O2 to block adverts on their network?

November 26th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

o2logo mediacentre O2 to block adverts on their network?EE have already said that they’re looking at blocking adverts, and now, O2 are looking at joining in too. Bad news for people in marketing – great news for people who swear loudly at roll-over adverts and videos that autoplay.

O2 are apparently testing their technology which will block mobile ads on their network.

The company’s managing director of digital commerce, Robert Franks, said: “We are absolutely looking at [network-level ad blocking] technology… we are looking at these technologies to see if they can help our customers with some of the bad practices and disruptive experiences that are happening.”

“It is not in an advertisers’ interest to spam customers or do things to create a terrible experience. If the way to raise the bar is to look at these technologies, whether through a mobile network, or a combination of apps and browser extensions as Apple is doing to address some of the behaviours these intermediaries are executing, I think that’s fine. But I don’t see it as a polarized debate between ‘do you have advertising or don’t you have advertising’.”

O2 are going to work with advertisers in a bid to make them improve their wares, and no doubt, tell them that they can pay to circumnavigate any blocks put in place. Improvements are likely to include things that make ads take up less data, and faster. The message is that, if you want to advertised on O2′s mobile network, then don’t make using your phone a pain in the arse.

It looks like they’re all getting on this, apart from Vodafone who have said this week, that they have no plans to block adverts. They said: “Vodafone has made no decisions that ad blocking is a service our business wants to offer. However, we acknowledge downloads of iOS ad blocker apps do show there is some demand from customers to manage their browsing experience, privacy and data usage.”

Commercial Break: Aldi mock John Lewis for Christmas

November 26th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

When John Lewis tried to make sentimental saps cry for Christmas with their man on the moon advert, it was inevitable that a load of people were going to parody it.

First off, we had the brilliant one which started off as cloying as the John Lewis affair, which ended up with nana going on the razz and having shots and kebabs and all sorts.

Watch that again here.

However, Aldi are now in on the action, trolling John Lewis with their own man on the moon take.

Returning to our screens is Jean Jones, the pensioner who appeared in the Aldi advert where she got stuck right into the gin. We won’t give the game away before you watch this advert… but there is a telescope, and an old man who lives on the moon.

Jonathan Neale, joint managing director of corporate buying at Aldi, said: “Jean quickly became a national treasure for her love of our Oliver Cromwell London Dry Gin when she first appeared on screens in 2011. We’re confident our customers will be excited by her return this Christmas.”

EE plan to block annoying adverts

November 24th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

zzzw EE plan to block annoying advertsAd-blockers are becoming a big thing in the mobile world, and of course, a lot of publications that rely on those adverts are getting worried. Of course, people who have had to put up with them will be glad to see the back of them.

EE are looking at rolling out the blockers, so they don’t have to put up with auto-playing commercials and roll-over ads, according to EE boss Olaf Swantee.

You’ll know that Apple are blocking adverts on iOS 9, and there’s a host of ad-blocking ads on Android which have been around forever. This all follows a court, which gave the green light to ad-blocking software, which has seen a sudden spurt of interest in the area.

That said, Swantee doesn’t want to block all adverts, but rather, focus on the most annoying, intrusive ones.

Naturally, EE could make a pretty penny from this, as they could do deals with advertisers and let them through the ad-block software. As such, EE is looking at bringing in network-level blocking tools for its customers, which will be very pleasing to some. Even if they don’t, you can go on Google Play or the AppStore and fill your boots as it is.

xmas ad 300x298 Sainsburys beat the Man in the Moon  but most miss out on MogIt seems that, same as last year, it is Sainsbury’s who have challenged John Lewis’ seemingly unassailable Christmas tearjerker ad crown, and (arguably) as last year, it seems Sainsbury’s may have come out on top again. While the man on the moon has so far racked up more shares than Mog the cat, considering the feline’s debut was a week later, that is perhaps understandable. Sainsbury’s do take the (cat) biscuit if you look at shares per day, coming in at over 30,000 shares per day more than John Lewis.

And it’s had a knock on effect. While John Lewis were not far-sighted enough to come up with an easily merchandisable ad (unless they are planning on selling a lot of telescopes), Sainsbury’s cute plush Mog was all the rage in stores at a readily affordable £10. So readily affordable, in fact, that they have sold out of Mogs just ten days after the ad was launched. Some forecaster somewhere will be having a very miserable Christmas.

mog 300x171 Sainsburys beat the Man in the Moon  but most miss out on MogBut never fear, as ever enterprising sorts have taken to eBay to sell their surplus Mogs. Prices start from around twice the RRP, but some forward thinking sorts are setting their sights a little higher, with prices as high as £90 or even £100. Sainsburys are said to be “disappointed” that people are choosing to make extra money for themselves when the store-bought Mogs make a donation towards Save the Children literacy projects. Disappointed but probably not surprised.

