Archive for the 'Assholes' Category
Friday, February 22nd, 2013
And how do you solve this problem? Well, you work harder!
Such is the “feminist” pose about to be launched by the utterly vile creature known as Sheryl Sandberg, whom we TCTers have met before. She is the scionette of a Florida eye-surgery empire who converted her
inherited advantages talent and labor into a career as a leading data-scraping executive within the corporate marketing juggernaut.
According to The New York Times, Sandberg is about to unleash her solipsistic “project,” which will apparently be called “Lean In.” The idea is that she will be coaching those who join on how to do what she did. That, of course, was to work hard! [Of course!] And now, all her greatness and effort is becoming a social movement!
“I always thought I would run a social movement,” Ms. Sandberg, 43, said in an interview.
Holy pancakes, Batman, these fuckers are way more gonzo than you can even imagine. Orwell is flat out of a job.
Thursday, December 6th, 2012
This political marketer with the hippie visage is Ethan Roeder, departing data director for Obama for America. Mr. Roeder has just published a New York Times op-ed titled “I Am not Big Brother.” He doth, of course, protest way too much.
Ethan says his “day job” — he fancies himself a movement organizer, but more on that howler in a minute — is “political data.” Sadly for him, it seems he feels somewhat besieged by public distaste for this job. He is not, he swears, “an all-knowing super-genius.”
But think for a moment, Ethan: Is that really what people hate about marketing in general and political marketing specifically? Do folks think the Ethan Roeders of the world are mad scientists running amok? Or is it more that they know the Ethan Roeders of the world allow corporate politicians to manipulate voters with more efficiency and no more honesty than ever?
Ethan doesn’t ask that question, of course. Instead, he heaps on more hyperbolic straw-man accusations against himself:
If I’m not spying on private citizens through the security cam in the parking garage, I’m probably sifting through their garbage for discarded pages from their diaries or deploying billions of spambots to crack into their e-mail.
If all those things are false, Ethan concludes, then he’s just a humble campaigner trying to help us all “engage” and share our ideas.
Of course, he also doesn’t mention the obverse of the coin with which he fancies he’s purchased his innocence, the assurance that “campaigns don’t know anything more about your online behavior than any retailer, news outlet or savvy blogger.” That flip-side is the reality that modern political campaigns are neither more nor less than ordinary brand marketing efforts, and votes are merely the purchase people like Roeder are hired to finagle.
“[T]echnology,” he says as if it’s some comfort, “is allowing campaigns to finally see through the fog of the crowd and engage voters one by one.”
That one on one relationship is entirely about product-positioning, and zero percent about candidates genuinely seeking ideas and proposals from constituents. (Not that Ethan doesn’t try to sell the latter notion.)
And what about that nighttime struggle? Mr. Roeder is also apparently a principal at a place called, Orwellianly enough, the New Organizing Instutute, where he peddles the idea that the encroachment of political marketing into movement organizing is somehow an advance, rather than a severe malignancy, in movement organizing.
He even has a brand name for his confusion — “engagement organizing.”
Engagement Organizers start with time-tested grassroots organizing strategies, grounded in the behavioral sciences and hardened in the field. We combine these strategies with emerging online tools and technology.
Translation? “Engagement organizers” are people who use marketing research on behalf of their clients, to try to surreptitiously provoke some action that would not otherwise occur. They are the Ethan Roeders of the world.
Remember the talking point?: “Not Big Brother.”
Tuesday, November 20th, 2012
Remember the squabble over Microsoft’s “do not track” setting in Internet Explorer 10?
Here’s the unsurprising outcome, as reported by Advertising Age:
A coalition of advertising trade associations gave publishers and advertisers license to ignore the “do not track” signal from Microsoft’s coming web browser and any other that ships with the option checked by default.
The statement from the Digital Advertising Alliance marks the latest example of the online ad industry’s insistence that it will only get behind “do not track” settings that web users have turned on themselves. Microsoft has said that it’s new Internet Explorer 10 browser would set a “do not track” setting as a default setting.
