Tag Archives: advertising

Double negative labeling

I promise this blog is not turning into one that just finds fault with grammar and usage (plenty exist already), but I couldn’t help myself.

Sans Gluten Free glutino

Here we have Glutino brand Sans Gluten Free Wafer Cookies. While they taste really quite good, I was a little nervous because if it’s “without gluten free,” I suppose that would mean the cookies actually did contain gluten, which I’ve been strictly avoiding for nearly 11 months now.

I realize that this instance is almost certainly due to the bilingual nature of this packaging (Glutino is a Canadian brand), but still. On the side of the box, it’s much clearer, where it says: “SANS GLUTEN/BLE • GLUTEN/WHEAT FREE.” See, it’s not actually that difficult to communicate clearly, is it?

(And yes, they were quite tasty. Yum.)

Today’s publishing revolution

    “Revolutions create a curious inversion of perception. In ordinary times, people who do no more than describe the world around them are seen as pragmatists, while those who imagine fabulous alternative futures are viewed as radicals. The last couple of decades haven’t been ordinary, however. Inside the papers, the pragmatists were the ones simply looking out the window and noticing that the real world was increasingly resembling the unthinkable scenario. These people were treated as if they were barking mad. Meanwhile the people spinning visions of popular walled gardens and enthusiastic micropayment adoption, visions unsupported by reality, were regarded not as charlatans but saviors.”

Agreed. Having worked in the newspaper industry, I’ve seen this, first hand.

That’s just one small tidbit of an in-depth look at the current revolution impacting journalism (and all of publishing, really). Among other things, Clay Shirky talks about the revolution of the printing press.

Here’s another peek:

    “Print media does much of society’s heavy journalistic lifting, from flooding the zone — covering every angle of a huge story — to the daily grind of attending the City Council meeting, just in case. This coverage creates benefits even for people who aren’t newspaper readers, because the work of print journalists is used by everyone from politicians to district attorneys to talk radio hosts to bloggers. The newspaper people often note that newspapers benefit society as a whole. This is true, but irrelevant to the problem at hand; “You’re gonna miss us when we’re gone!” has never been much of a business model. So who covers all that news if some significant fraction of the currently employed newspaper people lose their jobs?”

Yes.

But really, just go read the whole piece.

Thoughts?

Via @publishingtalk.

Book giveaways

OK, I’ve just found three sites holding giveaways: Each blog hosting the giveaway is offering a box of ten books each, for five winners.

Dewey is hosting one such contest, visit her blog post for rules and how to enter.

Trish is also hosting one such contest; visit her blog post for rules and how to enter.

BookroomReviews is also holding such a contest, here’s her info on entering to win.

Apparently Hachette thinks this method is working for them.

Death of the Times

I’ve been posting here for quite some time about how people see newspapers failing. I’m not exactly sure it can all be blamed on the internet, just as I’m not entirely sure we can pick a date in the future when all newspapers will have disappeared.

A friend and former colleague in newspapering just posted a column with a new take on newspapers disappearing. He addresses a side issue, another way notable newspapers of today are failing:

The ink in my blood grieves the slow fall of the New York Times. The New York Times is one of, if not the, greatest newspapers in the history of newspapers. But ink flows as easily as blood: The New York Times is hemorrhaging money and circulation (the two are usually related) at a rate that should alarm the owners and employees of the old rag. As a lover of periodicals, I mourn the slow bleeding.

But the bleeding does not surprise me. Some blame the rise of the internet as the reason for the suffering of the Times and other newspapers. While a relationship between the rise of the internet and the fall of the traditional newspaper clearly exists, other newspapers, notably the Wall Street Journal and USA Today, have managed to buck the trend and increase circulation.

The Times’ decline is primarily a result of the failure of the great 20th century experiment of objective journalism.

It’s a good read. Read the rest here.

Shoddy writing, take 2

Not all printing services are created equal and outputs differ in many ways like the level of customization possible, the binding materials and methods will your file be reviewed before printing? The type of paper used, and the quality of the printing itself. (Issues like type of printing device used, its age, on going maintenances, color management process, daily calibrations, skill of the operator and more) Also differ the level of service and support you will get, the shipping method used (resulting in shipping time, tracking ability, reliability), simplicity (no need to open an account), will your product be branded with the supplier brand, and more, All of these factors will eventually translate into the quality of your output and the level of customer experience.

Ack! I don’t even know where to start, if I need to tell you what’s wrong with this paragraph. Feel free, if you’ve got some time.