But there is hope for humanity yet. If you haven’t seen it on Facebook yet, the ad coming in at number three on the most-shared ads is not boosted by the appearance of crumpet munching muppets, or light sabre wielding batteries. Instead it’s a heartwarming tale advertising the Spanish Lottery. and you want to be similarly moved, you can catch it, in all its glory, here.


Cadbury get their lorries out for Xmas

November 9th, 2015 2 Comments By Mof Gimmers

Even though some people really hate the Coca-Cola truck, it hasn’t stopped Cadbury rolling out their own lorries to herald the start of Christmas.

There’s a new advert from the Fruit & Nut meddlers, which features an advent calendar assembled from 24 purple Cadbury wagons. The chocolate vendors are hoping that this will get people giddy about horsing down loads of sweets at Christmas. Which they do anyway.

Here’s the ad.

Will excitement ensue if you see one of these trucks driving through your area? We’re not convinced, but it is always nice to hear the Thunderbirds theme tune, so that’s something.

Watch the John Lewis 2015 Christmas advert

November 6th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

John Lewis 2015 Xmas Ad 300x187 Watch the John Lewis 2015 Christmas advertHankies at the ready, as it is that time of the year when John Lewis purposely upset everyone in the name of Jesus’ birthday. This time, they’re looking at old people, who might be lonely over the festive period.

The commercial (and remember – it is an advert that hopes you’ll spend money with a shop) is being shown on television tonight, during the first break of Gogglebox on Channel 4. Of course, this is 2015 and we have the internet, so why on Earth should we wait to watch it?

If you’ve not already skipped all these words and clicked on the video below, the advert shows an old person who lives on the moon, all lonely. A young girl, who we’re told is called Lily, sees him on his own, sat on a bench on the moon, and wants to send him a letter or a nice present.

The advert, which has been made in partnership with charity Age UK, ends with: “Show someone they’re loved this Christmas.”

John Lewis’ customer director, Craig Inglis says: “We hope it inspires people to find really special gifts for their loved ones and through our partnership with Age UK, raises awareness of the issue of loneliness amongst older people and encourages others to support in any way they can.”

John Lewis’ will be supporting Age UK through November and December, and you’ll be able to donate money by texting, and all manner of activities they’ve got lined-up.

Anyway, here’s the video, which is absolutely certain to make some people cry.

PayPal spoil Christmas for all children

November 3rd, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

How do you tell children that Father Christmas doesn’t exist? Children, if you’re reading this, firstly he does exist and, secondly, what on Earth are you doing reading a site about consumer affairs? Shouldn’t you being doing something fun like trolling YouTube comments and seeing what you can fit up your nose?

Right, now the kids have gone, where were we? Ah yes. Father Christmas. If you can’t be arsed telling your children that you’re buying all the presents, why not let them watch the new Christmas advert from PayPal?

Have look. Check out how unromantic this is.

Of course, this advert has angered parents, who took to social media to vent all manner of spleen.

As you can see, the commercial shows a child cottoning on to the fact that his parents are completely responsible for the gifts at Christmas, and that Santa has nothing to do with it. Instead, the presents will be delivered by some bloke in a van, because they were ordered online.

Angry parents want this advert pulled from broadcast immediately, and some have even complained to the Advertising Standards Authority.

Naturally, parents could just tell their children that they’ve put their order in with Santa, and that he’ll be bringing the presents on Christmas Day, which is why they don’t have any on them. Just a thought. Might be a more fun thing to do, than sending angry emails to the ASA.

Asda have shared their Christmas 2015 advert a full seven weeks before Christmas, which is set to annoy numerous people. It was shown off in the middle of X Factor, but no-one is watching that anymore, so it is our duty to let you get irked by it here, on the internet.

And the advert stars Fleur East, who is also off the X Factor. Remember her? Course you don’t. You’ve got memories like sieves. Anyway, have a look.

As you can hear, Fleur East is singing something that sounds a bit like ‘Uptown Funk’ after she sang ‘Uptown Funk’ on the show, and it sounded half decent.

It also stars a family covering their stuff with Christmas lights and someone trying to plant a smacker on a colleague under the mistletoe. So far, so Christmas by numbers. One thing that is vaguely pleasing, is that Asda haven’t gone for any of that tear-jerking nonsense. Asda see Christmas as something to fart and laugh through, rather than weep frozen tears all over an orphaned animal.

A spokesman for Asda said: “The stories in the adverts come from customers themselves who told us about all the extreme efforts they go to fully enjoy this time of year. Our customers have told us they love the run-up to Christmas as much as the big day itself.”

