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On Monday, June 14, 2021, I posted about the launch of GB News, a channel that offers balanced content.

On June 15, Guido Fawkes posted the new channel’s preliminary ratings demographics — 70% male viewers and 62% middle and upper middle class viewers:

Guido wrote (emphasis in the original):

According to BARB figures for the first full day on air, GB News averaged over the 18-hour day 74,000 viewers, just behind Sky News’ 78,000. BBC News was well ahead with 138,000. Andrew Neil’s show drew 150,000 for his hour, down from Sunday’s opening 262,000.  Let’s see how things settles down in a few weeks. Today the audio technical problems were noticeably fewer… 

GB News has been taking some flak over the past few days. It must be over the target.

Someone in the media sniped at Andrew Neil, the channel’s chairman, who has a weekday evening news roundup:

Unfortunately, advertisers are beginning to withdraw their sponsorship, claiming they had no idea their adverts were being shown on GB News. How can that be?

Kopparberg Cider (never heard of it) was the first:

Guido’s post says that Koppaberg pulled their ads because of an appearance by Nigel Farage on Dan Wootton’s first nightly show:

In a bizarre business move, Swedish cider company Kopparberg has suspended all their GB News advertising after a left-wing Twitter user complained they’d hosted Nigel Farage as a guest. Guido has no doubt Kopparberg will also be suspending ads for … ITV and Sky, who have all interviewed Nige’ on numerous occasions… 

Nivea is another former sponsor:

Nivea has also apparently announced a boycott, though Guido’s altogether less familiar with brands of moisturiser. Imperial Leather moisturiser seems an appropriate alternative brand…

Guido has contacted Kopparberg for comment.

Then came Ovo Energy:

The thread received this reply:

ITV News must have been rubbing their hands with glee. It’s hard to discount the possibility that the main channels want GB News to fail:

ITV’s article listed more former sponsors (emphases mine):

An Ikea spokesperson told iNews the company “has not knowingly advertised on GB News” and has suspended all paid display advertising while it investigates.“We have safeguards in place to prevent our advertising from appearing on platforms that are not in line with our humanistic values and vision to side with the many people,” they added.

We are in the process of investigating how this may have occurred to ensure it won’t happen again in future, and have suspended paid display advertising in the meantime.”

Beer producer Grolsch said in response to a message from a campaigner it would “do everything we possibly can” to stop its adverts appearing on the channel.

The controversy comes from the channel’s aims to fight “cancel culture” and present news to audiences that in their view are not reflected in the current British broadcast media landscape.

ITV says that a left-wing campaigning organisation is behind the boycott:

Stop Funding Hate, which has been campaigning to get businesses to pull adverts from GB News said OVO Energy, Ikea, Nivea, the Open University and Grolsh have also all reportedly stopped working with the channel.

Andrew Neil had a go at Ikea, as did one of his followers:

What is wrong with the content and ‘values’ of GB News?

Did advertisers object to the Who’s Roger Daltrey’s take on today’s culture?

Were they upset with Andrew Neil’s ‘Woke Watch’ which explored the new culture at the National Trust?

Neil did take issue with the anti-lockdown protesters who chased the BBC’s Nick Watt in London on Monday afternoon:

The following are Wednesday’s stories on GB News. What is objectionable?

There is a story on council tax hitting those in northern England more than those in London:

A Labour MP criticised the Home Secretary Priti Patel for not helping legal immigrants more:

Liz Truss MP talked about Britain’s new trade deal with Australia:

Sajid Javid MP, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and former Home Secretary, explained why he would like to see the increase of the legal marriage age to 18:

Where is the problem?

Guido Fawkes alleges that an ex-BBC producer could be behind the advertising boycott:

Her company has allegedly created a website, Boycott GB News.

Guido’s post says:

The website BoycottGBNews.org, which has spent the last 24 hours celebrating various corporate boycotts, says it is a “campaigning website from Ripples”. A quick search of Companies House shows Ripples Campaigning was co-founded, and is run, by Louise Wikstrom. Louise, who appears to be their only employee, was a senior content producer at BBC Worldwide for three years.

