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Welcome to the Talon Mailing & Marketing April 2011 Newsletter.

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Online Self-regulation May Not Satisfy Obama Administration

by Edmund Lee, Ad Age Digital

Industry attempts to stay two steps ahead of online privacy regulation may only be confusing the matter.

Some key players in the advertising industry were befuddled by the Obama administration's call last week for an online privacy law, even though the president's recommendation included few specific requirements.

"Why are they doing that? We're already doing it," remarked Bob Liodice, CEO of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). Mr. Liodice was referring to the industry's self-regulatory program, About Ads, which launched late last year. "What we've done is already done. Why are Kerry, McCain and the Obama administration trying to gain headlines for things we're already doing?"

The industry has been battling a contentious campaign with consumer interest groups and Washington over how people's data are collected and used online. While the self-regulatory program has achieved a fair amount of recognition in government circles, key political figures, namely Senators John Kerry and John McCain, as well as President Barack Obama, have made the issue ripe for legislation. A privacy law is sure to take shape in the coming months, but it's not entirely clear where advertising will land in the legislation.

The intricacies around the art of political jockeying and leveraging public sentiment have created a few hurdles for advertising's part in the game. It is a period of wrangling, both within the ad industry and among Washington's policy wonks.

The Wall Street Journal reported just before the Obama administration's call to Congress for the legislation that, despite the self-regulatory program's wide adoption, about 30 companies are "preparing to break with most of the industry and support a proposal for a single do-not-track tool."

It appeared to be a blow to an ambitious program put into place by a coalition of ad groups, including the ANA, 4A's, Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and Network Advertising Initiative. But according to interviews, many of the companies mentioned in the Journal report are, in fact, implementing the industry's self-regulation program, not parting ways with the broad industry effort.

"Yeah, the context is that we're breaking off, but that's not accurate," said Joe Casale, CEO of Casale Media, one of the companies mentioned in the report.

Mr. Casale said that while he believes in the self-regulatory program, he is also working with a loosely organized consortium of ad companies on another option that includes browser-maker Mozilla. Some ad executives are worried that self-regulation may not be enough to satisfy government agencies, namely the FTC, as well as the requirements of any forthcoming law. If other data-privacy tools become the preferred option in such an environment, that could hurt the bottom line -- as in the case of Microsoft's latest version of Internet Explorer, which allows consumers to prevent ad companies from tracking them to the point where it strips advertising out altogether, Mr. Casale said.

The consortium turned to Mozilla for a more mediated privacy solution where advertising would still be delivered to users even if they choose to not be tracked, making them blind ad placements.

That's the kind of move that underscores the difficulty the industry faces monitoring itself amidst government scrutiny. Mike Zaneis, a senior VP and general counsel for the IAB, said such maneuvering is unneeded.

"It's amateur hour in D.C.," he said. "Everybody's playing political prognosticator and trying to jump into the political scene, and not everybody understands the wrinkles of politics. It just complicates the effort."

Mr. Zaneis went on to say that the self-regulatory program has already been exploring the possibility of incorporating browser-based privacy flags into its own system. "The thing to remember is that the browser is offering a technological tool to consumers," he said. "But these tools have not put any definition or context around what this means. The self-regulation program builds context."

10 Little-Known Formulas for Successful Advertising

by Dean Rieck

What is your formula for creating effective sales messages?

If you're like most people, you'll say, "AIDA," an acronym for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. It's a classic, perhaps the most quoted formula in advertising and marketing.

However, just as a skilled craftsman expands his or her creative abilities by collecting and mastering a variety of tools, a savvy marketer can expand his or her creative abilities by collecting and mastering a variety of formulas. Here are some less famous but highly inspirational formulas to add to your collection:

ACCA. Awareness, Comprehension, Conviction, Action. This is similar to AIDA, but "Comprehension" stresses the importance of clarity, which is vital for any persuasive message. And "Conviction" is much stronger than "Desire." It suggests certainty.

This is another AIDA variation by Robert Collier. Intended for sales letters, it outlines what he thought was the correct sales sequence.

AAPPA. The eminent Victor O. Schwab suggested this commonsense, clear formula. Get Attention. Show people an Advantage. Prove it. Persuade people to grasp this advantage. Ask for action.

AIU. This is my own formula for envelopes. It stands for Attention, Interest, Urgency. Something about an envelope must get your attention, whether it's teaser copy, graphics, or just blank paper. This should lead to an interest in the contents and an urgency to open the envelope immediately.

PPPP. This is a formula by Henry Hoke, Sr. It stands for Picture, Promise, Prove, Push. In many ways, it's easier to implement than AIDA because it shows you four basic tasks you must perform to make a sale. Picture: Get attention early and create a desire. Promise: Make a meaningful promise and describe what the item will do. Prove: Demonstrate the value and support your promise with testimonials. Push: Ask for the order.

Star-Chain-Hook. This is Frank Dignan's charming and surprisingly fresh way to approach an advertising message. Hitch your wagon to a Star with an attention-getting opening that is positive and upbeat. Create a Chain of convincing facts, benefits, and reasons to transform attention into interest and interest into desire. Then, Hook them with a powerful call to action, making it easy to respond.

ABC Checklist. William Steinhardt's formula is more detailed than most and very practical: Attain attention, Bang out benefits, Create verbal pictures, Describe success incidents, Endorse with testimonials, Feature special details, Gild with values, Honor claims with guarantees, Inject action in reader, Jell with postscript.