“So we’ve taken their feedback on board to launch the first series of ads that capture the anticipation of the season from the very first moments.”

Lidl have also put their Christmas advert out too, but they haven’t put it on YouTube, so they can kiss our hole if they think they think we’re faffing about finding it.

Naked tombstoning advert gets banned

October 21st, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

Have you seen the advert where a bunch of student-looking sorts jump into some water, butt-nekkid? You may have been too busy looking at bumcheeks to realise that it was a commercial for Hostelworld.com.

Well, a bunch of people have complained about the advert, but not over the nudity, but rather, the tombstoning. If you don’t know, tombstoning isn’t graverobbing or anything like that, but rather, when you jump in the sea or whatever, off a cliff.

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) says the adverts could encourage others to take risks, which Hostelworld.com denies. Here’s the advert in question.

In a ruling, the ASA reckon that most people would not realise that it was filmed in Mexico, where this particular bit of water is 50ft deep.

It said: “We considered that the length of the fall could have been dangerous, and that there was a risk of injury if the jump was emulated, particularly if it was done in a location which was not specifically designed for such activities.” They also pointed out that, in the ad, one of the people involved looks reluctant, but is cajoled by the rest of the group.

So there. One person’s ban for safety is another person’s natural selection theory.

M&S say sorry for potty-mouthed advert

October 20th, 2015 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Marks and Spencer has said sorry for spelling out a rather rude phrase on their website while they were trying to flog Christmas at everyone.

M&S are currently advertising their festive tree decorations, where you buy two and get one free. Some of the Christmas tree decorations are glittery red letters, so you can hang them up and spell your own rude words if you like.

And lo, the website showed the decorations spelling out the very unchristian ‘FCK ME’. See for yourself.

MandS swear M&S say sorry for potty mouthed advert

Sadly, this wasn’t the work of some cheeky programmer or employee, but rather, caused by a computer program which generates the placements in a random order.

A spokesperson for Marks and Spencersaid: “This was due to the algorithms used to display products on our website – it was quickly spotted and corrected.”


Could you be the next Milk Tray man?

October 9th, 2015 9 Comments By Mof Gimmers

The Milk Tray man is coming back to our tellies, and you could be the next star of it. He’s been off our screens for over a decade, but now, with a new Bond film doing the rounds, it seems like a decent enough time to bring it back.

So, you could submit yourself to be the star, or indeed, your boyfriend too. And with this being 2015, we could see the Milk Tray secret agent being a woman too. Quite right. There’s a lot of people out there who would like a woman to deliver chocolates directly to their house. Provided they look half decent in a black polo neck sweater.

In a new advert, which will be on TV tonight, one of the original Milk Tray men will call out for a new hero.

A Cadbury spokesperson said: “While a sense of adventure is still key to his character, what we want from today’s Milk Tray Man is someone thoughtful who goes the extra mile. With an application process that’s open to all, we’re confident we’ll find a modern-day hero.”

You should submit pictures of your partner, or a best friend you’d like to stitch up. Whatever tickles your pickle really. Apply to be the next star of the Milk Tray ads by clicking here

strongbow 300x300 Strongbow   not more important that your relationshipsStrongbow has had an advert on its YouTube channel banned. Why? The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that it showed alcohol as ‘being a priority in life’. 99% of Bitterwallet’s readers just spat on the floor in disgust and started pacing around looking to fight someone, guaranteed.

So who raised a complaint? Well, the Youth Alcohol Advertising Council (YAAC), supported by Alcohol Concern, complained about the advert, which showed a pretend (remember that – ‘pretend’, as in ‘make believe’) award ceremony, which showed a winning category called “Best Strongbow as my other half”.

The pretend winner of the award, Carl, didn’t pick his pretend award up, because he was on a ‘date’, but sent in a make-believe video to profess his pretend “love” for Strongbow cider.

Heineken, who own Strongbow, said that they thought the whole advert was “obviously a parody”, and nothing in the ad showed ‘Carl’ to be a ”regular, solitary drinker”, or someone who used alcohol to relieve boredom or other problems. And it didn’t say that alcohol was a priority in his life. It is also all made-up. Just making sure you remember that.

YAAC’s complaint said that they were worried that the ad implied Carl was not at the awards ceremony because he was drinking instead. Imagine that. Drinking booze. What a world! Not only that, an advert for an alcoholic beverage, which leaves the viewer imagining drinking some booze themselves. Crazy town.

The ASA conceded that the advert was supposed to be humorous, but the fact that ‘Carl’ said he ‘loved’ Strongbow showed that he thought his relationship with booze was as important as a significant romantic relationship with another person.

