Marketing

Pushing the Brain's "Buy Button"

Commercial Alert and prominent psychology experts sent a letter today to Emory University President James Wagner, requesting that Emory stop conducting neuromarketing experiments on human subjects. Neuromarketing is a controversial new field of marketing that maps the brain's activation responses in order prod desires for particular products.

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"Transpertainment" Comes to Las Vegas

Nextel Communications "is becoming a principal sponsor of a monorail system that is scheduled to start serving Las Vegas in January, underwriting the branding of the
Convention Center stop as well as one of nine four-car trains with the Nextel name, logo and colors. ... Coca-Cola is also negotiating with the Las Vegas Monorail

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Newman's Own Boosts McDonald's

Faced with the nation's growing waistline and flat sales in recent years, fast-food restaurants are relying on new products and PR to help improve their image and their profit. "Mike Donahue, VP, US communications and customer satisfaction for McDonald's, notes that PR pioneered McDonald's integrated marketing push on its salads," PR Week writes. "The company aligned its salads with Paul Newman's Newman's Own brand of salad dressings, offering those dressings for its new product. Newman's Own is highly regarded in the world of natural and organic foods.

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Product Placement in Peril?

Advertisers are "livid," says Tessa Wegert, over an FCC petition filed recently by Commercial Alert that could make TV product placement advertising a thing of the past. If the petition succeeds, Wegert frets, it would "ensure brands like Doritos and Mountain Dew never again appear on an episode of 'Survivor' without a conspicuous accompanying message disclosing their nature and origin. ...

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Pesticide & Lawn-Care Groups Plan National Campaign

An alliance of pesticide and lawn-care industry associations and companies, calling itself the Evergreen Foundation (EF), has raised over $200,000 in seed money for a "national marketing campaign to consumers throughout the United States to promote the economic, environmental and lifestyle benefits of healthy landscapes and green spaces at home, work and play," Lawn & Landscape magazine reports. "Careful use of pesticides and fertilizers, prudent use of water, managing noise and air pollution are among the issues the EF plans to tackle in its campaign.

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Drug Company Vies For Media Spotlight

While the Food and Drug Administration is hearing testimonies on direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising of prescription drugs, one pharmaceutical giant is hoping to gets its spin on drug marketing in the news. The FDA is reviewing DTC guidelines that cover the $2.7 billion that the pharmaceutical industry now spends annually on television, radio and print advertising.

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Branding America, One More Try

"After a failed advertising campaign in the Middle East and then the war in Iraq, which most people in the region opposed, the Bush administration is struggling to find a better way to communicate," reports Sonni Efron. "Plans call for new messages as well as new messengers - including launching an Arabic-language satellite television station to compete with Qatar-based Al Jazeera. The administration's critics argue that the United States can do little to improve its image without major changes in unpopular policies, especially its close alliance with Israel.

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Now They Know How You Feel

Humorous columnist Dave Barry is driving telemarketers nuts with his recent column that published the toll-free number for their lobby group, the American Teleservices Association. Barry encouraged readers to call the ATA "to tell them what you think" about telemarketers. Thousands of readers took Barry up on his suggestion, and 10 days later, they're still calling. "I feel just terrible, especially if they were eating or anything," Barry says.

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Hot Flush for Big Pharma

The sale of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) to women is a multi-billion dollar cash cow for the pharmaceutical industry. What will its PR machine do in the face of evidence that long-term HRT use increases women's risk of blood clots, strokes, heart attacks, breast cancer, and dementia, and has no quality of life benefits?

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