Burger King and McDonald’s have been at each other’s throats for years, but now, in 2015, there’s an olive branch. Burger King has decided that they want to make peace with Maccies for one day only.
They want to “settle the beef” by combining their flagship burgers – the Whopper and the Big Mac – into the McWhopper.
This burger would be flogged at pop-up shops in Atlanta, which is the midway point between the headquaters of the two companies (which are Chicago and Miami if you must know).
Burger King made the offer via full-page adverts in The New York Times and The Chicago Tribune, and the want this to happen on the 21st September - the UN International Day of Peace. All proceeds to go to charity, natch. That said, customers won’t be asked to cough-up money, rather, they’ll be asked to sign one of the mats you get on the tray, making a peace declaration with someone.
The peace will even go down to the staff uniforms and takeaway bags.
In a proposal to McDonald’s, Burger King said: “All these ingredients come together to build the burger some said would never happen. Some say the same thing about world peace.”
“Let’s prove them wrong on Peace Day. Everything in our proposal is up for discussion, from the name right through to the packaging. The only thing we can’t change is the date, so let’s talk soon.”
See, Morrisons ran an advertising campaign where they said that a comparable grocery shop at Morrisons would be cheaper than its rivals. That includes the likes of Aldi and Lidl. If not, you’d be reimbursed. Aldi weren’t having any of that and lodged a bunch of complaints with the ASA like massive grasses.
They argued that the Morrisons advert would mislead shoppers, and that a proper comparison to goods could not be achieved.
The ASA looked into it and today, Morrisons have been told that they can’t show the ads again “until it had provided consumers and competitors with a sufficient method to verify the references to the price-match scheme”. Basically, they’ve said ‘PROVE IT’.
Tony Baines, joint MD of buying at Aldi said: “This supports our view that these adverts did not provide consumers with sufficient price comparison data to enable them to make an informed choice. Our own analysis shows that the Morrisons Match & More scheme did not price match Aldi. In our view, complex price promotions and price matching schemes of this nature are confusing, are not transparent and do not serve the best interests of consumers.”
Morrisons said that four of the five things thrown at them were thrown out by the ASA and, in addition to that, the commercial in question hasn’t been running for months now. Basically, ‘ner ner n’nyer ner’.
We the public, as a whole, are a rotten and depraved bunch. We give off airs and graces, when really, we’re secretly thinking about murdering people and imaging what the most disgusting thing on the internet is.
So with that, anyone who gives the reins over to us is, frankly, an idiot.
And so to Google, with their lovely Google Trends billboards, which show off what the UK is really looking for on the internet. This one, spotted at Old Street Station, showed that, alongside looking at BBC Sports sites and things to do with Barcelona, the top trend is the delightful ‘Revenge Porn Sites’.
Of course, this might be something to do with TV presenter Anna Richardson, who has been looking into this area recently… but it doesn’t look like that does it?
Good old Google. Sticking ‘REVENGE PORN’ in big letters in the middle of a train station.
You remember the Alan Partridge sketch, when the tragically funny TV host pitched some ideas to an executive, including the infamous ‘Monkey Tennis’ and ‘Inner City Sumo’?
Well, ‘Youth Hostelling with Chris Eubank’, was one of the more famous suggestions and now, oddly, it has become something of a reality.
Eubank said he’d previously no idea why everyone kept mentioning youth hostels to him, but now, he’s in on the joke and the video above was made.
Sadly, this isn’t a television show, but rather, a commercial for booking site Hostelworld.
That doesn’t make this stunt rubbish though. The show itself would invariably be no cop at all, and in this short form, we get to enjoy it, and the fact that some PR person for a hostel company managed to convince someone to spend a load of money on a line from an Alan Partridge joke.
We’re still waiting on ‘Arm Wrestling With Chas & Dave’, Channel Five.
The folks at Marks & Spencer aren’t the hippest bunch. They’ve probably just discovered the phrase ‘totes amazeballs’ and ‘LOL’. So you have to wonder if they knew what was going on when their marketing department came up with a new slogan for their bread.