He included a photo from her Facebook page indicating that she is a supporter of the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Guido adds (emphases in the original):

Co-conspirators may have theories as to why someone closely linked to the BBC’s commercial arm might want GB News to fail?

… Whilst Guido hadn’t heard of Ripples, it’s clearly a petition site exclusively for left-wingers and FBPEers. They laughably claim that due to their petitions, they prevented: a cut to universal credit; MPs receiving a £3,000 pay rise; an extension of the furlough scheme; and preventing the government from “breaking international law” on Brexit. These past claims are clearly absurd. Their latest busy-bodying attempt is far more malicious…

In closing, I have bought print advertising in the past. There is no way that anyone buying advertising doesn’t know what is going on. It isn’t done independently. I was told what publication to contact for my employer’s ad and how to negotiate the price.

It is disingenuous for these sponsors to say that advertising was placed without their permission. That cannot happen. Yet, if you read their statements, they all claim they did not know they were advertising on GB News. 

No doubt Andrew Neil will know how to deal with this. I wish him all the best.

After over two months — the evening of March 23, 2020, to be precise — Britain is gradually coming out of lockdown.

Since late March, very few of us have bothered with our personal appearance unless we’re on video conference calls every day.

Even MPs, part of the population on such calls, have let themselves go with hair and beard growth.

However, the time is coming when as many Britons as can will have to return to work. For many, now’s the time to clean up.

On Wednesday, May 20, the British brand, King of Shaves, recently trended on Twitter with #BringBackTheShave, which provided the nation with a chuckle or two.

Their 24-hour ad campaign, in association with the creative community One Minute Briefs, was a serious one, though, as the winning entrant received £250. Nothing to sneeze at in these difficult times:

These were my two favourites, both by creatives who work in the advertising industry:

I cannot speak of the King of Shaves product line personally, but they get rave reviews — and are 30% off to keyworkers and NHS staff:

They also have shave gel for ladies.

Well done!

Even better, their products are also made in Britain.

—————————————-

UPDATE:

There were two winners.

This entry:

And this one:

Well done to both!

May the clean-cut look survive well into the future!

It’s hygienic — and looks sharp (unless you’re in the Royal Navy or know how to properly maintain a beard).

Land O Lakes has changed its logo.

The Native American maiden is no longer.

The Left campaigned for her removal over the years. They finally got their way:

Maybe the new head of the company felt the same way?

It appears that way. A woman CEO and president gets rid of packaging featuring a female Native American. Hmm.

On Thursday, April 15, the Minnesota Reformer reported on the logo for America’s top brand of butter, which is approaching its centenary (emphases mine):

We need packaging that reflects the foundation and heart of our company culture — and nothing does that better than our farmer-owners whose milk is used to produce Land O’Lakes’ dairy products,” President and CEO Beth Ford said in a statement in February …

The release made no mention of why the company decided to remove the character from their packaging. The entire Land O’Lakes website seems to have been scrubbed of any mention of the iconic mascot.

A spokeswoman for Land O’Lakes did not respond to a request for comment submitted Monday.

For Native Americans who have long criticized the use of Indian mascots, the change is a welcome one.

“It’s a great move,” said Adrienne Keene, a professor at Brown University, author of the popular Native Appropriations blog and citizen of the Cherokee Nation. “It makes me really happy to think that there’s now going to be an entire generation of folks that are growing up without having to see that every time they walk in the grocery store.”

But Keene thinks the company missed an important opportunity in not explaining why they removed the image of the Indian maiden from their brand.

It could have been a very strong and positive message to have publicly said, ‘We realized after a hundred years that our image was harmful and so we decided to remove it,’” Keene said. “In our current cultural moment, that’s something people would really respond to.”

