Adbusters TVC foiled by CNN traffic error

By AdNews | 21 May 1999
VANCOUVER: The Adbusters Media Foundation in Vancouver is dedicated to overthrowing the evils of consumerism, and produces ÒuncommercialsÓ, a series of anti-ads, for that purpose. Last week Adbusters had finally convinced CNN to sell it two 30-second blips of airtime for its ÒTV turnoff weekÓ spot. So far CNN has been the only US network prepared to sell spots to Adbusters Ñ but only for its ÒBuy nothing dayÓ spots, which have aired in November in the past two years. But the network has refused to air the ÒTV turnoffÓ spots because they encourage viewers not to watch TV. Finally, however, CNN succumbed to pressure and agreed to run the anti-TV spots. Adbusters was jubilant, and the entire staff gathered at a Vancouver pub on the weekend to watch the spots. Alas, there was what CNN claims was a Òtraffic errorÓ, and instead of the ÒTV turnoffÓ ad which shows a girl sitting up close and watching TV, the network ran the ÒBuy nothing dayÓ spot, which features a huge burping cartoon pig. Then Adbusters learnt the network could do nothing to stop the wrong spot from running again an hour later. CNN has now reversed its decision and is once again refusing to screen ÒTV turnoffÓ. Young trust Boots more than Royals LONDON: Boots the Chemist is a more trusted British institution than the Royal Family among young consumers aged 15 to 24. A recent research study revealed that 87% of young people trust Boots. Alas, when asked the same question about the Royal Family, 57% said they distrusted it as an institution. Winners in the trust stakes include Marks & Spencer, with 81% saying they trusted it, Mars Confectionery on 76%, Sains-buryÕs on 75% and Pepsi on 72%. Losers included some major brands, among them McDonaldÕs with 50% saying they didnÕt trust the global fast food giant, and Sky TV, which was distrusted by 48% of respondents. The study also found that 79% of people aged 15 to 24 count ads and trailers as part of the cinema experience and 82% are influenced by them. Their favourite television shows are The Simpsons, Friends and South Park. Kids to wield power at all-kids network TORONTO: YTV kidsÕ network in Canada has created a kidsÕ advisory panel called Swat (Stay Weird All The Time). The panel is made up of 13 eight to 11 year-olds, and will provide YTV with regular feedback on the cable channelÕs new initiatives, emerging kidsÕ trends, and insights into kid culture. YTV intends to use the information to keep its programming lineup wacky, edgy, fresh and relevant. The broadcaster wants to know about the latest schoolyard slang and get story ideas for a new kidsÕ magazine show, YTV Whoa! that goes on air next month. It also wants to know what kids are looking for in contests and other programming. Calgary airport bets on new fantasy park CALGARY: CalgaryÕs international airport is building a $10m, 5,800 square foot fantasy land for kids that may provide down-to-earth promotional opportunities for marketers. KidSpace, scheduled for completion in February 2000, will feature six themed, interactive playgrounds attached to the airportÕs main terminal building. Kids can search for pirate treasure, visit a castle, swing on jungle vines or prowl the hidden cities of the Orient Ñ all for free. Each theme area will have a corporate sponsor/partner. So far, Coca-Cola has signed on as sponsor of Tower Mountain, a medieval-style adventure area. The airport donates the space to its partners, which build the playgrounds and sign a ten year contract to maintain and operate it. The airport expects 5,000 visitors to KidSpace every week. Ads herald OsmondsÕ return LONDON: The Osmonds Ñ that clean-cut 1970s band who were as famous for their all-American grins as for their flares Ñ could soon be back on the scene. Alas, the Osmonds are the latest group to have a hit on the back of a TV ad, and are currently in talks to embark on a concert tour of the UK. The familyÕs song Crazy Horses has been revived for a Virgin Atlantic ad campaign, and the record will be re-released at the end of this month. It originally reached number two in 1972 and has been released since in a remixed version, although it failed to chart. In the TVC, the guitar track is used to back shots of a motorcyclist riding through the wilderness. Recent number ones sparked by advertising campaigns include Fly Away by Lenny Kravitz and Flat Beat by Mr Oizo. U-turn on Di merchandise LONDON: In a move many claim is long overdue, the Diana Memorial Fund has banned the use of its logo on all food and drink products in favour of a policy to endorse only high-quality childrenÕs goods and giftware. The U-turn follows heavy criticism about its decision to allow the use of Princess DianaÕs signature on Flora margarine and the manufacture of a Diana doll dressed in anti-landmine gear. It has also been roundly condemned by the tabloids for squandering cash on Òmarketing and focus groupsÓ. The fund has amended its logo by adding the phrase Òthe work continuesÓ beneath the signature. It has also listed an ÒapprovedÓ range of goods that may feature the revamped logo, such as quality childrenÕs toys, enamelware, crystalware, scented candles, tartan and postage stamps. More blood let in Benetton ads PONZANO: The only image youÕll find featured on the latest print campaign from controversial Italian clothier Benetton is that of a deep red bloodstain. The ads, created in partnership with various aid organisations including the United Nations High Commission, are part of an effort to raise funds for those affected by the war in Kosovo. The print ads are appearing in major dailies in Britain, France, US, Canada, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland over the next two months. The campaign was created by Oliviero Toscani, BenettonÕs in-house creative director. This is not the first time Benetton has used images of blood in its advertising. A 1994 campaign featured the blood-stained clothes of soldier Marinko Gagro, who died during the Bosnian war.

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