Peanut butter and jelly, unicorns and glitter, Beats Electronics and Monster. One of these things just doesn’t belong, one of these things is not like the others. After a five-year collaboration, the two companies have terminated their relationship but do hope to remain friends.
According to Businessweek, the breakup came about due to an irreconcilable dispute between Beat’s Jimmy Iovine and Monster’s Noel Lee over which company deserved more credit for the brand’s 53-percent share of the $1 billion headphone market during the last year. As such, Beats has opted out of renewing its manufacturing contract with Monster when it expires later this year
Monster takes credit for the design and production “They wanted to do speakers and I said, ‘The new speaker is the headphone,’ ” says Lee. Beats, on the other hand believes its celebrity connections helped market the devices as high-quality status symbols. “Now a big part of what you’re paying for is the brand and fashion,” Ben Arnold, director of industry analysis for NPD, told Businessweek.
It’s still too soon to see who will ultimately come out ahead from this. Beats Electronics remains the preeminent brand for twentysomethings. Monster on the other hand will have to find a way to replace the lost revenue—reportedly 60 percent of its of privately held revenues and profit. Its recently announced partnerships with fashion brand Diesel and Radio Shack should do nicely though. Those products are expected to hit shelves later this year. [Businessweek via CNet - Photo by Elsa/Getty]
Intel’s about to get its peanut butter all over Motorola’s chocolate. And, in addition to the Reese’s Pieces, we’ll see the first Intel-powered, Android smartphone in the second half of this year.
The two companies announced today that they’ve signed on for a multi-year strategic relationship which will span multiple platforms—including tablets and phones. Specifically, Motorola hopes to employ Intel’s low power system-on-chip architecture. “With Android as the leading smartphone OS globally and advancements in computing technology we see tremendous opportunity.” Sanjay Jha, Chairman and CEO of Motorola Mobility told Business wire. Intel’s new Medfield chip could to be on-board.
And, while the phones may not end up as sleek as the Intel design reference above, with the Medfield’s ability to support up to a 24MP camera and 1080p playback, Apple may have some real competition on its hands. What’s more, given that Google owns Motorola, these phones could very well have an inside track to the latest and greatest Android OS builds. [Marketwatch]
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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A recently disbanded click fraud ring in China racked up $3 million worth of clicks in two weeks. $3 million that we’re aware of. Just how detectable is this whole business of racking up fraudulent ad revenue clicks?
That intricate mess of lines above represents a portion of DormRing1, the click fraud bunch that was caught in China. The lines show the relationship of some of the IP addresses involved in the fraud and how they are connected to some fraudulent ad clicks. The whole network actually “involved 200,000 different IP addresses and racked up more than $3 million worth of fraudulent clicks across 2,000 advertisers in a two-week period.” Impressive and scary at the same time.
The trouble is that no one really knows how much ad revenue DormRing1 collected before they were caught. Click-fraud monitoring services such as Anchor Intelligence, the ones behind this catch, are evolving to keep up with the scale on which these rings are operating. It’s still difficult to judge just how well they’re doing as they’re having to infiltrate forums and gain the trust of the perpetrators in a manner reminiscent of drug busts. But as the criminals are getting more elaborate, the investigations are too.
That good news aside, do me a favor: after you read this post, comment, and all that jazz, refresh the page a few times and—Ah…I mean, heh…just kidding. [Tech Crunch]
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.
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