This is how Mia, the Indian maiden, came to be:

The Indian maiden first appeared on Land O’Lakes packaging in 1928, seven years after the Minnesota Cooperative Creameries Association — as it was first called — was founded by 320 farmers in St. Paul.

Arthur C. Hanson, an illustrator for the ad firm Brown and Bigelow, came up with the original design evoking rural Minnesota with a blue lake, green pine trees and a Native woman center stage in a buckskin dress and feather headdress.

It imbued the Land O’Lakes brand with a sense of naturalness, nostalgia and American authenticity, a tactic used by thousands of companies to sell everything from butter to cigarettes to motorcycles, as a recent exhibition at the Smithsonian shows. Keene noted in one blog post that she could create an entire breakfast menu plus snacks using ingredients with Native mascots.

The packaging was redesigned in the 1950s by Patrick DesJarlait, a highly-successful Ojibwe artist from Red Lake. He said he was interested in “fostering a sense of Indian pride” across the Midwest

Robert DesJarlait, the artist’s son, says he’s glad Land O’Lakes removed the Indian maiden his father helped create but also continues to be proud of his father’s legacy, which includes creating the Hamm’s Beer bear and being one of the first Native modernist painters.

“It was a source of pride for people to have a Native artist doing that kind of work,” said DesJarlait, who’s also an artist. “He was breaking a lot of barriers . . .Back in the 50s, nobody even thought about stereotypical imagery. Today it’s a stereotype, but it’s also a source of cultural pride. It’s a paradox in that way.”

DesJarlait and Keene said people have come to better understand the impact of these representations.

“The conversation has shifted so much. We have scientific, psychological research that shows the harms of these types of representations,” she said.

The American Psychological Association in 2005 called for all American Indian mascots to be retired, citing a large body of social science research showing how racial stereotypes and inaccurate representations harm Native young people’s self-esteem and social identity.

And, yes, there were boys who folded the carton so that her knees became something else.

Well, I thought that Mia was pretty. Keene says that the image portrayed her as being:

pure, sexually available and something to be conquered like nature.

I disagree totally. But, then, my mind doesn’t run in that direction.

Farewell then, Mia.

It was nice knowing you, even though the butter is overly priced for what it is.

Store own brands are a lot cheaper and of much higher quality.

Super Bowl LIV (54, in new money) took place on Candlemas, February 2, 2020.

It is hard to imagine any half-time display less worthy of a Sunday, let alone on an important feast day in the Church.

February 2 is also Groundhog Day, and that found its rightful place in the advertising.

Half-time show

Not being an American football fan, I did not watch any of it but saw tweets about the half-time show the next day. You’ll have to click on the link to see the content.

Was this family viewing?

Jeb! liked it, though:

Yes, it does sound creepy. Quite something for a convert to Catholicism and a Fourth Degree in the Knights of Columbus.

The self-described ‘Follower of Christ’, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) also enjoyed it. He gave the half-time show an A+:

The SGT Report wrote about child grooming on February 7, mentioning the half-time show. This excerpt begins after the introductory section about a mother who posed online as an 11-year-old (emphases mine):

This is the new face of how predators are grooming young girls (and boys) to be trafficked, molested and raped. However, it starts much earlier, with a culture that has brainwashed itself into believing that sexual freedom amounts to a Super Bowl half-time show in which barely-clad women spend 20 minutes twerking, gyrating (some of it on a stripper pole) and showing off sexually provocative dance moves.

This is part and parcel of the pornification of American culture

Pop culture and porn culture have become part of the same seamless continuum,” explains theatre historian and University of Illinois professor Mardia Bishop. “As these images become pervasive in popular culture, they become normalized… and… accepted.”

This foray into porn culture—the increasing acceptability and pervasiveness of sexualized imagery in mainstream media—is where pop culture takes a dark turn. “Visual images and narratives of music videos clearly have more potential to form attitudes, values, or perceptions of social reality than does the music alone,” notes author Douglas A. Gentile in his book Media Violence and Children. In fact, music videos are among the worst culprits constantly bombarding young people today with sexual images and references.

