Ray Ban ask for nudes

June 6th, 2014 5 Comments By Mof Gimmers

In a weird marketing moves, Ray Bans – who make sunglasses – are asking for nudes online.

Seriously. Ray Ban have actually asked their customers to send in photographs of themselves in their underwear. What is this? Snapchat?

ray ban nudes 498x500 Ray Ban ask for nudesOf course, some people aren’t happy about it, while others think the whole thing is rather funny, if a little odd.

Here are some of the highlights from Twitter’s responses:

@danlucas__  said “loooool the thirst for nudes is real” while ‏@Harryh999 spat “idiotic idea”. Meanwhile, ‏@JWard113 says “why are you encouraging people to post photos of themselves in their underwear? that’s pretty inappropriate.”

‏@CivicCentrePL1 pointed out that this campaign is “not really appropriate to advertise thise on the D-Day anniversary. #DDay70″

Perhaps the most blunt response (at the time of writing) was from @Dick_Bastardly who simply got in touch with Ray Ban and Bestival to say: “you dirty c*nts.”

green houses 300x225 ASA ruling to open floodgates for anti Green Deal claims?There could be more bad news for the Government’s blighted Green Deal scheme. A new ruling by the Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) could mean that Green Deal operators face having to hand back tens of thousands of pounds to consumers after the Green Deal Finance Company was found to have mis-sold the cash-saving benefits of the scheme in their advertising literature.

The ASA ruled on three separate issues- marketing claims that the Green Deal payment plans are the cheapest on the market, assurances that the so-called Golden Rule would deliver “peace of mind” with financial savings that were equal to or greater than the costs attached to the energy bill and the failure to publish details of hidden charges, including arrangement and assessment fees, as well as exit penalties.

While the ASA ruling itself does not affect Green Deals already done- it merely requires the offending advertisements be removed or revised- consumer lawyers are warning that the ruling could set a precedent for disgruntled consumers to seek redress for Green Deal mis-selling.

Consumer law solicitor Kerry Gwyther, a partner at leading national law firm TLT, explained that while the ASA ruling does not necessarily mean potential Green Deal mis-selling cases are in the bag, it is often a good starting point for claims of misrepresentation.

“The ASA normally use Trading Standards’ levels of determining misleading claims and its rulings do go a long way in helping to present a successful case. While there is no automatic right of action, the ASA ruling very often means the advertising is in breach of the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations that can lead to further action being taken,” he explained.

“A consumer is entitled to take proceedings using Common Law and some parts of the Consumer Protection legislation if, as a result of this ruling, they feel they have been misled into signing up for the Green Deal. If a consumer has been induced to enter into an agreement by misleading claims, a court may well find in the consumer’s favour and they may well be able to walk away from the contract without further payments or seek damages for any losses suffered” he added, sagely.

Advertising law specialist Mike Northern agreed , commenting that consumers would now be able to use the ASA ruling in any future court action, suggesting that “a judge would be influenced to find in favour of an application supported by an ASA adjudication like this.”

The complaint was brought by South East-based Crystal Home Improvements, who were very concerned that consumers were being treated unfairly, and not at all concerned that Green Deal alternatives might be cutting into their profits.

A spokesman for the company told ClickGreen: “We are happy with the ASA decision that confirmed our suspicion that the Green Deal was being mis-sold to consumers. This is not the first time we have successfully challenged the Green Deal and we will continue to highlight the many disadvantages of this poorly run scheme.”

However, before getting too excited, it is important to note that the Green Deal Finance Company itself is a business to business organisation, and the ASA noted that leaflet ruled as misleading was probably not viewed by a vast number of people. Any claims of mis-selling would have to be made as a result of being fraudulently enticed by advertising using similar claims to those outlawed in this ruling.

You’ve got to hand it to Pepsi for creating a pretty cool World Cup marketing ploy – a vending machine that dispenses freebies if your footie skills are up to scratch.

