barrister even used the argument that slave owners were compensated when slavery was abolished […]

Gucci ad banned over ‘unhealthily thin’ model

Guccio Gucci, the parent company of the fashion brand, and the Times said that that the idea of an unhealthily thin model was to some extent a “subjective issue”. The fashion company said that the models had “slim builds” but were not depicted as “unhealthily thin”. The images were shot to make sure none of […]

How to write the shortest joke in the world

Quite an interesting article here on how to write short jokes, which should also be of use to writers, especially advertising copywriters. It begins by suggesting that one of the funniest and shortest jokes is Jimmy Carr’s ‘venison’s dear, isn’t it?’. Micro-gags like Carr’s also illustrate a central tenet of classical joke craft: for some […]

Hashtag backlash: marketing campaigns that turned into social media disasters

  In the lead-up to Anzac Day, Woolworths launched the commemoration website “Fresh in Our Memories”, a play on the supermarket’s “fresh food people” slogan. People were encouraged to upload war-related photos and tributes to the site, which would automatically add the Woolworths logo and the Fresh in Our Memories catchphrase to them. Using the […]

A Darth Vader waffle maker? You really shouldn’t have…

  David Mitchell (the funny one, not the novelist) writing for the Observer on the deluge of Star Wars merchandise, makes the point that not everything we make and sell needs to be ‘worthy’: I don’t mean it as a criticism when I call this stuff crap. Our civilisation cannot be sustained solely from the buying […]

Nurofen’s maker admits misleading consumers over contents of painkillers

Drug company Reckitt Benckiser has been marketing Nurofen under different sub-brands with the implication being that each one targeted different types of pain. Only one problem with that, and it led to action in Australia. “The ACCC took these proceedings because it was concerned that consumers may have purchased these products in the belief that […]

Racist, ​s​exist, ​r​ude​ and crude​: the worst of 20th century advertising

Beyond Belief, a new book by Charles Saatchi, brings together the most shocking advertising campaigns of the last century. From racism and sexism to dodgy health claims, nothing was out of bounds for the real-life Mad Men Read the full story here

Moshi Monsters in ‘name and shame’ campaign by UK ad regulator

The UK advertising regulator has begun a “name and shame” campaign against Moshi Monsters after the hugely popular children’s website failed to abide by a ruling that it must stop promoting paid subscriptions to kids. In August, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled that running ads to promote subscriptions to children was a breach of the […]

Creative execution can’t save a bad advertising strategy

A wise man in advertising once said that 99% of the world’s failed ads fail before the creative team even gets the assignment. That’s because strategy is critical. Even great creative work can’t save a bad strategy. But what we have here is something else. It’s that rare combination of bad strategy compounded by bad […]