Screen time has become the primary culprit for the oversexualization of young people.

Danger, Will Robinson, danger.

Mar a Lago party

President and Mrs Trump held a large private Super Bowl party at Mar a Lago in Palm Beach.

It looks as if they were filing in to the dining room during the half-time show. Actor Terrence K Williams was with them. Good for him:

The US president gave a pre-game show interview to Sean Hannity. This was before his third State of the Union address and his impeachment acquittal:

Advertising

The Super Bowl is the advertising world’s biggest day of the year.

Some American viewers are just as interested in the adverts as they are in the game, if not more so.

However, some advertising themes are more worthy than others:

That day, Ad Week posted ‘The 10 Best Super Bowl Ads of 2020’. They chose ads in reverse order for Porsche, Tide, Microsoft, Mtn Dew Zero Sugar, Snickers, Hyundai Sonata, Amazon Alexa, Google AI (artificial intelligence) and Jeep.

What, no Budweiser? Well, the iconic Clydesdales were nowhere to be seen — at least not this year.

Jeep won the top spot, in Ad Week‘s estimation. Those responding to Jeep in the tweet below also raved about it. I found it rather frustrating to watch. Then again, I never liked Groundhog Day:

Although this next video on Super Bowl LIV advertising is just under 20 minutes long, the two presenters from The Corbett Report offer an amusing, yet sound, critique of three adverts, which one of them chose to analyse:

The three adverts chosen have one running theme: artificial intelligence.

The first ad they played was Budweiser’s. It was poorly put together. This is because most of the advert shows an Alexa-type device in a young man’s flat. Where’s the brew, you might ask? Nowhere. Or maybe a bottle showed up briefly at the end. I don’t recall. (That is what makes it a bad ad.) This is a safety announcement about drinking responsibly. The Budweiser logo shows up only at the end.

The next advert the men looked at was the one Ad Week rated second (see above): Google’s. A man went through old photographs of his late wife Loretta and spoke to Google, narrating a caption for each photo. Each of his phrases began with the word ‘remember’. The helpful electronic Google assistant confirmed that it was logging all his captions.

The two presenters rightly pointed out that people were unwittingly posting their life stories to the cloud. How would Google use those data? How many thousands or millions of lives would be logged for Google’s use? Food for thought.

The third ad was for Verizon. It showed clips of first responders in emergency situations. Verizon’s superior network capabilities help them get to the scenes of accidents and fires that much quicker. What’s not to like, right? Yet, as The Corbett Report presenters said, pandering to the public’s emotions is a very slick and underhanded way of getting people to accept and rely on artificial intelligence.

So, we have Alexa monitoring one’s drink levels, Google ‘helping’ with memory problems and Verizon’s GPS (tracking) capabilities.

Danger, Will Robinson, danger.

Next week: How Cannes Lions ad winners shape your worldview

On Friday, February 3, 2017, I wrote about the Anheuser-Busch virtue signalling advert for Superbowl LI.

Another advert on immigration came from 84 Lumber, a family-owned chain of building materials supplies.

Incidentally, the company is so named because the headquarters is in Eighty Four, Pennsylvania. It is unclear how the town Smithville, near Pittsburgh, was renamed in 1884.

84 Lumber’s advert was about a mother and daughter who make the perilous trip from Central America to the US/Mexico border only to see a huge wall.

In an attempt to make President Donald Trump the villain of the piece, the company’s executives forget that Democrats have acknowledged that the immigration system has been broken for decades. Socio-political commentator Mark Dice has a helpful — and short — video which intersperses 84’s advert with speeches from President Bill Clinton, Senator Chuck Schumer, then-Senator Barack Obama, Michelle Obama and candidate Hillary Clinton — all of whom say something must be done to fix immigration:

Another short video — subtitled — describes how dangerous immigration from Latin America is for those who undertake the journey. It starts with statistics from counties along the border in Texas and Arizona. Altogether, they see hundreds of corpses of men, women and children who were unsuccessful in crossing the border. The cost of gathering these bodies and trying to find family members to identify them eats up a substantial amount of the local budgets intended to maintain services for legal residents living in those counties. Bottom line: border towns spend a lot of money dealing with the fallout from illegal immigration, thereby depriving Americans and legal immigrants from obtaining the services they have paid for in tax.

