The Kronen Zeitung is Austria’s largest newspaper, with a daily readership of around three million people. Yesterday, those readers were treated to the image on the left of war-torn Aleppo, bombed out and desperate. Except, as one sharp-eyed Redditor points out, that wasn’t the scene at all. It was just another Photoshop job.
Just to be clear, the family in the photograph is, in fact, in Syria; the original photo (on the right) came from the European Pressphoto Agency. But merely fleeing a city ravaged by guns and mortars apparently isn’t quite dramatic enough on its own. The editors of the Krone—as it’s commonly called—needed this baby to sing.
Using Photoshop to make actresses and models look unrealistically attractive is bad enough. Using it to make a part of the world that has enough problems as it is look even more apocalyptic? That’s just disgraceful. [Facebook via Reddit]
There’s fascinating disconnect between which advertisers the media thinks did well on last night’s Super Bowl and what the research says was effective.
But it didn’t even show up in the Ace Metrix Top 10. Ace Metrix measures a panel of 500 consumers who watch ads and rate them for effectiveness. That research says Doritos’ sling baby ad won the night.
It was also a big night for dogs. Volkswagen’s much anticipated follow-up to its little Darth Vader spot from last year used an obese dog getting in shape to gets its revenge on a VW it wanted to chase down the street (and then somehow ended up in the Star Wars cantina scene).
Skechers used a dog — Mr. Quiggly — in a greyhound race.
As did Bud Light, whose appeal with Weego, a rescue dog, was heartwarming.
So did Doritos, in another comedic appeal revolving around the whole Dogs v. Cats war.
Chase ran an ad that for the life of me I can’t recall even though I am paid to remember these things. And TaxACT’s ad, featuring a kid who urinates in a swmming pool, was disgusting.
Later today — much later — we’ll take a look at how B.I.’s readers judged the ads with the results of our Super Bowl ad readers’ poll. Vote early, and often!
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Actress-turned-entrepreneur Jessica Alba co-founded a startup called Honest Company, an online commerce site that sells green diapers, biodegradable wipes, and other environment friendly items.
All those baby items are sold under a private label, Kara Swisher at AllThingsD reports.
Alba had a hard time finding non-toxic products, so she decided to create a marketplace for it. There’s been a lot of buzz around the launch of Honest, which has a subscription model, depending on how many baby products you need.
Alba’s cofounder is Brian Lee, who also cofounded Shoe Dazzle with Kim Kardashian, and LegalZoom with Robert Shapiro.
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Procter & Gamble has agreed to never again run an ad for its CoverGirl mascara because it used “enhanced post-production” and “photoshopping” to make eyelashes look thicker than they were in real life. P&G agreed to the ban even though it disclosed in the ad that the image was enhanced.
The move is the latest in a series of baby steps that U.S. and international advertising regulators have taken to ban the use of Photoshop in advertising when it is misleading to consumers.
The company’s decision was described in a ruling by the National Advertising Division, the U.S. industry watchdog that imposes self-regulation on the advertising business. NAD is part of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. Its rulings are respected and followed by most advertisers because it enjoys a close relationship with the FTC, from which it has historically drawn some of its senior staff. Recalcitrant advertisers who refuse to withdraw or amend misleading ads are referred by the NAD to the FTC, which has the power to fine, sue or bring injunctions against companies.
When asked whether this was a de facto ban on Photoshop, NAD director Andrea Levine told us:
“You can’t use a photograph to demonstrate how a cosmetic will look after it is applied to a woman’s face and then – in the mice type – have a disclosure that says ‘okay, not really.’”
The ad in question was for CoverGirl NatureLuxe Mousse Mascara, which promised “2X more volume” on women’s lashes. After reviewing the ad, P&G agreed to yank it. (A different CoverGirl ad is shown here.) The NAD ruling said:
“… [P&G] advised NAD it has permanently discontinued all of the challenged claims and the photograph in its advertisement. NAD was particularly troubled by the photograph of the model – which serves clearly to demonstrate (i.e., let consumers see for themselves) the length and volume they can achieve when they apply the advertised mascara to their eyelashes. This picture is accompanied by a disclosure that the model’s eyelashes had been enhanced post production.”
In a footnote, the NAD said it was following the lead of its sister body in the U.K., the Advertising Standards Authority, which in July banned cosmetics ads featuring Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington because they used Photoshop. The NAD said:
“Advertising self-regulatory authorities recognize the need to avoid photoshopping in cosmetics advertisements where there is a clear exaggeration of potential product benefits.”
“… the picture of Ms. Roberts had been altered using post production techniques (in addition to professional styling, make-up, photography and the product’s inherent covering and smoothing nature which are to be expected), exaggerating what consumers could expect to achieve through product use.”
The U.K. ruling found the use of photo retouching misleading per se.
In the U.S., the FTC has has also tightened rules to hold celebrities accountable if they make claims in ads they know cannot be true.
And in France, in 2009, 50 politicians asked for health warnings to be imposed on fashion ads if they showed retouched models’ bodies.
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We’ve updated our chart demonstrating Amazon’s amazing retail growth.
When last we looked Amazon was running away with retail sales compared to competitors. Today, it’s sprinting away with it.
We used the first quarter of 2003 as our base, then took a look at the growth in sales from Amazon, E-Commerce, and offline retail sales.
Follow the Chart Of The Day on Twitter: www.twitter.com/chartoftheday
All these wonderful things we’re learning today, from data! First, we find out that Android is a guy thing. Now, we discover that the iPod Touch shares more demographics with glittering vampires than smartphones. iPod Touch: Kid stuff.
The age distribution makes a lot of sense, especially with the direct available comparison of the iPhone: the iPod Touch is a good gift, a plausible purchase, and a good investment for a young person right now. An iPhone with a $70-a-month minimum contract is a tougher sell, either to parents, or to kids mostly supported by their parents.
And these kids don’t just buy different gadgets than adults—they use them differently, too. For example, they looooove apps:
But they’re stingy little bastards, these kids:
Buying an app can be tough without a credit card, so again, this isn’t shocking. But it does poke a little hole in the idea of the iPod Touch as a massive moneymaker for Apple. Hardware sales are tremendous and highly profitable, sure, but once the devices are in users’ soft little baby hands, they don’t keep raking it in like the iPhone does. [AdMob]
Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.
Collaborators – Digital Profs
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