Marks & Spencer’s latest bread advertising campaign says “Putting the D in bread”, which for those who haven’t been living up a tree for the past few years, means something rather dirty.
Now, if you’re the kind of person who gives bread the D, you might end up with a yeast infection or, worse still, some crusty cobblers. You can think of your own puns, no doubt.
Next week: Morrisons start flaunting their baps.
While you’ve been pottering about, you may have seen McDonald’s new ad campaign, which is based around emoji messages.
The McD’s rub is this – they spell out something that makes you miserable, via emojis, and then the problem is resolved with some kind of McDonald’s purchase.
As you can see with this one, it shows off the misery of driving, hitting roadworks and the like, which makes you cry, but then you see those golden arches and you’re all happy again.
Or, in this instance, you go on holiday, it rains all the time, and then, in the cab on the way home, you see a McDonald’s and you forget about all that nonsense. The words ‘good times’ appear on them all.
Well, someone in Bristol (we hope it isn’t Banksy) got the hump with one of these billboard ads and decided to add their own emoji, right at the end.
We’re sure you can work this one out.
We’ve all seen THAT advert. Whether in person around London tube stations or as part of the social media backlash, who’d have thought a golden image of a young lady in full possession of a beach body would constitute such an offensive advert.
Or did it? Owing to the massive number of complaints lodged (a whopping 378), before the ASA even investigated the advert, Protein World were told not to show the ad again. Protein World have always been totally unapologetic about their advert, even baiting Twitter users, and while they couldn’t show the advert anymore, social media users gave them more media exposure than they could possibly have paid for.
Of course, the ad was taken down for causing widespread tutting, but the ASA did undertake a separate investigation to establish whether the ad was actually in breach of the advertising rules on harm, offence and social responsibility.
While all 378 complaints were not identical, the ASA collated issues into two threads, whether:
1. the ad implied that a body shape which differed from the ‘idealised’ one presented was not good enough or in some way inferior and was, therefore, offensive; and
2. the combination of an image of a very slim, toned body and the headline “ARE YOU BEACH BODY READY?” was socially irresponsible in the context of an ad for a slimming product.
Protein World said that the phrase “beach body” was commonly used and understood to mean looking at one’s best and that they did not believe that the ad implied everyone should look like the model or that the text and image were irresponsible.
And the ASA agreed. They felt that “‘beach body’ was a relatively well understood term that for some people had connotations of a toned, athletic physique” but also that some people would understand it to mean “feeling sufficiently comfortable and confident with one’s physical appearance to wear swimwear in a public environment.” While the ASA considered the advert might “prompt readers to think about whether they were in the shape they wanted to be for the summer” they found that the image did not imply that a different body shape to that shown was “not good enough or was inferior” and therefore that the ad and the image were unlikely to cause serious or widespread offence. Of course, the ad did cause serious or widespread offence, but the ASA ruling is that Protein World couldn’t have been expected to anticipate such a furore. The ASA also found that the ad was not ‘irresponsible’ under the CAP code as they “did not consider the image of the model would shame women who had different body shapes into believing they needed to take a slimming supplement to feel confident wearing swimwear in public.”
So there you are, outraged public, you are wrong.
Remember everyone in Scotland mocking Microsoft, for their advert where they basically mentioned cricket? Of course, Scottish people don’t play cricket – they prefer backstreet wrestling and thumb-wars.
Here is the offending Cortana advert.
Well, Microsoft have decided to make things right in Glasgow, by providing them with a brand new advert, just for them.
Instead of saying “Cortana can remind you to see if James is up for the cricket this weekend”, which was roundly booed, the new advert – which Microsoft were hoping would go viral – has rectified it.
The new ad reads: “Cortana, next time I speak with Chris, remind me not to mention the cricket.” And here’s the new advert, in exactly the same position, and aimed at the one person who tweeted about it last week.
You might want to sit down for this, but it looks like adverts aren’t really delivering on their promises. We’re talking specifically about broadband commercials and the like, which promises all manner of speeds. However, they’re not coming good on their claims.
