There was a fair bit of hubbub surrounding Amazon’s Prime and how it changed from a free trial to a paid-for service.
The Advertising Standards Authority have banned one of Amazon’s adverts, which was a direct mailing advert, which offered a “free trial” of the Prime delivery service, saying that it misled consumers on the now infamous subscription fees.
So what’s the beef?
Well, the ASA’s ruling came about after their were complaints about a card that crowed about a “30-day free trial”, which wasn’t prominent or clear enough when pointing out that a paid subscription would kick-in automatically if the service wasn’t cancelled during the trial period.
In addition to that, the regulator noted that the ad for the instant video element of Prime also didn’t point out the cost of a subscription.
The letter itself said: “Dear [name], I’m sending you this letter because I want you to know that you are eligible for a free trial of Amazon Prime … Start your 30-day free trial today and watch as much as you want … That’s all there is to it …”
It did say; “Paid subscription starts automatically after free trial unless cancelled,” in the small print, and Amazon pointed out that the advert repeatedly said the “free” element was time-limited. The company also pointed out that in all occasions bar one, the word “free” was preceded by “30-day”.
The ASA weren’t having it and said: ”We did not consider that it was sufficient to include the information about the automatic paid subscription in the small print of the ad only and therefore did not consider that that information was sufficiently prominent to make clear the extent of the commitment consumers must make to take advantage of the offer.”
“We concluded the ad was likely to mislead.”
The Advertising Standards Authority concluded that this particular advert for Amazon Prime was misleading and it mustn’t appear again in its current form.
It isn’t Wonga’s decision though, as Albion – the company that came up with loan laden nana – have decided to split from the company.
A spokesperson for Albion said that, while they think they created “memorable work”, there have been “certain practices that we now know went on… during the tenure of our relationship that we were unaware of and that we categorically do not agree with.”
Interesting. Creative agencies are morally dubious at the best of times, so if they can’t work with a payday loan company, that’s either particularly damning or they’re just trying to look good in front of future businesses they’ll be pitching at.
Albion are obviously referencing that fact that Wonga was fined £2.6m by the Financial Conduct Authority for using thousands of fake legal letters to harass their own customers. In addition to that, payday loan companies have had to cut their fees after a crackdown by authorities.
A Wonga spokesperson said: “We’re committed to building a responsible, sustainable business and to communicating with the right customers in the right way.”
It is incredibly difficult to get your adverts noticed above everyone else’s, but one crematorium has hit on something that’s got people talking about them – being so dark and weird that it chills people’s blood.
Adverts for St Louis Cremation, which ran in a magazine called Town and Style St Louis Magazine, have ended up online. For all the world, they look like bleak riddles left by a serial killer.
For example, look at this horrifying thing.
Honestly. It’s enough to make you cry all the water out of your body. There’s more too, and every single one of them feels like a coded message from someone who could strike again.
AAAARGH! THEY’RE HORRIBLE!
The St Louis Cremation crew have this to say: ”Thank you all for your feedback in regards to our marketing campaign. Our most recent advertisement was intended to be a lighthearted ad with no underlying message. We missed the mark on getting our intended message to the public. Our intent was for top of mind awareness, not a call to action. We plan to discontinue this campaign and to pour all of our efforts into what we do best: taking care of our families by honouring their loved ones.”
We’re now looking for secret messages in that too…
Imagine you’re on a blind date and you meet an attractive woman and, being a man’s man (in reality or in your head), you decide to impress her with tales of how much you like to party or whatever.
At some point, you get into her car and you decide to help her with her driving. In this Ford hidden-camera blind date, it is at this point when things get interesting.
As you can see, the men are taken on the razz of their lives and the lady in question reveals herself to be a professional stunt driver. Most of the men in the clip take it in the fun it was intended, which is nice.
We guarantee that the folks of Bitterwallet would’ve been filmed sobbing and then tipping our soiled undergarments out onto the pavement while the stunt-woman wrung the vomit out of our hair.