“The DAA does not require companies to honor DNT signals fixed by the browser manufacturers and set by them in browsers,” the statement said. “Specifically, it is not a DAA Principle or in any way a requirement under the DAA Program to honor a DNT signal that is automatically set in IE10 or any other browser. The Council of Better Business Bureaus and the Direct Marketing Association will not sanction or penalize companies or otherwise enforce with respect to DNT signals set on IE10 or other browsers.”
The DAA has dubbed such default settings as “machine-driven.”
But one of the main problems with the DAA’s stance is that some people may choose to use IE 10 precisely because the “do not track” function is set by default and they do not want to be tracked. In those instances, advertisers may put themselves in the unenviable position of indirectly ignoring a person’s wish not to be targeted with ads.
Enviability, of course, is nothing compared to profits. To paraphrase old Corny Vanderbilt, “Who cares about wishes? Hain’t I go the power?”
Hence, Captain Renault is simply shocked to hear Ad Age report that, by now, “few websites or third party ad firms are honoring Microsoft’s DNT beacon.”
Wednesday, October 17th, 2012
As it recovers from locking out its employees and tries to stave off its players’ claims about its obvious extreme health dangers, the National Football League continues to exploit breast cancer to soften its image and increase the emotional habits and brand loyalties on which it trades.
Idoubtit, an excellent “skeptic” blogger and activist, has started a helpful thread on the topic.
The numbers involved are fascinating. The NFL has annual revenues of $9.5 billion, and yearly profits of $979 million. Business Insider reports:
According to the website, by purchasing pink items in the NFL Shop, fans can “support the fight against breast cancer with pink NFL breast cancer awareness gear.” Of course, there is a huge difference between supporting “awareness” and donating money to research. In the case of the former, most of the money ends up in the pockets of billionaire NFL owners.
When we contacted the NFL’s online shop for clarification, we were told 5% of the sales are being donated to the American Cancer Society. If the pink products have a typical 100% mark-up at retail, that means the NFL is keeping 90% of the profit from the sale of Breast Cancer Awareness gear.
And then consider that only 70.8% of money the ACS receives goes towards research and cancer programs. So, for every $100 in sales of pink gear, only $3.54 is going towards research while the NFL is keeping approximately $45 (based on 100% mark-up).
When the NFL wrote back to Business Insider to “clarify” the facts, it defended itself by saying it donates “approximately $1 million per year” to this cause it wants its fans to believe it seriously cares about.
“Approximately one million dollars,” however, is a mere one tenth of one percent of the NFL’s annual profits, and roughly one one-hundredth of one percent of its revenues.
Gosh, I wonder why they don’t brag about those numbers…
Tuesday, October 16th, 2012
At right is Wendy Clark, “senior VP-integrated marketing communications and capabilities” at the Coca-Cola corporation. Ms. Clark has weighed in on behalf of her employer in the controversy over Microsoft’s plan to respect overwhelmingly clear public preferences and make “do not track” the default setting in its next version of Internet Explorer. Clark, according to Advertising Age,
said brands, including Microsoft, shouldn’t be assuming choices for consumers. “All we want is an opportunity for consumers to make their own choice rather than have the choice made for them.”
Friends, it doesn’t get more Orwellian than that.
Sunday, September 30th, 2012
This creep is running his cowboy drawl all over the worst of the worst TV ads for things like pickup trucks and Coors beer.
Elliott’s redneck authenticity is roughly at the same level as the quality of the corporate
death bombs products he peddles:
Sam Elliott was born in Sacramento, California, to a physical training instructor mother and a father who worked for the Department of the Interior. He moved from California to Oregon with his family during his teenage years, where he graduated from David Douglas High School in Portland. He attended Clark College in Vancouver, Washington, where he completed a two-year program and was cast as one of the leads in Guys and Dolls. The local newspaper suggested that Elliott should be a professional actor. Soon after, Elliott declared he was going to Hollywood to become a star. Elliott is a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity at Cal State L.A.. He worked in construction while studying acting in Los Angeles.
The Coors beer ads are particularly hilarious, if you’ve ever actually been near Golden, Colorado. It is a craphole on the freeway in the middle of a bone-dry prairie. Not a real mountain or river within 20 miles of the dump-ass company-town exurb.
Let us recall the words of the late Bill Hicks: “Do a commercial, you’re off the artistic roll call. Every word you say is suspect. You’re a corporate whore and eh, end of story.”