According to our pals over at Which!!!, up to three-quarters of UK households (up to? Is this another claim that won’t deliver too?) are not getting the speeds they pay for.
The watchdog reckon that somewhere in the region of 15.4 million households are paying for packages that have lower speeds than advertised, and in fact, have packages that will never, ever reach the speeds promised.
Ofcom are trying to help, by making it easier for us to ditch providers, if we’re unhappy with the service. However, if they’re all fibbing to us, then it isn’t really a sufficient solution to the problem.
Which!!! ran some tests, that suggested only 17% of homes were getting the average advertised speeds, and of course, around peak time, that’s even worse.
“We want Ofcom to ensure consumers get the speeds promised by providers,” said Which!!! executive director Richard Lloyd. ”It is not good enough that millions of homes are so poorly served by their broadband provider with speeds that just don’t live up to what was advertised.”
The current rules state that an ISP has to make sure that 10% of their customers can achieve a top speed if they’re going to use it in advertising. While Which!!! have shown that some packages can’t meet that, it’d be better for customers if broadband providers had to reach much more than 10% to advertise their maximum speed.
Which!!! found that only 4% of customers on TalkTalk’s 17Mbps package were getting the top advertised speed, and worse still, a mere 1% of those on BT’s 76Mbps deals could get the top speed. Of course, the ISPs disputed all this.
However, that might be changing as they’ve announced that they’re going to be testing pre-roll and post-roll adverts on some users. Obviously, if they deem it a success, they’ll roll it out at everyone.
It looks like the commercials will only be for Netflix’s original content – so shows like Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and that cartoon about a sarcastic horse.
Still, any worries of third-party adverts should be assuaged by Netflix themselves.
A Netflix spokesperson said: “We are not planning to test or implement third-party advertising on the Netflix service. For some time, we’ve teased Netflix originals with short trailers after a member finishes watching a show. Some members in a limited test now are seeing teases before a show begins. We test hundreds of potential improvements to the service every year. Many never extend beyond that.”
Can you cope with that while you’re binge watching boxsets of TV shows?
A Welsh bus company has pulled ads on its buses because they featured a topless model and a slogan that has been described as sexist.
The ads, promoting New Adventure Travel’s new cross-city service in Cardiff, first appeared at the weekend. Soon enough, people were very annoyed. As the picture below shows, the advert reads: ”Ride me all day for £3″
One person tweeted: “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO EXPLAIN THIS AD TO MY PRIMARY SCHOOL KIDS?? Thanks but no thanks, won’t be taking advantage #everydaysexism”. Pop singer Charlotte Church referred to it as “atrocious.”
Of course, for every person angry about it, there was a swathe of people lining up to tut about “SJWs” and generally not seeing what all the fuss was about.
New Adventure Travel published this statement: “In view of the reaction to our bus advertising today we wish to set out our position: Firstly we have stated that our objectives have been to make catching the bus attractive to the younger generation. We therefore developed an internal advertising campaign featuring males and females to hold boards to promote the cost of our daily tickets.”
“The slogan of ‘ride me all day for £3′ whilst being a little tongue in cheek was in no way intended to cause offence to either men or women and, if the advert has done so then we apologise unreservedly. There has certainly been no intention to objectify either men or women. Given the volume of negativity received we have decided to remove the pictures from the back of the buses within the next twenty four hours.”
Now, it is your turn to complain about stuff.
We all know that businesses stretch the truth in adverts. Sometimes, they tell outrageous porkies too. So, with all that in mind, TalkTalk have had one of their adverts banned after they claimed its broadband connection was a “whopping 99.9pc reliable”.
The Advertising Standards Authority said they weren’t having any of it, and that the claim was in fact, misleading.
The TV commercial offered free unlimited broadband, and said: “TalkTalk would like to wish everyone a … free year. With totally unlimited broadband, free for a whole year, all you pay is £16.70 monthly line rental. Celebrate TalkTalk’s best deal. With sparkling speeds of up to 17 meg, and a network connection that’s a whopping 99.9% reliable.”
Seems the ASA thought it was more a case of a whopper, rather than whopping. The watchdog said that the evidence provided by TalkTalk to back this claim up represented an average of exchanges for its core network from January to August 2014.
