R.J. Reynolds caused a stir recently by unveiling new female-targeted Camel cigarettes, "Camel No. 9." Camel cigarettes have for years been targeted at the "virile segment" -- male smokers whom RJR thinks respond to ads that feature pictures of macho men climbing mountains, fording rivers and such. RJR's targeting of women is not new, however.
Forget about focus groups. Before launching their new weekly glossy magazine for women, "Look," executives at Britain's IPC Media (a Time Warner company) engaged in "immersion research," or ethnography. "We went out to our audience," explained IPC's Chris Taylor. "We literally lived for weeks at a time with [potential] readers in their homes.
Increasing "the ranks of our military" is "one of the first steps we can take together" to "position America to meet every challenge that confronts us," said President Bush in last week's State of the Union address. "Tonight I ask the Congress to authorize an increase in the size of our active Army and Marine Corps by 92,000 in the next five years."
The 92,000 figure was put forward by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who told the Senate Armed Services Committee on January 12 that more troops are needed to boost "combat capability" and "strengthen our military for the long war against terrorism." The Pentagon plans to meet that goal by reenlisting former Marines and increasing the Army's recruitment and retention rates.
Under the plan, the Army would only "slightly increase its recruitment goals -- by 2,000 to 3,000" a year, according to UPI. But in 2005, "the Army failed to meet its annual recruiting goal by the widest margin in two decades," reported the New York Times. To meet its 2006 goal, the Army hired more recruiters, raised the maximum allowable age for recruits, doubled the percentage of recruits who scored low on aptitude tests, issued waivers for some recruits' prior convictions, and significantly increased cash bonuses.
If it was that difficult for the Army to meet past recruiting goals, how will it meet future, larger ones? Some clues are offered in the Army's self-nomination for a prestigious public relations award.
Helen Zia, author and board member of the Women’s Media Center, writes about Sarah Olson's victory: "Subpoenas against journalists may be intended to put a damper on their reporting, but in Olson’s case, the overwhelming response has been an outpouring of support for her stand on free speech—for both journalists and for voices of dissent.
Corporate sponsorship is all the rage, even with the New South Wales Police. In 2002 a mother of three, Diane Brimble, died on board the P&O cruise ship Pacific Sky from a combination of alcohol and the drug gamma hydroxybutyrate. Her death was investigated by officers from the NSW Water Police. Eighteen months later, P & O was one of five sponsors of the opening of a new headquarters for the water police.
A coalition of unions, women's and health groups have been granted intervenor status in a case in which CanWest MediaWorks is seeking to overturn the Canadian government's ban on direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA). The groups argue that if CanWest is successful it would push up healthcare costs and undermine the sustainability of the Canadian healthcare system.