Well, after the Big Brother TV Sets debacle with Samsung, we now hear of one of their smart TVs inserting commercials into a video that were stored locally on a Plex media server. The Reddit user in question complained that a Pepsi ad played while they were watching shows and movies on his Samsung television.
Of course, this could well be a look into the future as advertisers try and get their wares into as many platforms as possible. However, in this case, it looks like it was an error Samsung’s part, with a bit of faulty programming.
It seems a few people have had this problem and it isn’t happening on sets made by anyone else. A recent software update seems to be the cause of this particular irritant.
The way to stop this happening, if you’re the owner of a Samsung TV set, is to click “disagree with the Yahoo Privacy Notice” in the options in your Samsung’s Smart Hub options.
However, this does appear to be something Samsung are interested in, as in 2014, the company said that they were looking at “interactive experiences” which will be offered to people on an ‘opt-in’ basis.
Both issues are have a similarity though – it appears that Samsung are treating your data with a reasonable amount of recklessness and, if they don’t get these problems sorted, they might find that customers are going to lose all confidence in them.
So with that, they’re continuing the fight against bad advertising practices, and Google’s Adwords platform, disabled over half a billion adverts last year. That’s a whopping amount! In addition to this, over 214k advertisers were banned and 250k sites were removed from the network because they’d been hiding malware, spyware and other forms of internet bleakness inside themselves.
Things that were most prevalent were 4.3m adverts that violated AdWords copyright infringement policies (over 4.3 million ads), adverts that employed trick-to-click approaches (over 43 million), advertisers trying to sell knock-off goods (in advance of 7k), those that practised phishing (more than 5k) and adverts for healthcare related violations (over 9.6 million).
That’s a lot of admin.
“Overall, we disabled more than 524 million bad ads and banned more than 214,000 advertisers in 2014″ said Vikaram Gupta, Director of Ads Engineering.
Sadly, you’ll still probably see weird muscle-men and women’s buttocks with blue dotted lines drawn on them all over your Facebook feed for the foreseeable.
London’s Boris Bikes are being deserted by Barclays and now, all set to be sponsored by Santander, who will be throwing £50m at the enterprise in a long-term deal.
They’re obviously trying to win some hearts and minds, after they recently announced that they were putting another £20m aside for PPI mis-selling, and providing money for London’s cycling scheme might be just the thing for them.
They’re inevitably hoping that everyone will start calling them Santander Cycles, but then, no-one called them Barclays Bikes and indeed, Ken Livingstone came up with the idea, but Boris was London’s mayor when they launched, so Santander can whistle.
That said, the bank is well known for advertising around things that are active – you’ll note that they have sponsorship agreements with Rory McIlroy, Jenson Button and Jessica Ennis-Hill. While there’s no formal contract signed just yet, it looks like Boris Bikes will be branded red, rather than cyan, next week.
A source says that Santander will be paying £7.5m annually for seven years on more than 10,000 bicycles across London. However, Coca Cola have been trying to sponsor the bikes too, so they might make a last minute attempt to scupper the bank’s deal.
Graeme Craig, TfL’s director of commercial development, said: “We are currently going through the final stages of the contractual process to appoint the new sponsor of London’s Cycle Hire scheme, and will announce it in due course. We’re at a really exciting point in the evolution of Cycle Hire, including record numbers of users in 2014.”
“The new sponsor will have the exceptional opportunity to be entwined within the fabric of London and help us deliver the scheme further to get even more people on to two wheels.”
This news occurs just as there’s suggestions that unused Underground lines and stations could become an underground cycling network in London, complete with a special pavement which would power the network with kinetic energy. All very futuristic.
There are bad cyclists. There are bad drivers too. When you mention either, people from either side start screaming at each other, before someone spoils it all by mentioning road tax and immediately forfeiting the argument.
Worse than both camps are people who work in advertising and, combining the war between motorists and cycling enthusiasts, one advert has appeared which is in rather poor taste indeed.
Basically, we see that a taxi has run a cyclist over. Y’know… because people getting hit by cars is funny in 2015?