The #futbolNow interactive drinks dispenser is fitted with motion sensors that track your movements as you try to play keepy uppy with a virtual Messi, Van Persie or David Luiz. If you can keep the ball in the air for 30 seconds and face a series of skill challenges you can earn bonuses – including a free Pepsi Max.

Pepsi have toyed with interactive vending machines before, including one which allowed you to buy drinks for your friends via Facebook. But this is a lot more fun.

So expect to see a lot of slack jawed people in front of vending machines this summer, jiggling about and making arses of themselves in public for a free can of pop.

We’re sure failed attempts will go viral, and there’ll be a few lols when a fat lad hits the deck and ends up with his head wedged in the drinks drawer…

Everline is Wonga under a different guise

May 12th, 2014 No Comments By Lucy Sweet

If you live in London, you might have seen some nice ads on the tube for a quickie loan company called Everline. Their clean design and helpful, understanding text is very appealing, offering to give a hand to people who are just struggling a bit with cash flow – like small business owners, or the self employed. Maybe you should phone them, because they seem like a fairly decent bunch.

everline 300x187 Everline is Wonga under a different guise

BUT WAIT! It’s only bloody Wonga, in Guardian broadsheet fancy dress. And of course, Everline don’t want you to know they’ve got anything to do with that so-called ‘toxic brand’, so there’s no mention of Wonga either on the ads, or the website. Unless you scroll right down to the teeny weeny print at the bottom, where there’s a cryptic acronym ‘WDFC’, which stands for… ‘Wonga Digital Finance Company.’

Everline came to the attention of investigative journalist Willard Foxton, who decided to dig a bit deeper and found the connection – and also found that their MD wanted to ‘differentiate the two brands’. YA THINK?

MP Stella Creasy has called Everline’s ad campaign and enigmatic branding ‘like putting lipstick on a pig’, but even so, there are plenty of satisfied customers – just like Wonga – who borrow and repay their short term loans without running up huge debts.

But to be on the safe side, if you’re a small business in a cash flow crisis, don’t be taken in by the ad. Their APR is 180%, so if anything goes wrong, you could soon find that your small business will be selling your own kidneys from the back of a Transit van…

Morrisons launch ‘I’m Cheaper’ adverts

May 8th, 2014 1 Comment By Mof Gimmers

Morrisons aren’t doing very well on the high street, but they’re determined to turn things around. They will be opening new stores around Britain – that’s how confident they are.

They’re also pushing out a new advertising campaign under the ‘I’m Cheaper’ name, which is rather direct. And not entirely true if you look at their budget competitors.

They’re pretty confident these new ads will stop the rot which saw like-for-like sales in the quarter to 4 May slumping by 7.1%. How are they planning to win you all over? With scones.

The stillness and winking going on in the new Morrisons adverts remind you of anything? All those Aldi averts? They’ll be having nanas on the gin next.

Either way, the supermarket will be cutting the price of 1,200 products by an average of 17% as part of their £300m investment to win everyone over.

As well as the two new supermarkets and 11 convenience stores, they’re also going to beef up online sales and see if that works. What do you think? Still more likely to shop elsewhere regardless?

While children might be taken in by those healthy, bouncing blackcurrants, everybody else knows that it’s just purple sugar liquid which has the potential to create a dental apocalypse.

ribena plus big 300x300 Ribena isn’t as good for you as it thinks it is, says ASA

Apart from, it would seem, Ribena itself, whose latest promotion has been banned because they’ve over-exaggerated health claims. The website for Ribena Plus, which has no added sugar (that’s ‘added’ sugar), went a little bit over the top about its vitamin content.

By saying ‘vitamin A… helps keep your vision in tip top condition’ and ‘Vitamin C… it helps immunity’, they flouted EU guidelines and have found themselves in hot water with the Advertising Standards Authority.

The ASA has ruled that they failed to convey the meaning of the EU’s health claims to shoppers, because they implied that vitamins optimise the body’s performance rather than just maintaining it.

‘Ribena Plus – maintains normal function!’ – catchy, eh?

