Marketing

Getting Off the Bottle

Corporate Accountability International (CAI) surveyed five states (Minnesota, Maryland, Colorado, New Mexico and Oregon) and found that taxpayers in those states are shelling out between $78,000 and $475,000 a year for government to buy bottled water, a resource that essentially flows free from public taps.

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Gaga for Product Placement

Lady Gaga with Miracle WhipLady Gaga is raising eyebrows with her latest racy music video, Telephone, but this time it's not because of the overt sexuality, the wacky costumes or even the fact that her co-star is Beyonce'. What's grabbing attention is the video's flagrant product placement.

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Taxpayers Subsidize Smoking in "Avatar," Other Youth-Rated Movies

Smoke Free Movies, a project that aims to "reduce the U.S. film industry's usefulness to Big Tobacco's domestic and global marketing" has started running advertisements in the Hollywood Reporter and Variety about the movie Avatar. The ads state that,

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Greedwashing on Wall Street

All eyes are on Wall Street this week as the big banks get ready to report their earnings and bonuses. Rebounding banks are preparing to pay out bonuses that rival those of the pre-crisis boom years.

During the first nine months of 2009, five of the largest banks that received federal aid — Citigroup, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase and Morgan Stanley — together set aside about $90 billion for compensation.

To avoid pitchforks and public outrage, most banks are tamping down on the cash payouts and beefing up long-term stock options. One bank is taking an even more novel approach. Dare we call it greedwashing?

Smoking in "Avatar": Necessary to "Reflect Reality"?

James Cameron's new blockbuster movie Avatar won a "black lung" rating for gratuitous smoking from the Web site Scenesmoking.org, which rates motion pictures according to the amount of smoking they show. Avatar is a futuristic fantasy that takes place sometime in the 22nd century. In it, Sigourney Weaver plays an environmental scientist who puffs on cigarettes as she tries to save the moon Pandora.

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Marketing to Fear: Cocoa Krispies Boost Your Kids' Immunity?

Kellogg's Cocoa KrispiesIn the middle of the H1N1 influenza epidemic, Kellogg is marketing Cocoa Krispies, Froot Loops and other sugary cereals with claims on the box that the cereal "now helps support your child's immunity." The word "immunity" is printed on the box in a huge font, almost as big as the name of the cereal.

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Exploiting the Exploiters' Hoax

Wasting no time, video game startup Heyzap.com in San Francisco has created a video game based on Colorado's "Balloon Boy" hoax that is circulating on the Web and through Twitter. In it, a young Falcon Heene clings to a tinfoil muffin-like balloon while flying through the air trying to shoot down things that get in his way, like UFOs, rainbows and birds.

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