Westminster Insurance ran their commercial in the latest copy of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association Magazine (a thrilling read which covers ‘ice breakers for when you want to indulge in small talk with someone who has their headphones in’ and ’10 anecdotes about drunken customers you’ve had’) which advises that cabbies have cameras fitted in their taxi, so they can get a 10% discount on their insurance.
To convey this message, the accompanying image shows a cyclist lying on the ground while being shouted at by a judge alongside: “A fitted camera in your taxi is like having a witness and a barrister permanently with you.”
The amount of cyclists that have been killed on the roads of the UK, this advert will surely be a bit of light relief for all those widows and bereaved families! Of course, not forgetting the real victims of the road – drivers who have been a bit inconvenienced by someone on a bike.
Either way, the funny thing here is that these cameras can convict drivers, as well as cyclists. Maybe it would be a good thing if everyone on the road got rigged up with cameras, like we’ve seen in Russia.
Newcastle Brown Ale have been mocking the rest of the booze world’s marketing for a while now. Remember the Broon taking the Michael out of Stella Artois for using the word chalice?
Well, they’re at it again with their ‘No Bollocks’ stance, this time, getting the wonderful Aubrey Plaza to do their ads where they look to America and the Super Bowl to… well… be really sarcastic.
And there’s more. Newcy Brown are going all out to mock the very thing they’re spending money on. Basically, Newcastle Brown Ale has gone full-on meta.
Broon are threatening a whole load more too. Check NewcastleBandOfBrands.com for more. Looks like they’re onto a winner with these.
Ikea have come up with quite a clever advert as part of their ‘Wonderful Everyday’ campaign.
The ad sees flocks of t-shirts migrate back to homes with stylish Ikea storage solutions. It’s quite good. Have a butchers below. The 60-second ‘Joy of Storage’ commercial hits screens on 10th January across the UK and Ireland before print, digital and outdoor in the following weeks.
Ikea UK and Ireland marketing manager, Peter Wright, explained that the brand wants to move people’s thoughts away from seeing storage as simply a functional part of the home.
And he’s spouted a load of guff to back this up.
“Whether you have a detached house in the country or a one-bed flat in town, we know that there is joy and satisfaction in giving the things you love a home, whatever your storage needs are. The Joy of Storage is about the time saved and the stress reduced when you have things easily to hand, stored out of sight, or the freedom you get when things are in order.”
Freedom, everyone. FREEDOM.
However, it’s their thing, and they’re continuing to go with it, as they’ve announced that the mockumentary style adverts that spoof animal rescue scenarios, are to return despite all the complaints they had when it was first aired 18 months ago.
They’ve done a teaser advert, which bugles the return of the mockumentary which detailed jars of Marmite being re-homed and rescued from the backs of kitchen cupboards.
The short film jokingly lays bare the cruelty from “repeat offenders” that has lead to a resurgence of neglect of the brand just 18 months on from the original campaign.
There’s security officials monitoring security feeds and spoofy undercover interviews to poke fun at the public furore around the first advert, ahead of the full 30 second commercial that will debut next week.
Of course there’s a sodding hashtag – #MarmiteNeglect – thank you marketeers for doing the admin for everyone who will no doubt be inundating social networks about it.
Joanne O’Riada, Marmite brand manager, said the campaign will be “digital-first” and deliver a light-hearted reminder of the ‘Love it. Hate it. Just don’t forget it’ strapline”.
Shall we have a look at it?
What days we live in, people.
Despite the thwarters, Aldi are still hoping to give you some cheer this January with the latest in its Swap & Save campaign.
They’ve even paid some marketeering knobhounds to come up with the term ‘swap your old January to an Aldi January’.
The campaign is hosted on a dedicated website where users can sign in with their email address to find out how much they save with each shop. Here they can track those savings and share them on online using the hashtag #aldichallenge.
Already since the site began on New Years Day, several hundred have compared and contrasted their grocery bills up against Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Morrisons and Asda.
However they’re being a bit more cautious this time around after their previous ‘Swap & Save’ campaigns were narked at by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), when in May 2014, Asda complained that it was misleading, and the TV and print ad run out was banned after Tesco chipped in and had a moan.