The String of Pearls. This is a particular method of writing copy. The idea is that you assemble details and string them together in a long line, one after another. Each "pearl" is complete in some way, but when you string all the pearls together, their persuasive power becomes overwhelming.

The Cluster of Diamonds. Similar to the String of Pearls, this formula suggests assembling a group of details under an umbrella concept. For example, an ad might have the headline "Seven Reasons Why You'll Save Money with XYZ." The copy would then list these seven reasons. Each detail is a "diamond" in a particular setting.

The Fan Dancer. The analogy here is perfect, though a bit racy. The idea is to tantalize with specific details that do not actually convey information. For example, let's say you're selling a book on reducing taxes. Part of your copy might read: "The one secret way to pay zero taxes and get away with it (page 32). How the IRS uses your mailing label against you (page 122). Three clever ways to turn a vacation into a business tax deduction even if you don't own a business (page 158)." As with the forgotten art of fan dancing, you reveal little and leave your audience wanting more.

Copyright © 2011 Dean Rieck. All Rights Reserved.  Dean Rieck is an internationally respected direct response copywriter, designer, and consultant. He is president of Direct Creative, a direct marketing firm that provides creative services for direct mail, ads, e-mail, and more. Subscribe to Dean's FREE newsletter at www.DirectCreative.com.

Magazines' New Rules for Counting Digital Sales

by Nat Ives, AdAge.com

Life is about to become more complicated for advertisers. iPad editions no longer need to include every print ad to count toward circulation guarantees.

Magazines can now count iPad and other digital-edition sales toward their paid-circulation guarantees even if those digital versions don't include the ads they carried in print, according to a new rule adopted by the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the dominant arbiter of circulation for consumer magazines and newspapers.

That will let publishers take credit for their success on new platforms but means more work for media buyers, whose ads will increasingly appear in only a portion of each magazine's paid circulation count. "If the digital editions don't carry the same ads, then what is the purpose for me as an advertiser for the counting?" said Audrey Siegel, president and director of client services at TargetCast, an independent media agency.

Magazines' tablet circulation remains so small that this move could have waited for more discussion on new best practices, Ms. Siegel said. "I don't think it's the right time to make this change because I don't think that it is meaningful to anyone at this moment," she said. "It will be confusing and [will] continue to make the print medium look like it's scrambling for circulation rather than taking a thoughtful approach to figuring out how to articulate the value of the tablet or the digital edition."

Publishers' statements to the Audit Bureau of Circulations will continue to break out print copies and digital editions, an audit bureau spokeswoman noted, so advertisers and media buyers will be able to see how each magazine achieved its rate base.

Advertisers in national print editions must also be given the option to run in the digital edition as well if publishers want to count that digital edition toward paid-circulation guarantees. So, for example, iPad editions that have a single ad sponsor will not qualify as digital replicas even under the new rules.

Tablet editions will eventually comprise 20% to 25% of paid circulation, Hearst Magazines President David Carey recently predicted. But Audit Bureau of Circulations rules until now have required tablet editions to carry the same ads as print if publishers want to report them as replica digital editions, meaning they can be counted toward paid circulation guarantees.

The rules didn't support today's landscape any longer, said Robin Steinberg, senior VP-director of publisher investment and activation at MediaVest USA as well as a member of the audit bureau's board, which unanimously approved the rule change. "The publishing area is becoming increasingly digitized. The rules need to evolve."

That evolution won't be simple, Ms. Steinberg acknowledged. "Today it's complicated," she said. "Tomorrow it's going to become even more complicated."

"We need to move the industry forward," she added. "Unfortunately, initially it's going to result in additional, unnecessary work for the buyers as there might be confusion to understand where your ad was placed. Print only? Digital only? Or both?"

Win Yankee Tickets!  

Enjoy a great day at Yankee Stadium!

We are giving away two tickets to see the New York Yankees. 

All you have to do to win is be the first telephone caller (please donít hit reply or send an email). Voice mail messages count so it's fine to leave a message.  Call Michael Borkan at (631) 667-5500 x 11.  These tickets are great seats and close to the field! 

  • Tuesday, April 26, 2011. Yankees vs. Chicago White Sox, 7:05 PM.

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In this Issue:

Online Self-regulation May Not Satisfy Obama Administration

10 Little-Known Formulas for Successful Advertising

Magazines' New Rules for Counting Digital Sales

Yankees Ticket Giveaway!

New Clients

Mike Borkan's Links - Web sites you probably haven't seen

View Samples of Our Work

Newsletter Archives

Direct Mail Humor!

New Clients:

Talon welcomes the following new clients this month to our growing roster of customers:
  • Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park

  • UA Aminoff Co.

  • Belief for Relief

  • 3 New Lists from Statlistics

Mike's Favorite Links:

Some interesting links...

ibelieveinadv.com - The best selection for  advertising and marketing around the globe, updated daily.

faceitpages.com - With more than 20 million people connecting with Facebook Fan Pages every day, it is a must have for your businesses to promote your brand and connect with your audience. With Facebook Page tools, you can easily create a great-looking, lead-generating, cost-effective Facebook Business Page.

nfb.ca - Enjoy documentaries, animations, alternative dramas, and interactive productions on the Web, on your personalized home page, or on your iPhone.

redlightcard.com - Covering Nassau and Suffolk County red light camera locations, learn where those hidden red light cameras are located. You can  also buy sd cards for your navigation system through the Web site.

votefortheworst.com - Encourages people to vote for the worst American Idol contestants to really shake things up on the show.

wink.com - A free people search engine. Find people worldwide.

Work Samples:

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Click on the links below to see samples.

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