Advertising’s dirty laundry

This week’s story that the NPA (Newspaper Publishers’ Association) has served notice on the NRS (National Readership Survey) shows just how contentious and traumatic it is ensuring that our media research systems keep up with the tide of technological development. Rumour has it that the rift has been caused by frustrations over the pace of reform. It’s hard for collaborative JICs to meet perfectly the agenda of each of their diverse stakeholders but it’s worth trying. I’m sure all parties involved regret that they are now effectively washing their dirty laundry in public. But at least they have their hands in the sink and I am sure it will all end up smelling of roses.

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Soft and Strong (and sometimes quite long)

There will be many people watching the final of the last ever ‘Dancing On Ice’ with heavy hearts this coming Sunday, not least the owners of ice rinks and manufacturers of skates. Their industry reports a big boost in interest and attendance whenever the series is on air.

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Not great, Brittin

But better.  Last week, at IAB Engage, Matt Brittin, Google’s vice president of business and operations in Europe, said that YouTube in the UK was ‘bigger’ than ITV (channel? broadcaster?) for 15-34s.  This is something of a rethink from what was being said by Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt back in May when he said that YouTube had ‘overtaken’ the whole of TV.

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Most irritating things in media #8: ‘Nudging’

My Dad introduced me to the delights of modest gambling at a very early age, via the penny arcades – or, more appropriately, the one-armed bandits – on our holidays in Mablethorpe.

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Shameless

Two things happened when I read this week’s report that Gavin Darby, chief executive of Premier Foods, had followed up his good financial results with the statement that his company would be “unashamedly sticking with TV advertising”.

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Only boring ads are boring

meet_superhumans

‘It only takes a second to score a goal’ is one of the most exasperating things people say. Obviously you hope they are saying it during a football match rather than, say, in the throes of passion, but in any context it’s annoying. It ignores all the effort that has gone into creating the opportunity for the goal to be scored: the passing, the movement, the persistence, the skill, the training – and the luck of course.

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“Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”

Maybe you’re not all such big fans of musical theatre as we are at Thinkbox, so I’d better tell you that the quote above is the title of a song from My Fair Lady, in which the ruthlessly rational Professor Higgins bemoans Eliza Doolittle’s absurd need for emotional expression.  It’s one of those annoying generalisations akin to Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus; annoying because it provokes a flash of recognition.

It’s a fact that males are about four times more likely to sit along the autism spectrum than females.  Autism is not a disease that needs to be cured; it is a condition that confers special qualities on people, many of them highly prized – and increasingly so in a world of dynamic technologies.  Check out your IT department; it’s likely that the majority will be male, many with a passion for the Lord of the Rings and playing World of Warcraft. Read more on “Why can’t a woman be more like a man?”…

Christmas tweetings

Any regular reader of this blog will know two things: that our Research Director receives the occasional threatening wedgie, and that Thinkbox’s love for Twitter knows few bounds – and not just because of the divine Bruce.  Twitter recently held an event called ‘Twitter TV’ at which they invited Thinkbox to speak.  At the event, Bruce Daisley proclaimed that ‘Twitter loves TV and TV loves Twitter’ (might have been the other way round but you get the point; it was a love-in).

The mutual respect is real and all around the world TV companies and Twitter are having grown-up conversations about working together.  Thinkbox has been promoting the benefits of social media for TV and TV advertising for some time; TV provides lots of the inspiration for social media which in turn amplify TV. Our research study, ‘Screen Life: the view from the sofa‘, examined the multi-screening phenomenon and the implications for TV programmes and advertising, which were overwhelmingly positive (it’s won some awards too, which we’re sickeningly boastful about). Read more on Christmas tweetings…

UN Resolution 51/205, 17 December 1996

I know that when you all think of the 17 December 1996, you inevitably think of the 14 Peruvian guerrillas from the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement who on that day took hundreds of people hostage at the Japanese ambassador’s residence in Lima.

However something else happened that day: the United Nations passed Resolution 51/205 and proclaimed today (21 November) World Television Day.

I’m embarrassed to say that this fact has only recently come to our attention, so I’m guessing it must be news to you too.  Why did the UN decide the world needed a Television Day? Well, in its own words: Read more on UN Resolution 51/205, 17 December 1996…

TV Triangle squares the circle

London has been balanced. Like a rhombus relieved of its worrying tilt to become a more stable square, the West of London now has a media hub to counter-balance the much-vaunted and invested-in East of the city where the Silicon Roundabout and Tech City reside.

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