The video also mentions the very real problem of people trafficking. Criminals involved in drugs have found that moving into prostitution by using illegal immigrants is more profitable: a person can be sold again and again, thereby offering an indefinite supply of income.

Readers should be aware that Maggie Hardy Magerko, president and owner of 84 Lumber — as well as being daughter of the founder — has been in the Forbes 400 list of wealthiest Americans for years. She lives in a quiet, rural community, several hundreds of miles away from the ravages and realities of border towns.

Companies should stop virtue signalling.

The Anheuser-Busch commercial for the Superbowl this year, scheduled to air on February 5, has kicked up a storm and is viewed by a number of Americans as pro-immigration advertising.

It comes a week after President Donald Trump initiated a 90-day immigration ban on seven countries which have majority Muslim populations. These selected countries lack the means for sufficient background checks on their own citizens. (More about this in a future post.)

See if you think this is political commentary:

I have two problems with it. First, by the time Adolphus Busch arrived in the United States in 1857, Germans had been emigrating there for a century, at least. They were well established in society. Secondly, it was unclear to me that the final scene was the famous ‘when Anheuser met Busch’ moment. I thought he was a random guy in a bar until I saw a YouTube from Mark Dice explaining it in the first minute or so:

Budweiser, owned by InBev — a Belgian corporation — denies it is commenting on Trump policy or an anti-immigration climate.

However, I cannot help but wonder if Adolphus Busch would have wanted to be portrayed in that way. Most immigrants wanted to assimilate straightaway. They were not going to dwell on the voyage over, their processing time at Ellis Island or their early years getting established. Everything was about becoming an American.

If you doubt this, then, please be aware that his Wikipedia entry states (emphases mine):

His wealthy family ran a wholesale business of winery and brewery supplies. Busch and his brothers all received quality educations, and he graduated from the notable Collegiate Institute of Belgium in Brussels.[2]

Another German immigrant came to America in the 19th century. His name was Friedrich Trump, pictured at left (courtesy of Wikipedia). He was a Lutheran and came from Kallstadt in Bavaria. He managed to make a fortune within three years. He went everywhere, from New York to the Yukon. Nary a complaint. Even the most recent Channel 4 documentary by anti-Trump Matt Frei on his grandson — shown in late January 2017 — painted Friedrich as a clever, enterprising businessman. That makes me think Adolphus Busch was of the same entrepreneurial mindset.

You didn’t go to the US as a victim then, that’s for sure.

Incidentally, Friedrich returned to Kallstadt after three years only to go through a series of legal hurdles regarding his German nationality! He found out it had been revoked, possibly because he went to the US around the time he was to do his military service. So, back to America he went and the rest is history. According to Matt Frei’s documentary, Friedrich quietly enjoyed his life a lot but died in the Influenza Epidemic of 1918. His widow, Elizabeth — also from Kallstadt — set up a real estate company for her middle son Fred, the president’s father. It was called Elizabeth Trump & Son. Fred was still a minor at the time, even though he was precocious enough to follow in his father’s footsteps and get small houses built.

I recommend that we need to watch these adverts with a gimlet eye and research the immigrant mindset of the 19th and early 20th centuries, very much oriented to assimilating into American society — as future Americans.

2013 marked the 60th annual Cannes Lions advertising festival.

I wrote a bit about the Lions last week. I also hadn’t realised until this year that The Guardian is an official Cannes Lions representative.

