Calling all Nigerian millionaries….

Well well well. The Nigerian government wants an apology from Sony for making references to the notorious ‘419’ scams.

Really?? This is the government that didn’t bat an eyelid over the inappropriately named ‘Nigaz’. For a country, that has spent years doing the square root of FA to clamp down on the 419 scams, it seems a bit rich to cry foul over its reputation just because a Western company makes reference to something everyone (especially Nigerians) are acutely aware of.

Incidentally Sony have wimped out and made another version. Pah!


Social media isn’t about the tech

Last week I had the privilege of chairing a discussion on what social media means to businesses with my Bristol-based colleages.fridge-twitter

Now usually such discussions tend to focus on Twitter and Facebook – and we did discuss both in earnest. However, this time conversation turned into more of a philosophical, and at times ethical, dimension on how people communicate. (Well aside from the fridge twitter talk. Thanks to Marc Cooper of the Bristol Evening Post for remembering this bit).

Although there was some sceptism on what the future holds for the likes of Twitter, a point we all agreed on was that irrespective of the technology, people will always be interested in knowing what others are up to and people will always want to tell others what they’re up to. In my opinion, this is why a Twitter-esq service will always be around even if the technology that facilitates it changes.

Twitterati don’t mind Twads

Perhaps the ad model is the way forward for Twitter to make money. That said I’ve never clicked on one.
clipped from
Thank you for voting!
I’m happy to have multiple ads if it means Twitter gets better 19% (112 votes)
I can deal with ads, but Twitter needs to limit them 31% (190 votes)
Ads are fine, but only certain types 23% (137 votes)
I don’t want ads: there are other ways to make money 27% (166 votes)
Total Votes: 605
  blog it

Time at the bar for alcohol advertising – Or is it?

It’s bold move by the British Medial Association to call for a blanket ban on alcohol advertising. They are backed by organisations like the Department of Health, Alcohol Concern and the British Liver Trust.

The crux of the argument lies with the NHS approximately spending £3billion a year treating injury and illness linked to drink.

As you would expect, there’s a lobby group on the other side of the debate. Step in the Wine and Spirits Trade Association saying:

“the measures proposed by the BMA would hit the pockets of millions of consumers and threaten the livelihoods of thousands of people working in the drinks industry, media, advertising and television.”

A fair point.

Enter another lobby group. This time the UK advertisers trade body, ISBA calling the report a ‘headline-grabbing stunt’ and saying:

“The BMA clearly recognises the problems but has failed to come up with serious recommendations other than eye-catching calls for bans and price rises.”

“There are many factors affecting the misuse of alcohol by a minority of drinkers. Government and business recognise the need for action. Business is investing in a campaign to tackle misuse.”

Hmmm…. Isn’t headline grabbing stunts what advertisers do?

It’s almost as if they are saying banning advertising won’t change lifestyle choices. But advertising DOES change lifestyle choices. Ad agencies spend lots of time convincing clients they do in order to justify budgets. Ok it’s simplistic just to imply banning ads will solve the problem but not to even acknowledge a ban would have an impact, strikes me as a bit disingenuous.

Will anything ever come from this? I seriously doubt it.

Don’t get me wrong, I laud the BMA for taking such as strong stance. They see first hand the dangers of what alcohol can do. However in the face strong opposition and lack of any strong evidence to link an advertising ban and a reduction in alcohol related injuries, we’ll be seeing those annoying WKD ads for many years to come