Here’s the rest of that page. Digi-labs prints cards, photobooks and calendars.

I’ve written before about how a company’s lack of grammar on its website will deter customers. This is just another instance, I guess. I really don’t understand how this gets published, though. Compose the text in a word processor, then look at what’s underlined with those squiggly red and green lines and why. Heck, you’re a company. Someone on staff should be able to compose a few communicative sentences. If this isn’t the case, either hire someone, outsource content editing, or educate your current staff. I’m not asking for high literature, just straightforward, clear communication.

The printed word is dead?

I don’t think so.

With the Kindle coming out this week (see here and here for GeekBrief coverage and here is one of several posts at TechCrunch), I’ve been musing about, naturally, physical books being replaced by technological gadgets — or at least something not printed. Side note: What would that do to libraries?

And today there’s yet another bit of news about newspaper print ad revenue going down, down, down and not being replaced (entirely) by online ad revenue.

I’ve written here before about the necessity for newspapers to change their content delivery, to make themselves available to online users, and also about how I’ve begun finding my news online.

The above-linked piece on ad revenue more than hints that the printed word is dead, or at least dying. I don’t agree with that.

First of all, Kindle (and its predecessors) still has a long ways to go before they seriously take a chunk out of the book market. Reviewers unanimously comment on the ugliness of this device, and the $400 price tag is a huge hurdle. Even after a person takes that step, he or she must still pay $10 or so for each book. The books aren’t transferable to or from the device. As much as I’m a voracious reader, I don’t buy most of the books I read; I get them from the library or borrow them from friends. I’m also skeptical (although the Kindle’s Amazon-ness may remedy this) about the availability of the tomes I want to read via such media. This is also the problem, for me, with things such as PaperbackSwap and BookMooch.

OK, back to newspapers. It’s particularly true of newspapers in large markets: Other forms of media are taking the place of print news. We can get national (and most international) news anywhere. Local, hometown news is a different story. I can’t get the news of my town anywhere but the local newspaper. The news content is available online, albeit with a few-day delay. And if I want to know what’s playing at the local six-plex? I need a print subscription of the paper. The ad content isn’t online, and the theater doesn’t even have a marquis. If I don’t have a newspaper in my hand, I won’t know what’s showing unless I drive to the theater, get out of the car and walk to the window to read the sign. (The theater doesn’t have a website, much to my dismay.)

EDIT: See the comments below for more the place to find movie times at the Siloam Springs movie theater.

None of this is likely to change anytime soon, on the local level. And it’s really hard for me to even think about replacing my books with a gadget.

Skanky advertising methods tarnish image

When I first heard of American Apparel, it was touted for its admirable qualities: made in the United States and sweatshop free. Sweatshop free, that’s great! Right? [I've never bought (or owned) an article of American Apparel clothing, at least in part because the sizes run so small.]

I’d like such a stance to be made on some basis, though, not just because it can be done. I’d like to think that such traits would translate to other aspects of the company’s image.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t in this case.

Apparently, American Apparel also has a reputation (I learned this today) for provocative advertising. Checking out its website, it’s easy to see it earned this label (see here for a new magazine interview, via the American Apparel website.

I studied advertising, and I understand that, in some respects at least, all publicity is good publicity. However, I’m averse to clothing being advertised via mostly nude models. (I’m not going to post a link to this image on the American Apparel website.)

This image also unnerved me. This image is from i-D magazine, and it’s not an ad; it is part of a story layout in that British magazine. Still, American Apparel is embracing the image by showcasing it on its website (and by emailing it out to its mailing list!).

There’s a discussion on the American Apparel website, also one here, and one here in the Etsy forums, where I first saw it.

Can a company not be upright it all it does? I lost any respect I had for the company based on its treatment of workers when I saw its advertising schemes today.

Intentionally losing your trademark

Thomas’ is apparently trying to lose its trademark. The maker of English muffins and bagels (part of George Weston Bakeries), in its latest series of television advertisements is attempting to make its brand name synonymous with English muffins.

This is even more confusing since it also offers bagels. Why would the company decide to equate its brand with one product, which necessarily alienates the brand from its other product?

Most companies fight hard to keep their trademarks unencumbered (Kleenex, Xerox, Google, Frisbee …). See here.

While it may help promotion to a certain extent when customers and potential customers begin to equate a company name with a product genre, in this instance the case against such a move is stronger than normal — the company has evidently been most known for its bagels (not English muffins), given that its URL is http://www.thomasbagels.com.

What were they thinking?