At the Palais des Festivals where the week-long conference is held, there was an exhibition celebrating 60 years of advertising. Many iconic adverts from the West were on display from print and television media. It was open to the public, so SpouseMouse and I took a trip down memory lane.

In the room next to the exhibition was another large area which The Guardian had reserved for an opening night welcome party for the Lions. They also held smaller dos at other venues in Cannes; we happened to be at some of the same places.

Our hotel, not surprisingly, had a large number of delegates. All 12,000 stayed in or around the city, sometimes in rented accommodation. You will be lucky to find a taxi on your own during that time. When we checked out of our hotel, the woman at the desk said she wasn’t sure how long we would have to wait because none were available. In the event, we no sooner walked out and one was there; we were able to share with someone else who was on his way to the airport.

Also in the hotel were copies of the Cannes Lions daily journal. I picked up a copy. Whilst most of it listed the hundreds of firms and people listed as finalists for the year’s best advertising, the first few pages were devoted to the global advertising strategy for the future.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a big part of this. Nearly every article mentioned it. Their challenge is called Cannes Chimera, and registration for the 2013 one is now open. In this new video, Mrs Gates explains how important advertising is in urging the West to improve the Third World, e.g. vaccines and contraceptives:

This video shows soundbites from past Cannes Lions festival guest speakers — among them, Bill Clinton, Al Gore and Bob Geldof — discussing the role that advertising can play in nudging the West into improving equality and fairness (read ‘wealth redistribution’) in other parts of the world:

One of the Cannes Lions daily journal articles featured a quote from someone who is working with young advertising talent straight out of university. He said:

We want young people to say, ‘Hey, isn’t the world a wonderful place? Let’s change it.’

If it is wonderful, then, surely, there is no need for the almighty Change.

Whilst studying the adverts on display at the Palais des Festivals exhibition, I noticed that the adverts from 2008 — principally Obama’s first campaign but other subjects — began to get heavier in tone and content. Whereas earlier advertising spoke to people of all ages and backgrounds, the new work is often quite gloomy and ‘worthy’ (not a compliment in British English). The only exception on display was a clever, interactive award-winning Super Bowl piece featuring polar bears; one could even go online to play a little game with them as well as watch their adverts, which were quite funny.

Therefore, with the Gates Foundation, The Guardian and other left-leaning change merchants involved, our advertising will look dramatically different than it has done previously. More new media will be used and the messages will be presented in a ‘nudging’ manner and with a social message. All the more reason to skip the ads between programming segments on television.

Bill Clinton said in the video above that he hopes the Cannes Lions will change the face of advertising for the next 20 to 30 years. That’s a heck of a long time. It’s one generation in traditional terms, but, if we look at our colleagues and neighbours who are ten years older or younger than we, there are subtle differences between ourselves and them.  If you’re 55 you may be a bon viveur and a libertarian. If you’re 40, you might be preoccupied with wearing sunscreen and ensuring personal safety.  If you’re 65, you think it’s cool to vote Labour and rent an allotment.

I had a peek at some of the 2013 winners, which will be available only until August 1. My blood pressure soared with the few I looked at (Metamorphosis and The Ant Rally), with the exception of Channel 4’s lead-in for the 2012 Paralympics — ‘Meet the Superhumans’. I am pleased that won the Grand Prix in its category, Film Craft.

Which reminds me of the article I read in the Cannes Lions journal about the Paralympics. Dan Brooke, Channel 4’s marketing director, said he was proud of the event and the station’s coverage of it. I was  reading along thinking, ‘Hear, hear!’ The next sentence said he was happy that Britain was finally becoming a less prejudiced country because of the Paralympics. What a sad — and false — indictment of his nation and his people.

To those who watched it, the Paralympics represented a new facet of unexpected — and yes, superhuman — ability. Nearly everyone SpouseMouse and I know embraced it — warmly. No prejudice involved, Mr Brooke.

Advertising — stay away from it. Probably for the rest of your life.

It’s moving leftward, no matter where you live.

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