Tesco said the weekly shops highlighted in the advert were not compared on a like-for-like basis, and added that the explanatory information in the adverts was not prominent enough. It was also claimed Aldi exaggerated how many people had taken part in the challenge.
This time around, the #AldiChallenge campaign, states that the savings are “based on a comparison of Aldi products against premium brands. Other supermarkets may sell ‘own brand’ products at different prices.”
Anyway, pop along here to see what savings you could make.
McDonald’s McRib sandwich is back. Back. BACK.
Yes, after 12 years and 20,000 pleas across social media, the fast food gulag is reinstating the sarnie onto its menus as of RIGHT NOW. Naturally engagement demands that there’s a hashtag – #theMcRibisback – to drive one time devotees back into its arms.
They also send up obsessives with an advert, which according to McDonalds: “This teaser Mockumentary celebrates the UK’s love for the McRib. To its loyal fans, it’s quite simply iconic.”
However, it’s not forever. It will be on sale up until February 3rd.
So stuff your kale smoothies and your NEW YEAR NEW YOU routine up its arse, and blow your calorific intake on a McRib while you can. Good thing it is available for a limited as hardening your arteries never felt so good.
New Year. New You. New Anti-smoking campaign.
The Public Health England (PHE) has warned smokers that roll-ups are just as harmful as their manufactured counterparts. And there was us thinking they were healthier than a bag of vitamins.
This campaign comes as the health officials have revealed that the number of male smokers who roll their own has more than doubled in the last 25 years, going from 18% to 40% in 2013, with the ladies going from 2% to 23%.
Perhaps if normal fags weren’t horrendously expensive, then the lure of rolling your own fags and making it last? Anyway, created by Dare, the campaign shows the damage done to the brain, bones, muscles, teeth and eyes.
Prof Dame Sally Davies reckons: “Significant numbers of smokers are now using roll-ups without realising that gram for gram of tobacco they are just as unsafe as ordinary cigarettes. The research we have got suggests that people think it’s safer to smoke a roll-up but they are wrong, it is not safe. No tobacco is safe and gram for gram it is as harmful as ordinary cigarettes.”
“Whilst many smokers know the damage cigarettes do to their hearts and lungs, they are much less likely to be aware of how harmful smoking is to the body – essentially ‘rotting’ it from the inside out, and roll-ups are no exception,” she said.
You’ll be bombarded with short films and billboard adverts which feature the tagline ‘Every cigarette rots you from the inside out’. HAPPY NEW YEAR!
The Weetabuddies campaign will run across multimedia in the next six weeks with a spend of £5.5 million.
They hope that the Weetabuddies characters will engage with the nippers and get them eating Weetabix. Or, if you prefer, eatabixing.
Anyway, the plan is to create a series of individual personalities using bits of fruit that will reflect kids’ personalities. They include Tropicolin, Senor Sultana and Blue Barry. No, really. The latter sounds like some bloke who sells dirty DVDs down the pub.
Children will also be encouraged to create their own Weetabuddy characters and share them online.
All those that are shared to the Weetabuddies website throughout the campaign will be displayed and entered into a competition to win Weetabuddy creator kits. There will be one kit won a day for the duration of the campaign.
In addition, supermarkets such as Asda will sticker the fruits which have been used with special Weetabuddy stickers, to encourage kids to choose more fruit as they try and recreate their favourites. According to Weetabix, on average, children aged 4-10 years are currently only eating half of their recommended ‘five a day’ target (excluding fruit juice).
Weetabix senior brand manager Claire Canty reckons: “We know from our research that as kids get older and experience new tastes and flavours they’re increasingly looking for more exciting, varied breakfasts. However, we know mums still want to be reassured that their families are making healthy choices in the morning which is why we have launched the Weetabuddies campaign.”
“By helping families to get creative and encouraging them to make their own Weetabuddies, we hope that kids will be reminded that a bowl of Weetabix is a lot of fun, while mum can be reassured that they are still getting a delicious and nutritious breakfast, helping us to encourage a whole new generation to fall in love with Weetabix as a result.”
They sound somewhat lighter than the bruisers they used back in the eighties anyway.