The ASA said in its ruling: “We were concerned that consumers would not be aware of the distinction between a provider’s core network and a user’s overall internet connection. We considered most consumers would be interested in the reliability of their end-to-end broadband connection up to the point of their router or into their home, rather than the reliability of certain portions of the overall connection, when making a decision to purchase a broadband package with a particular internet service provider.”
“We also noted that there were external factors that would affect overall connection reliability, which we understood TalkTalk would not have control over. Because the evidence did not substantiate the likely interpretation of the claim, we concluded the ad was misleading.”
So there you go. Not a lie, but not at all useful for customers.
You’ll remember the Protein World advert which made a load of people angry – while the owner of the company said people who were defacing them were ‘terrorists’, they’re not the only ones who want to mock.
Carlsberg decided to do their own response on the London Underground.
While Protein World seemed to actively enjoy the negative attention for their ‘body shaming’ billboard, Carlsberg decided to paraphrase them with a ‘beer body’ ad, as you can see above.
The Carlsberg bottle even has a nice pair of yellow bikini bottoms on, just like the advert it mocked with the “Are you beer body ready?” slogan. This of course prompted “If Carlsberg did adverts, they’d probably do the best adverts in the world’ pun in everyone’s heads.
You may have seen the adverts that ask “are you beach body ready?” to the women of Britain, which has seen a lot of people getting really annoyed. Meal replacement and protein products are being flogged with the promise of thinness, which has seen people daubing the commercials in graffiti.
The irritation is so strong that there’s a Change.org petition, which says that these adverts are “aiming to make [individuals] feel physically inferior to the unrealistic body image of the bronzed model, in order to sell their product”.
Whether or not you agree with the vandalism/activism, one thing you’ll invariably find odd is the stance from Protein World Chief Executive Arjun Seth.
Arjun’s response is typically defensive, telling Channel 4 News the adverts are “aspirational”. So far, so typical – one camp being angry and the other saying ‘what’s the fuss?’
Seth then added something quite bizarre. He noted that he’d only take notice of the petition if it got 1,000,000 signatures, and then dismissed those that had already signed it, by saying: “They’re terrorists, you can quote me on that”. Terrorists! You can imagine that someone who has had their legs blown off by terrorists is thrilled to learn that Protein World feels that they’ve been the victim of terrorist action, by people drawing on some posters with pens.
Seth added that this controversy is good for business: “It’s good – we gained about 20,000 followers in the last few days. Sales have gone up significantly. What people like is we are standing up for our brand,” adding that campaigners are “extremist, they shout a lot, these people are irrational and extremist, vandalising adverts”.
Meanwhile, the Advertising Standards Authority are weighing up what they’re going to do about all this, with no immediate decision made.
The internet, as you know, is full of adverts. Websites absolutely need them to pay for themselves. However, should you be forced to look at them?
Well, you’ll also know that you can get software that blocks pop-ups and other ads, allowing you to read articles without being shrieked at by a loans company or an eye-melting animating thing telling you that you’ve won a prize.
Over in Germany, a group of media companies took AdBlock Plus to court. They said it was threatening their business and that the whole thing is anti-competitive and, of course, they wanted it to be shut down.
However, much to the dismay of the media outlets, a court ruled in favour of allowing people to continue to block ads.
“Now that the legalities are out of the way, we want to reach out to other publishers and advertisers and content creators and encourage them to work with Adblock Plus rather than against us,” said AdBlock’s project manager, Ben Williams. It makes sense that, instead of spending all their time fighting someone, it’d be more fruitful to work out another way of doing things, right?
Well, this is media and if there’s something that the media hates, it is change. Instead of working with AdBlock, the group immediately put an appeal in and they’ll continue to fight AdBlock. Their business can’t be under threat too much, if they can afford to keep forking out for expensive legal cases.
The group said: “We are still convinced that AdBlock Plus is an illegal and anti-competitive practice.” They added that they feel the blocking of adverts “infringes” on the freedom of the press and will “examine the prospects” of an appeal.