This is the second brand formerly made by GlaxoSmithKline that has been in trouble with the ASA for overstating health claims. Lucozade Sport’s ads were banned when it claimed that it ‘hydrates better than water.’

Still, you can’t really blame them. Attempting to translate convoluted EU health guidelines for the average consumer is a copywriting minefield – let alone trying to make it jolly and rhyming and blackcurrant-y…

Tinder: Putting adverts in your lust

May 2nd, 2014 No Comments By Mof Gimmers

tinder Tinder: Putting adverts in your lustTinder has proven to be a popular app with men who think it is a straight version of Grindr, and women who think it’s a place to find a partner. Unlike Grindr, Tinder rarely results in a hook-up. Or is that just the case for our butt-ugliness?

Soon, when you’re swiping left and right and wondering whether or not it is okay to chat-up the hottie from the office, you’ll now get adverts in there.

Tinder have said that they’re looking for ways to make money so they can keep the app free, with chairman Greg Blatt saying that “the nature of the Tinder user experience presents itself with real opportunities for native advertising that certain of our other products don’t.”

Of course, Tinder has featured adverts before, although not officially. There’s the usual webcams and mucky sites that have gotten in there, and Domino’s Pizza used the app to deliver ‘cheesy’ chat-up lines and ‘saucy’ talk. The latter was toe-curling.

With Tinder being all about your personal data and your likes, there’s a feeling that it is a strong app in terms of specified ad-targeting, so all adverts are relevant. It goes without saying that people will be hugely irritated either way. Who wants to be targeted by salesmen when you’re indulging in massive bouts of sexual frustration?

If there’s a spate of mock profiles that will interact with you, that might be fun, but that’ll start grating after 5 minutes. Users will be able to swipe left or right, but how grim is it to think of some lonely widower talking to automated messages from Burger King?

mcdonalds logo McDonalds to become largest book distributor in the UKMcDonald’s marketing team are forever coming up with ideas that annoy people who like to slag them off. Unhealthy? We sell loads of salad, dufus. Too much salt? We have removed more salt from food than anyone else, ever! We’re bad people? Have you seen how much money we give to charities and hospitals? Making people fat? We don’t patronise our customers and we let them choose to eat what they want! The photos on our menus look different from what you buy? Here’s why.

They’re so sly they should be applauded.

And now, they’re about to become the biggest book distributor in the UK by replacing Happy Meal toys with books.

That’s right – McDonald’s have just launched a new Happy Meal promotion with Kobo, the e-reader and e-book company. Until June 17th, McDonald’s will be offering a code for a free e-book and, on top of that, you’ll get an additional voucher on the side of a Happy Meal box for a £1 print book or e-book series.

Your child (or you, if you’re an adult who likes Happy Meals) will be able to get books by Enid Blyton from the Secret Seven and The Famous Five series. Maccies will sell around 15 million Happy Meals in the UK during the time of the promotion, which will make them the biggest children’s book distributor in the country this year.

And the moaning hippies? What have they done to help 15 million kids to read? Squat.

There is a slight drawback – this giveaway requires you to have a smart phone or an e-reader, which some parents will be irked at. However, this is another smart move for McDonald’s as they build up ammo to throw back at detractors.


Wine rebrand gets patronising

May 1st, 2014 3 Comments By Ian Wade

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz1234567 300x212 Wine rebrand gets patronisingBlossom Hill have had a bit of a redesign as to make their labelling a bit clearer.

In association with Bloom consultancy, the new labels should help wine drinkers ascertain what is best for them. Other than it being three for a tenner or something like that.

Boozers will now be able to distinguish what wine is which, by a variety of graphics and types of font that changes as the drinker can select from good, better and best.

Good is your entry level crisp and fruity wines. Better is the ‘sun-kissed’ option, which covers the likes of rosé, and the Best selection engulfs Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Grigio and Merlot.

