Monday, December 7, 2009

#Number Forty Eight, The Week That Was

And what a fantabulous week it was, full of meaty goodness for the tabloids. Tiger seriously maimed his brand, a preggers lady pops one out on the plane, and the Italians almost lynched young murderess, Amanda Knox. Oh, Afghanistan will be the proud caretaker of 30,000 more US troops and consumers are finally spending a little bit more. Three cheers for consumerism!

Other news you could have used…

German publisher Springer wants to save the newspapers by, wait for it, charging for content. How original$#@*& But while there’s nothing new in that kind of wishful thinking, I wholeheartedly support Springer’s MO – charging for quality content and getting rid of the meta-philosophy of free. I’ve been harping on about this since 2005 – why didn’t anyone listen? Eric Pfanner writes in his article for the New York Times “Publisher Lays Out Plan to Save Newspapers” that Springer wants to create a “one-click marketplace solution” for online content, so that instead of separate pay walls around individual newspaper Web sites, publishers and Internet companies can work together. Can you see this happening, honestly?

And more about newspapers, checkbook bias
Blurring the very distinct lines between editorial content and advertising has been pooh-poohed for a very long time. But a bunch of ad guys in Dallas have decided to take over some newsrooms, because apparently some editors are ready to bend over and take it. think it’s okay to blend sales with editorial. Because of course the sales managers would never, ever get in the way of news coverage. Never. Of course not. We know that papers need to sell ads to stay in business, and I’d be the biggest hypocrite if I said otherwise (see above). But sales execs have absolutely no place in determining editorial coverage or what gets placed on those pages. Once they take over control of “messaging” in news, our trust of media is totally doomed. Millions of people have been up in arms about media bias over the past few months and the WH/MSNBC vs. Fox-Off, and this brings it to a whole new level: checkbook bias. It also smells of a massive ethics conflict just waiting to happen. Sadly, the winner will be the one with the biggest checkbook, not the moral one. I know that newspapers are trying out all types of different new business models, but they should totally trash this one. I work with newsrooms all around the country and if I have to starting ponying up to receive “unbiased” coverage for my clients, the PR agency model is so, so dead.

About the large and airplanes
I know I’ll be accused of being a fatist for the following post, but I’m definitely not. I used to be 65 pounds heavier, so I know what it feels like to be categorized as fat. But these days, when I stroll up to the check-in counter with just 5lbs of extra luggage and get walloped with a $100 surcharge, I take absolutely no issue with that airline charging an additional surcharge or fare for an extremely overweight person. A recent story circulated from onto MSNBC and the Huffington Post with pictures of a man taking up half an aisle, a seat and then some. Airlines charge for extra luggage because it reduces the carrying capacity on the plane. There is a maximum weight (load) that any plane can carry and that’s why there’s a personal allowance. Someone who boards a plane and who’s used up 15 peoples’ personal allowance, not to mention spreading over to the next seat, needs to pay for their “extra share”. The only difference between that person’s extra luggage and mine, is that mine has to be checked. It’s not discriminatory: if you travel with a pet, you pay extra. If you travel with a child, you pay extra. If you travel with an extra 100lb belly, you pay extra. Conversation over, next!

Dead man rocking
At first I laughed and then when I read the story, I cried. A 33 year-old man had be cut out of his recliner after spending 8 months in it. It’s a sorry state when you’ve allowed yourself to get to a point when you cannot move or get up from a chair. 550lbs? No one needs to resign themselves to being that heavy. I feel guilty if I sit on my behind for more than 5 hrs at a stretch (13 is my record, I had a lot of proposals to knock out). And it’s just as sad when your partner watches idly and does nothing to intervene. But what’s really sad is that the healthcare system is simply not there for people like the Webbs. Live in a mobile home in a low-income community and have no health insurance. It’s not a pretty picture to be sure, but it made me cry nonetheless. I’m just wondering if the recliner was a La-Z-Boy?

Porn, porn wherever you are
Love porn? There’s a new app for that. Called MiKandi, Mobile Marketing Watch reports that the world’s first adult-only app store was recently launched for Android devices, but not the iPhone. I wonder what Apple’s afraid of? In the porn-only store, users can search a range of free and paid applications, post reviews and join discussions – all in the privacy of the bus, train or office cubicle. In a long meeting full of boring PowerPoints, MiKandi now comes to the rescue. Mobile phone come out, come out wherever you are.

Putting Tiger’s tangles to rest
Tiger Woods to media: I don't need you bums. Thank you Tiger, we’re all ready to move on the next philanderer now. What’s the chances of it being a women? Anyone?

Here’s to another great week everyone!


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