Monthly Archives: April 2010

Starbucks wants you to pollute the planet to help get clean water to people around the world, 5 cents at a time.

The other day I walked into one of the Starbucks on the Upper West side of Manhattan disconcerted and ashamed.  Disconcerted, because the Internet in the apartment I was renting for a two-week working vacation was on the fritz, the

Posted in Media & Marketing Matters

As usual, when an ad imagines an offbeat consumer, it’s usually an enormous target market.

Last week I analyzed the solipsistic qualities of a billboard ad for eating peanuts by the National Peanut Board in which the protagonist (main character in a fiction) prefers speaking to his dog.  As usual, when a company creates a

Posted in Media & Marketing Matters

Why did NPR include Merle Haggard’s uninformed opinion on the new healthcare law in its feature on his life and music?

Yesterday, National Public Radio ran a fairly longlong feature on country-and-western performer Merle Haggard, who has recovered from lung cancer and recently released a new set of recorded material. The story took the standard format of cutting back and forth

Posted in Media & Marketing Matters, Social & Political Issues

If you really want to help the Earth on Earth Day, you won’t buy any Earth Day memorabilia.

The headline in today’s article on the first page of the business section of The New York Times says it all, “On 40th Anniversary, Earth Day Is Big Business.” The article, by Leslie Kaufman, does a good job of showing

Posted in Social & Political Issues

If world history reflected the view of the PR profession, it might start with Napolean’s invasion of Russia.

Even since I became a marketing communications professional about 25 years ago, one of my pet peeves is the accepted view that the history of public relations begins with the late 19th century impresario P. T. Barnum (you know the

Posted in Poetry & Literature

National Peanut Board uses the solipsistic Reagan ideology to sell peanuts to New York City subway riders.

While in Manhattan for two weeks on a working vacation, I’ve been taking advantage of the greatest mass transit system in the United States, the New York City subway—dingy with age, but clean, inexpensive, extremely safe and it gets you

Posted in Ideological Subtext, Media & Marketing Matters

Too much religion in the armed forces may make people think their god condones killing the enemy.

In the current New York Review of Books, dated April 29, 2010, Eyal Press analyzes three books and one study about the growing religiosity of Israeli soldiers and the growing militarization of Israeli society.  I recommend the article highly, and

Posted in Social & Political Issues

Annual Parade Magazine survey of what people earn show the great and growing disparity of wealth.

I love to read the annual survey in Parade Magazine of what people earn in their jobs.  I always do an informal count of the various salary levels to illustrate what I know from demographic studies to be true: that

Posted in Media & Marketing Matters

Why is the Times allowing reporters to plug their own books in articles? Perhaps it’s in lieu of salary?

A few weeks back, I wrote about a Louis Harris Interactive survey that was introduced to the world in a Daily Beast column in which the author essentially used the announcement of the survey results as a platform for explicitly

Posted in Media & Marketing Matters

In Stouffer’s post-modern America, you don’t eat because you’re hungry, but to have a relationship with your spouse.

My entry into frozen food giant Stouffer’s “Let’s Fix Dinner” marketing campaign came via a two-page, full-color ad in  AARP Magazine, the bimonthly slick lifestyle magazine of the American Association of Retired People, which claims to have the largest circulation

Posted in Ideological Subtext, Media & Marketing Matters