2014 Brandcameo Product Placement Awards

search and destroy

Blooming Pity: Valentine's Day Florist Wars Turn Ugly Online

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 15, 2012 05:41 PM

This year's Valentine's Day flower-ordering rush didn't bring any bouquets for the brands. On the second biggest day of the year for sending flowers, after Mother’s Day, disappointed U.S. customers took to Facebook and Twitter in droves to voice their outrage at 1-800-FlowersFTD and ProFlowers. No wonder a website call FlowerComplaint.com exists.

But a lesser known story occurred when Chez Bloom, a florist in Minneapolis, MN checked-in online at about 4 P.M. on Valentine’s Day. Chez Bloom's Twitter account posting a few tweets complaining about the incorrect information, but there's no doubt the misinformation impacted sales. Call it the war of the roses.

Owner Laura Chase told brandchannel, “It was a very busy and successful day, too busy to check online, until late afternoon when I went looking for any reviews of our deliveries. I Googled Chez Bloom and up came this screen shot." (Take a closer look below.)

"I Googled all the other local shops I could think of – and same thing appeared," Chase continued. "It’s a good thing I took a screen shot because by 5PM it was taken down. I nearly fell off my chair. They also had TV ads saying local florists were sold out, and showing a deceptive ad with a kit that had to be assembled. It’s beyond despicable. We were not sold out. We’d like to know how many others were treated this way. It’s maybe a class action lawsuit.”

We called ProFlowers and spoke with Jen Caroll, Director PR and Corporate Communications.Continue reading...

privacy alert

FTC Chairman Calls Out Online Tracking "Cyberazzi"

Posted by Sheila Shayon on October 13, 2011 11:22 AM

Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz’s keynote at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., this week pitched his agency’s "privacy by design" approach to online information sharing. Leibowitz frequently used the term "cyberazzi" for online intrusions consumers need more control over.  

"A host of invisible cyberazzi — cookies and other data catchers — follow us as we browse, reporting our every stop and action to marketing firms that, in turn, collect an astonishingly complete profile of our online behavior. Whenever we click, so do they," said Liebowitz. "Cyberazzi need to stay away from our kids, at least without parental consent."

He clarified that his remarks referred to “surreptitiously placed software” that turns information into a commodity beyond user’s control – and not a reference to online marketing.Continue reading...

online advertising

Quantcast Adopts Ad Option Icon

Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 7, 2011 05:00 PM

Back in February, we noted how the "advertising option icon" at right, a logo to warn web surfers about targeted marketing, would be enforced by the Direct Marketing Association.

Now comes word that Quantcast, a leading provider of audience measurement and media targeting solutions, has signed on to the program, spearheaded by the US Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA), in a move that expands adoption of the icon for millions of small and medium-size website publishers.

While larger web publishers and advertisers including MSNBC.com, Google, Time Inc., General Motors and Kraft Foods, have adopted the program, smaller companies have been slower to sign up.Continue reading...

web watch

Small Businesses Eye Bigger Cut of Daily Deals

Posted by Sheila Shayon on June 3, 2011 11:30 AM

Small business has been feeding the daily deal industry, routinely assuming 75% of a deal’s cost and often with little or no repeat business. The draw for SMB’s to behemoths like Groupon is the reach: 60 million users and 500 markets.

Smaller merchants are becoming savvier in the deals they are making with the big guys like Groupon, LivingSocial, and web mainstays like Facebook, Yelp, Travelzoo, OpenTable who are all adding Groupon-like features — all the while being "bombarded" by a growing array of smaller wannabes, and contemplating what they can do without a middleman.Continue reading...

survey says

L'Oreal USA Sees Growth in US Hispanic Market

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 29, 2011 03:00 PM

Hispanics accounted for half the growth of the total U.S. population in the last decade, and they are expected to exceed 50 million in number, according to the most recent wave of census data.

That's why "Hispanic consumers are a very, very important target," according to Marc Speichert, chief marketing officer at L'Oreal USA. "We see it as a growth opportunity for the future," Speichert tells the New York Times.

One way L'Oreal USA is reaching Hispanic consumers is through a promotional tie-in with Telemundo, a television network known for broadcasting telenovelas.Continue reading...

online advertising

European Keyword Controversy Causes Advertiser Angst

Posted by Barry Silverstein on March 28, 2011 01:00 PM

The latest twist in the evolving dispute over the use of keywords in Europe involves a battle of advertisers.

A lawsuit has been filed by the UK-based flower delivery network, Interflora, against British retail giant Marks & Spencer for using the word "Interflora" on Google's search engine. Interflora claims it has an exclusive right to that word since it is a trademark — but that Google searches for "Interflora" results on sponsored ads not just for Interflora, but for Marks & Spencer. A thorny issue, to be sure.Continue reading...

web watch

DMA Vows to Enforce Targeted Advertising Warnings to Consumers

Posted by Sheila Shayon on February 2, 2011 11:30 AM

The Direct Marketing Association is getting serious about industry compliance with its self-policing initiative, and beginning to enforce consumer privacy rules after being accused of "dragging its feet."

The DMA's Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising initiative is largely aimed at bypassing regulators and legislators, but as a voluntary measure hasn't made much of an impact since it was launched in October.

Its intent is to educate and warn consumers about targeted advertising, including an “Advertising Option Icon” that directly links consumers to information about behavioral advertising. A consumer opt-out page has been live since November, but isn't widely known.

In December, the Federal Trade Commission, which wanted a universal Do Not Track mechanism, said the industry was "dragging its feet on self-regulation," and the Commerce Department joined the chorus suggesting a Privacy Bill of Rights and a new Privacy Policy Office within Commerce.Continue reading...


BareDeal: USPS Meets E-Commerce

Posted by Sheila Shayon on January 24, 2011 11:30 AM

At a time when the U.S. Postal Service is fighting to survive, along comes news of the latest disruptive model: BareDeal.com, which calls itself "Groupon meets Netflix."

Founded by two recent Northwestern University grads, Justin Shapiro and Glen Andrianov, the model merges old-school direct mail with new school online deals. The service delivers scratch cards directly to consumers' mailboxes.Continue reading...

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