As you progress through the ranges, the lettering gets fancier and graphics poncier. Bloom planning director Ed Hayes that the new labels would make it “easy, unintimidating and keep people within the brand”.

“There is a misconception that because of the low price the quality isn’t high, so we’re using design to communicate the benefits of cost purchasing”.

He continued, in a way that pleases yet also baffles the client.

In an attempt to keep up their punk rock image (even though they’re quite clearly bespectacled dweebs in Converse), the makers of BrewDog ales have given the finger to the Portman Group after they found that the promotion of one of their ales encouraged binge drinking and anti-social behaviour.
dead pony club brew dog 300x300 BrewDog are #sorrynotsorry about Portman Group ruling

After the Portman Group banned their near boozeless 3.8% Dead Pony Club beer advertising – which was described as ‘perfect for drinking by the bottle, case or keg’ – BrewDog did their worst. They wrote a blog post.

In the insufferable post, which sounds like it was written by Viv from the Young Ones (or perhaps Nigel Farage), the craft beer company apologised for ‘not giving a shit’ about the findings of the independent complaints panel. Under the title #sorrynotsorry, founder James Watt wrote:

“Unfortunately, the Portman Group is a gloomy gaggle of killjoy jobsworths, funded by navel-gazing international drinks giants. Their raison d’être is to provide a diversion for the true evils of this industry, perpetrated by the gigantic faceless brands that pay their wages. Blinkered by this soulless mission, they treat beer drinkers like brain dead zombies and vilify creativity and competition. Therefore, we have never given a second thought to any of the grubby newspeak they disseminate periodically.”

YEAH, MAN, YOU’RE ALL CORPORATE SUITS. TAKE A CHILL PILL, YEAH? (Let’s not mention the whole Selling Beer In Tesco Thing).

The independent brewery has long called for the dismantling of the Portman Group, but this latest outburst is one of their most direct attacks yet.

But is this the kind of world-changing rebellion that could bring the drinks industry – and the Portman Group- to its knees? Or is it just a storm in a beer glass created by a bunch of terminal adolescents with thin beards who make beer that tastes of urine?

They probably don’t care, maaaaaaaan.

Ryanair’s new ad campaign

April 10th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

Ryanair have launched a new advertising campaign and it’s their first pan-European campaign.

The airline has had its fair share, perhaps quite a few people’s fair shares, of controversy in the past, and these ads are hoped to soften their reputation slightly.

You’d think it’d look like this.

Regrettably, they don’t. If you’re dying to see them, the ads will roll out from Friday 11 April in the UK, Ireland, Italy and Spain and, if you want to see it, hop on over to here to see them for yourself.

We await all the hilarious spoofs from the wise-crackers having a pop! *sticks head in oven*

Wonga ad banned for glossing over 5,853% APR

April 9th, 2014 No Comments By Lucy Sweet

Wonga is in hot water again, this time for an ad that claimed that their flabberghastingly high APR of 5853% wasn’t really that important and you should just forget about it – la la la.

wonga ladies 300x282 Wonga ad banned for glossing over 5,853% APR

The rubbery puppets of doom are shown ‘simplifying’ the terms of Wonga loans, thus: ‘Right, we’re going to explain the costs of a Wonga short-term loan. Some people think they will pay thousands of per cent of interest. They won’t of course – that’s just the way annual rates are calculated. Say you borrowed £150 for 18 days, it would cost you £33.49.’

BUT, 31 people complained to the ASA, saying that they were misleading customers with a confusing message which encouraged them to disregard their insane interest rates.

Wonga said that they were only trying to give a transparent example of a typical Wonga loan but they regretted confusing customers.

However, the ASA said they understood that APR did not apply for the time period for a short term loan, but banned it anyway, because it irresponsibly encouraged people to take out loans without considering the APR. They said:

‘We considered that, though it attempted to clarify the costs associated with a Wonga loan, the ad created confusion as to the rates that would apply. On that basis, we concluded that the ad was misleading.’

Maybe if Wonga are looking for an example of a representative loan, they could show the puppets struggling to make ends meet and turning to rubbery prostitution to pay it back?

