media and politics
Posted by Mark J. Miller on March 26, 2013 02:21 PM
In the aftermath of the massacre of 20 young schoolchildren and six school staffers last December in Connecticut, the word was that this shooting spree was somehow going to be different from all the rest—different from Virginia Tech and Aurora, Colo., and Columbine and Luby’s Cafeteria back in ’91 and, well, all the rest that keep on happening far too regularly. This time, America was going to look at itself in the mirror and change.
So far, though, the Sandy Hook shootings haven’t caused much change. The “national conversation” has dragged on and senators will finally introduce new gun legislation soon. This will be the “first time in years” Congress takes a look at “significant gun control legislation,” NBC reports. But the inaction and relative toothlessness of the legislation has kicked New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg into gear.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on February 28, 2013 03:24 PM
Comcast Corp., the proud new owners of NBCUniversal for a whopping price tag of $16.7 billion, brings in more than $55 billion in revenue annually, but most of those dollars that came from gun advertising will now disappear.
As American politicians and cultural warriors wrestle with what to do about the ubiquity of gun violence, Comcast—the largest cable provider in the country—has announced that it won’t be taking ads for guns on any of its television, cable, Internet, radio and voice services across the country anymore, OutdoorLife.com reports. The change is reflective of a similar policy that had been in place at NBCUniversal, which prohibited advertisements for weapons or fireworks.
The change has led for some to predict the loss of billions of dollars in revenue for the weapons industry, according to Outdoor Life.
Tom Wright, who owns the Williams Gun Sight Michigan, was aggravated by the news but told the local ABC affiliate that it wasn’t going to put a stop to his business. "We've been in this community for many years and we have enjoyed promoting our products in this community and will continue to do that with Comcast or without them."
Of course, that means finding other channels that will take his ads. Time Warner Cable, the nation’s second-largest cable provider, won’t take ads for semiautomatic weapons but does still accept gun ads, according to MSN. Fox and ESPN also won’t accept advertisements for guns, AdWeek reports. Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on January 11, 2013 10:44 AM
The brand that's arguably "the most important James Bond product placement of all time" has a new website. But more than that, iconic firearm maker Walther has a whole new brand challenge as it begins a marketing life free from its former import partner, Smith and Wesson, after the latter called Walther a "shrinking piece of business," with revenues dropping from $44 million in 2010 to $32 million two years later.
But the 130-year-old brand best known for arming James Bond will continue its manufacturing partnerships with S&W. It's a deal that may make brand differentiation a problem in a marketplace that, while booming, is full of extremely discerning, picky consumers.Continue reading...
Posted by Sheila Shayon on December 18, 2012 12:07 PM
Executives at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. in Bentonville, Arkansas, were already having a bad week, with its holiday-heightened labor dispute on the current cover of Bloomberg Businessweek and brisk business making Bushmaster rifles the #1 assault rifle in America criticized in the wake of the Newtown, CT, school massacre. Still, at least the Mexico bribery scandal that besmirched its corporate reputation earlier this year, when a New York Times investigation was published, was dying down. Until Tuesday night.
That's when the New York Times' follow-up to its April expose was published online, with the headline, "How Wal-Mart Used Payoffs in Mexico." After examining thousands of documents and talking to local officials and Walmart's own executives, the latest chapter in the NYT expose concludes, "An examination by The New York Times found Wal-Mart de Mexico to be an aggressive and creative corrupter, offering payoffs to get what the law otherwise prohibited."
The story is featured on the New York Times homepage today, smack in the middle of the gun debate raging among its readers, editors, writers and the population at large — a debate in which Walmart's brand is also involved as America's largest seller of guns, and the Sandy Hook rifle, in particular.Continue reading...
what girls want
Posted by Mark J. Miller on December 18, 2012 10:30 AM
What do girls want? For one big sister this holiday season, the right for her brother to have the same toys in a non-stereotypical design. Almost 45,000 signatures and a slew of international headlines later, McKenna Pope, the 13-year-old who started the online petition at Change.org to convince Hasbro to consider boys in their marketing and design scope for the Easy-Bake Oven, has scored a big win for gender equality.
McKenna and her family met with execs at Hasbro on Monday and came out all smiles. Execs at the Pawtucket, R.I., HQ of the toy manufacturer, as AP reports, were deighted to show her design prototypes for Easy-Bake ovens colored black, silver, or blue — ready for her brother and other boys eager to get Easy-Baking.
Pope’s quest had started when she wanted to get her four-year-old brother, Gavyn Boscio, an Easy-Bake Oven for Christmas. After all, he had shown a love for food prep by attempting to “cook on top of a lamp's light bulb” at their New Jersey home. Pope only found ovens in pink or purple and the boxes only featured girls in its marketing images.
So Pope went out and scored more than 40,000 signatures on a Change.org petition, the support of a slew of male celebrity chefs such as Bobby Flay, and a meeting with Hasbro, which now says it is going to unveil the new oven at the annual Toy Fair in New York this coming February. Consumers who are looking to purchase Easy-Bake ovens that aren’t pink and purple will be able to snag them next summer. Plus, the new ovens will come with a boy or two pictured on the box as well.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on October 5, 2012 12:03 PM
"The Walther PPK. 7.65 millimeter. With a delivery like a brick through a plate glass window... The American CIA swear by them."
— Dr. No (1962)
It's no secret that the next James Bond film Skyfall will be a product placement bonanza, and musical — thanks to Adele's theme song, which was released at 00:07 a.m. for today's 50th Anniversary Global James Bond Day and briskly set a download record on iTunes.
Already, the new Bond film is weathering complaints about everything from Coke Zero to China. From the trailer, we already know Skyfall will feature Sony's Vaio, a product placement that filled 2006's Casino Royale and the whole film has become bogged down dealing with its new villain nemesis: Heineken product placement. But one brand has appeared in more James Bond films than any other, and stands to get an even bigger role this year in Skyfall. Yet, Bond after Bond, it passes practically without comment.
Starting 50 years ago today with 1962's Dr. No, every 007 agent on-screen has carried a Walther handgun. The cineman's suave series of Bonds have carried the Walther PPK (Polizei Pistole Kriminal) model before switching to the Walther P99 in Tomorrow Never Dies. But trailers from the upcoming Bond film Skyfall show that Daniel Craig's Bond is returning to the PPK, an event monumental enough to warrant its own scene.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on September 21, 2012 06:02 PM
"What's up, people? We're going full auto on this new Kriss Vector gun."
That's actress Milla Jovovich speaking to the camera in a behind-the-scenes video promoting the current box office-topping film Resident Evil: Retribution. The fifth iteration of the hit franchise offers little new material. But what is new is the Kriss Vector submachine gun toted throughout the movie by Jovovich, who is quickly becoming the firearm industry's most reliable spokesperson.
With additional roles in 2012 hit films The Avengers and Total Recall, Kriss is the latest brand of unique looking firearm to make a splash in Hollywood.Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on January 17, 2012 03:11 PM
Just in time to outfit your local militia for the coming Mayan end of the world in 2012 is the Wild Things Tactical Smith & Wesson Collection.
A new brand licensing deal, Wild Things Tactical aims to help the iconic gunmaker extend "its iconic status as a rugged truly original American brand to a line of apparel for both gun enthusiasts and a wide range of consumers." That's right: Smith & Wesson is now a lifestyle brand.
It's the latest brand extension from a firearm brand that's turned itself around in the last half decade.Continue reading...