The watchdog said in its ruling: “We considered that where the presenter stated Carl was on a date, viewers were likely to infer from this either that Carl was not at the awards ceremony because he was with Strongbow or that, judging from the presenter’s tone of voice, expression and where he stated “… good luck with your date”, which indicated a level of scepticism, the date was unlikely to go well because Carl was already committed to his relationship with Strongbow.”

The ad must not appear again in its current form.

Companies spend a lot of money on marketing, and we – the people who have to navigate this world of adverts – have to stomach them all while we’re minding our own business.

Although, if it wasn’t for adverts, we couldn’t take the Michael, which someone in Manchester has done with the latest aftershave ad which features Johnny Depp, and Dior’s latest, ‘Sauvage’.

Now, while this may not be clever, we are big fans of childish pranks, where you stick an ‘S’ over an advert so it spells ‘sausage’.

pQRGrcz Prankster gets Johnny Depp to inadvertently sell sausages

And there we have it! Johnny Depp, looking all moody with the word ‘sausage’ emblazoned across him. Extra points for the flying Grange Hill style banger-on-a-fork, top right.

[via Reddit]

Apple gets AdBlock

September 9th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

apple Apple gets AdBlockAre you an Apple fan who wished they could have the Adblock Plus extension? Well, wish no more as it has been turned into a thing for iOS, as Apple’s latest mobile operating system gets with the advertless programme!

So, with the imminent arrival of iOS 9, it looks like mobile Safari will let you block all those pesky adverts, if that’s your thing.

It is also available for Android is available in Google Play too, which will annoy all those advertising executives with a sports car parked outside their office.

Of course, this is a big problem for Google, because huge swathes of their income is a result of advertising, and a while ago, Google removed the commercial killing app for Android. However, you can still get it direct from the source.

“In 2013 an app we developed called AdBlock Plus for Android was kicked out – that’s why you have to side-load it now,” said Ben Williams, communications manager for Eyeo who make AdBlock. “That product was focused on in-app ads; this one is entirely different. It’s a browser. We did not negotiate with Google. We simply took it to their App Store and they accepted it this morning.”

This is a bold move from Apple, as with iOS 9, they’re basically saying that blocking adverts is a legitimate thing to do. Not that anyone needs Apple or Google to make it legit. Courts have decreed that blocking adverts is perfectly legal and if Apple or Google don’t like it, then hard cheese. Blocking ads isn’t just making your world less annoying – it also saves bandwidth and time, reduces data consumption and page load times, and all manner of other stuff. It limits the likelihood of you seeing malicious ads too.

And more and more people are using ad-blocking software. For a woolly figure, use of such software is up 41% in the last year.

Heinz ordered to pull ad on baby biscuits

September 9th, 2015 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

g 080522 hlt crying baby 11a.widec 267x300 Heinz ordered to pull ad on baby biscuitsDoes your baby love gumming the crap out of Heinz baby biscuits? Do they cry like they want some more about 10 minutes after eating them? Not surprising really, as your lovely little bundle of germs has been having massive sugar comedowns.

As such, thanks to some complaints, Heinz have decided to stop marketing these treats as if they’re healthy; because they’re not at all healthy.

On the Heinz for Baby website, these chocolate and organic varieties of its golden multigrain biscotti were described as being “an ideal healthy snack for babies 7+ months old”. However, campaigners and concerned parents argued that using healthy advertising for sugar laden snacks isn’t on.

The Advertising Standards Authority agreed and ‘informally resolved’ the issue with Heinz, which means that they don’t have to do a full investigation, and Heinz will no longer sell these items as ‘healthy’. They won’t stop making them mind you. And the packaging won’t change.  They’ll stop pointing at them and muttering stuff about them being good for your child though.

“We approached HJ Heinz with the concerns that had been raised about its ads,” said a spokesperson for the ASA. “It agreed to remove references to the products being ‘healthy snacks’ or ‘snacks’ from its advertising and to remove or to amend health claims. On that basis we resolved the case informally”.

Now, on the Heinz site, it says that these biscuits are “little nibbles to keep them going”.

Malcolm Clark, who is part of the Children’s Food Campaign, said: “Heinz has disregarded NHS advice on nutrition and snacking for under-ones as well as the advertising rules themselves. So it was no surprise that when we asked the Advertising Standards Authority to investigate, Heinz backed down and agreed to change its wording.”

A spokesman for Heinz said: “Heinz takes its responsibilities as an advertiser very seriously. As soon as we were made aware that certain elements of our website copy may not have met the high standards we demand, we took immediate action to make changes. The matter was resolved to the satisfaction of the ASA.”