Commercial Break: Half brand half biscuit

April 4th, 2014 1 Comment By Ian Wade

zzzgs Commercial Break: Half brand half biscuitSavoury snack news now, as Jacob’s is having a brand relaunch.

United Biscuits, the company behind Jacob’s, is bringing all the treats such as Mini Cheddars and Twiglets under the Jacob’s ‘masterbrand’, and updated packaging will feature the name Jacob’s more prominently.

This follows UB’s relaunch in February, which saw all their sweet biscuits such as Penguins and Jaffa Cakes (see? They call them BISCUITS. Not cakes.) brought in under the McVitie’s brand.

UB says the move is part of the same ‘business vision’ that saw the £12 million relaunch of its McVitie’s biscuit brand in February.

In a quote that says everything and nothing about the modern marketing experience, Martin Glenn, chief executive of UB, says,

“[This project] will improve and simplify the shopping experience for customers, putting all our savoury brands clearly under the same premium masterbrand.”

There’s also a new ad campaign featuring a tiny ‘Jacob The Baker’ character bringing jolly snack joy, so you can now #snackhappy!

Or run into traffic. The choice is yours.

We all know that alcohol creates a very specific kind of self confidence. The kind of self confidence that makes you pull your pants down, draw two ‘W’s on your butt cheeks, and flash your bumhole to people on a motorway bridge.

WKD Blue WKD ads banned on Facebook for promoting fun effects of alcohol

But the ASA has banned WKD’s Facebook ads for linking alcohol with self confidence with their so called ‘Wicked 8-ball predictions’ – which stated ‘You will refuse to do karaoke- at first.’ In their ‘About’ section they also said: ‘Where there’s good times, there’s WKD. We’re all about getting together with the best people and enjoying yourself – especially at the weekend. Like us and get involved.’

The Young Alcohol Council are angry that the company behind the disgusting blue elixir implied that alcohol is capable of altering mood and that the presence of booze was the key to having a good time with your friends. (Which of course, it is – they’re always a bunch of boring bastards when they’re sober).

Beverage Brands UK Ltd., who own WKD, said they hadn’t breached Facebook’s guidelines, but that it would remove certain posts. The ASA acknowleged that no alcohol was shown being consumed, but that their mascot – an idiot in a hat called ‘Head of WKD Weekends’ – implied that a successful weekend could only be achieved with the addition of WKD.

Of course, we all know that’s not true. It can only be achieved with the addition of beer, vodka and a nice crisp white wine. Oh, and drugs.

Sky goes blu

March 28th, 2014 No Comments By Ian Wade

zxzxzx4 262x300 Sky goes bluElectronic cigarette company Skycig is rebranding as Blu eCigs.

The company, which is the UK’s leading electronic fag manufacturer, will change in May after it was bought by US company Lorillard – owners of the US brand Blu eCigs.

The rebrand also sees Skycig spending £20 million on marketing to transform its positioning, and will have a strong focus on ‘lifestyle’, which, by the looks of things, means making a logo that looks like someone tried to have a stab at the Blur symbol and got bored before they could finish.

The UK blu eCigs product line will essentially be the same as the current Skycig range, however, they’ll now have rechargeable kits and disposable e-cigarettes.

Jacob Fuller, CEO & Founder, Skycig sez, “As the brand blu we will stand for pride, bringing e-cigarette users back into the social fold in a society where smokers have been marginalised for a long time. ”

It shows a glimpse into an industry that no one can seem to agree on, with some pubs banning them, and the government undecided on whether they should be a medical thing (which would require proper testing and put the price up) or not. Also, companies have started advertising on television – something traditional cigarette brands have been unable to do for years.

Some people see e-cigs as a good way of cutting down or quitting the real smokes, and others hate them so much that they’d actively rather die of a smoking related disease than be seen with a robot cigarette. Either way, this rebranding shows that e-cigs are only going to be more in your face in 2014.