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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
"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
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
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
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
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."
Little-Known Formulas for Successful Advertising
by Dean Rieck
What is your formula for creating effective sales
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:
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.
Attention-Interest-Description-Persuasion-Proof-Close. 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.
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
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
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
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
"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.
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
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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!
Mike Borkan's Links - Web sites you probably
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Direct Mail Humor!
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Mike's Favorite Links:
Some interesting links...
ibelieveinadv.com - The best
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nfb.ca - Enjoy documentaries, animations,
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redlightcard.com - Covering
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navigation system through the Web site.
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.
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