Posts from June 7, 2005

More new-fangled ads

More new-fangled ads

: Rishad Tobaccowala, chief innovation officer at Publicis Groupe Media and one of the very smartest guys in the future, says that…

Fragmentation and consumer control will drive the cost of digital media upwards by 20 to 30 percent annually over the next several years,….

“At some stage it becomes more expensive to buy Google than to buy network television,” said Tobaccowala, citing the pay-per-click auction environment and the costs of re-aggregating audiences once reached via a single network TV buy.

Google? Yes, probably. But aggregated, ad hoc, quality networks of citizens’ and professional media? No, I don’t think so. Because the unlimited world of content is by its nature a scarcity killer and because I do believe — if we get off our asses and make it happen — that new technology will enable advertisers to buy across those ad hoc networks of content and conversation of all sorts from any type of source and that that will end up being far more efficient than advertising today. Yes, it’s not going to be as easy to buy big globs of audience. But when you end up buying directed clusters of real customers, the pay off, the ROI as we say, will be far greater. See also Small is the New Big: Not all products and brands will be mass anymore and so their advertising will not be either. Yes, today, as Rishad points out, that re-aggregation of audience is expensive but that is in old media with old methods. Rishad continues:

Tobaccowala also predicts media buyers will simply have to pay more to capture people’s attention in an increasingly consumer-controlled culture.

“The cost of getting someone’s attention is going to go up much, much more,” he warned.

Some of those costs will be driven by targeting and measurement technologies necessary to reach increasingly fragmented audiences, while others will stem from the need to make creative more attention-getting, Tobaccowala said. Combining rich data with outstanding creative ideas is what’s needed in the future media environment, he opines.

“We believe the future is left brain and right brain. We believe it’s both,” he said. “It’s not going to be the tyranny of numbers, nor is it going to be the petulance of artists. You can program and numericalize as much as you want, but sooner or later you’re going to need the people and the ideas.”

Yes, yes, and yes. And how’s this for a punchline:

“People say, ‘media will take over everything; data will take over everything; digital will take over everything; search will take over everything,'” he warned. “And the truth of the matter is nothing will take over everything.”

New-fangled ads

New-fangled ads

: Via John Battelle, a survey of advertisers says: “64% would advertise in blogs, 57% would place RSS ads.” OK, easier said than sold. But still, don’t think that blogs and RSS have ad cooties; they have ad heat and the real question is how to capture that and make it happen….

When indecency is pervasive, is it indecent

When indecency is pervasive, is it indecent

: Adam Thierer writes in today’s Washington Post that the spreading ooze of content regulation — aka censorship — holds more dangers on the horizon:

Some lawmakers seem to believe that once any media technology becomes popular enough, it becomes “pervasive” and therefore some degree of censorship is justified. But the notion that “popularity equals pervasiveness” is frightening, because it contains no limiting principles. This wasn’t the standard we applied to print outlets such as newspapers as they grew in popularity. Nor is it the standard we apply to the Internet. In fact, recent Supreme Court decisions have rejected attempts to apply indecency controls to cyberspace.

Of course, none of this is going to stop pro-censorship policymakers from pushing the envelope to incorporate new media — at least basic cable and satellite programming — into the indecency mix. If this “popularity equals pervasiveness” regulatory paradigm becomes law and passes muster in the courts, we will have entered a world in which the public has to pay to escape censorship. Anything Congress or the FCC deemed “indecent” would likely be forced onto a premium or pay-per-view tier, where consumers would spend considerable sums to receive some of their favorite programs. But here’s the really interesting question: If large numbers of viewers still flock to premium or pay-per-view services to get their favorite programming — such as HBO, or Howard Stern’s new show on satellite radio — wouldn’t the “popularity equals pervasiveness” calculus apply to those channels as well? If so, we could look forward to still more laws to protect us from ourselves.

[Thanks, Ruth]

The Great Nipple Hunt continues

The Great Nipple Hunt continues

: We’ve been dutifully reporting attacks of prudes on tipples and now here’s another case of national mammarophobia:

Teen actress Lindsay Lohan’s breasts have been digitally reduced for forthcoming Disney film Herbie: Fully Loaded, to avoid offending family audiences.

Test screenings for the new movie, the fourth sequel to the 1968 film The Love Bug about a Volkswagen Beetle car with a mind of its own, indicated that some parents felt Lohan’s character Maggie Peyton was too raunchy for a children’s film.

Disney technicians were forced to plough through numerous scenes – especially those showing the busty actress jumping up and down at a motor racing track, reducing her breasts by two cup sizes and raising revealing necklines on her T-shirts.

The director denies it.

The problem these days — when grown people make news hunting down nipples — is that you can’t tell the parody from the truth.

And then again, let’s not forget the surgical speculation.

All of which leads to just one conclusion: In America, breasts are news.


The Los Alamos whistleblower

The Los Alamos whistleblower

: The Los Alamos blog that has been dogging management there is covering the brutal beating of a fellow whistleblower.