From PR headaches to monetization strategies for social media start-ups, here’s a look at what made headlines this week in the integrated marketing communications industry.
‘Tis the Season for Damage Control
As if its logo debacle earlier this year wasn’t bad publicity enough, this week Gap launched an anti-hunger FEED campaign that touted the “Made in USA” status of the FEED-branded bags it’s currently selling. Oh, did we mention the bags are actually made in China? Ouch. But, who are the bigger victims in this latest gaffe by Gap? Try presidential niece and FEED founder Lauren Bush and the American children she had hoped to feed through the sale of her products at Gap. A recent poll by the Huffington Post shows that 75 percent of respondents would opt not to buy the bags as a result of the mislabeling.
Also taking some heat this week was eyelash growth product Latisse. Rumor has it Latisse spokesperson Claire Danes is suffering from a known side effect of the product: skin discoloration. The starlet is keeping a video diary of her experience using the lash grower, and we can’t imagine this side effect will make for good material. At the same time, the online diary could serve as a useful tool in dispelling the rumor, if it is just that. We’re staying tuned to see how Latisse handles.
Twitter: Web’s Next Golden Child?
Twitter is flush with cash after receiving $200 million in funding this week, valuing it at $3.7 billion. With 175 million registered users, the platform appears to be following in the footsteps of Facebook in its pursuit of World Wide Web domination. However, these big numbers aren’t adding up quite yet. This is because Twitter is still figuring out how to turn itself into a profitable business. It’s expected the web start-up will end the year with nearly $50 million in revenues – approximately $.29 per user. This is a far cry from rivals Facebook and Google, which generate around $2-$3 per user and $25 per user, respectively. However, with only eight months of ad service under its belt and former DoubleClick CEO David Rosenblatt joining Twitter’s board of directors, the company’s future appears promising.
“Go down your gullet, just like a mullet”
This week, our pick for ad of the week goes to Pepto Bismol. Or, rather, the star of its holiday campaign: Ken Jeong. Best known for his comedic roles in "Knocked Up," "The Hangover" and "Community," Jeong has set his sights on eradicating holiday party under-indulgence this season by introducing the power of Pepto to partygoers with sensitive stomachs. What the commercial lacks in taste and sophistication, it makes up for in awkward dance moves and strange lyrics. Go ahead, click replay a few times – it’s worth it. But, we’re not so sure we can say the same for Jeong’s career.
Marcom this week: From A to zinc is compiled by the Vitamin IMC editorial team. They can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Miss your vitamins last week? Visit last week's “Marcom This Week."