WASHINGTON, May 23- U.S. regulators are in the early stages of an antitrust probe into whether Google Inc, the top player in web display advertising, breaks antitrust law in how it handles some ad sales, a source told Reuters on Thursday.» Read More
With little or no fanfare Pfizer launched a new ad campaign for its erectile dysfunction drug Viagra on NBC Nightly News last night. Pfizer has gotten into a bit of trouble before for its relatively racy Viagra spots like the "Horny Devil" campaign featuring the guy with two horns growing out of his head. This time it's got a bunch of 40-something guys sitting around a dusty barn singing "Viva Viagra" to the tune of Elvis' "Viva Las Vegas".
Avid Retail Detail reader Davis Skinner weighed in on the viability of polo as a mass market sport and the appeal of Nacho Figueras as a model (a title that the athletically accomplished Figueras doesn't like.)
After years of using the polo player as its signature branding logo, Ralph Lauren (RL) is taking on a sponsorship role of an actual polo team. Ralph Lauren is now the official sponsor of the Black Watch polo team and its star player (and longtime Ralph Lauren model) Nacho Figueras. Taking the sponsorship a step further, the company is now selling match shirts for Black Watch fans that are embroidered with Nacho Figueras' number 2 on the shoulder.
NBA commissioner David Stern addressed the media today to discuss what the league knows about former NBA referee Tim Donaghy betting on games. This is my live commentary as it happened.
The minor league baseball independent Long Beach Armada is hosting "Michael Vick Animal Awareness Day" on Sunday. Any fan who trades in his or her Michael Vick T-shirt or jersey will get free admission to the game and a donation will be made in their name to a non-profit that helps "inspire a better understanding of dogs." Those shirts and jerseys will be destroyed in some manner, the team says. Fans can also bring their dogs to the game, will be provided a special entrance to the ballpark and sit in a special section of the ballpark.
After watching much of the media look at the wrong data when considering whether NBA referee Tim Donaghy bet on the games he officiated, I've decided to let the cat out of the bag. Folks, you're not going to get anywhere by looking at the point spreads.
On the heels of fakesteve.blogspot.com (the fake Steve Jobs), and my own fakeJane (the fake me, see below), it turns out everything, EVERYTHING, is fake. Even the story about the Chinese buns made out of cardboard. Or is it? That's the problem with China these days. You believe the bad news, then when they tell you the bad news was a lie, you don't believe that either.
In my earlier post, I told you about the debate taking place on today's "Street Signs" about whether private equity deals in the retail industry are over. Here's the video of the discussion I had with retail analyst Lizz Dunn from Thomas Weisel Partners and Manny Weintraub, Integre Advisors president.
Nike has a new statement out, which I have just received. They are suspending the release of the Vick V shoe, which was scheduled to be in stores on Aug. 23. Here is the text: "Nike is concerned by the serious and highly disturbing allegations made against Michael Vick and we consider any cruelty to animals inhumane and abhorrent. We do believe that Michael Vick should be afforded the same due process as any citizen; therefore, we have not terminated our relationship...."
My nipples are erect right now. They are like this because I'm in the midst of an experiment which I'm calling "Operation Red Sunday." A couple weeks back, just a few days after I saw Tiger Woods in his tight-as-can-be Sunday magenta shirt at the U.S. Open, I called Nike Golf and asked them to send me what Tiger was planning to wear for the British Open on Sunday.
Some time between yesterday and today, the NFL banned the word "Ookie" and the word "Dog" from the back of jerseys in light of Michael Vick's indictment related to dogfighting. Yesterday, I was able to get those words, as well as many others, through the first step of personalization on NFLShop.com. Today, the site rejects anyone who hopes the league will put Vick's nickname "Ookie" on the back of his number 7 jersey or any other team jersey for that matter.
Wal-Mart is test marketing religious action toys, hoping there's a Goliath-like appetite out there for something other than Bratz dolls or Dragon Ball Z. The toys are being made by One2believe in California, and they'll be rolled out in August at 425 Wal-Mart stores. The test stores are not just in the Bible Belt, but in places like California. The action figures include a 3" tall figure of Daniel in the lion's den, and a foot-tall talking Jesus. What would Jesus do? Ask him! He talks!
When Michael Vick's latest Nike shoe hits the warehouses at Dick's Sporting Goods in a couple weeks, they aren't going into the trash or back to Nike, as a result of the quarterback's recent indictment. The Vick V shoe, which retails for $100, will go out on shelves as scheduled on Aug. 23, the company's chief marketing officer Jeff Hennion told me this afternoon.
Google said Tuesday it is expanding its Print Ads program to allow online advertisers nationwide to place print advertisements in 225 newspapers, serving half of U.S. newspaper readers.
The Los Angeles Times is reporting that David Beckham may not debut Saturday with his new American team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, due to a swollen ankle. I was assured last Friday that his ankle, which had been giving him trouble earlier this year, was "great." REALLY? Beckham shirted up with his new teammates for his first practice yesterday, but he did not practice with them.
The Final Table of the World Series of Poker begins today at 3 p.m ET. You can order it on ESPN.com for $19.95 and watch it live if you want. I’m not going to talk about specific names, so there’s no need to turn away if you don’t want to know who made it the finals. Enough of the disclaimers. Now let’s get to the point.
Google owns YouTube, the hottest platform for parodies. Here's my favorite take on Apple, and its new "eyePhone"...
Kevin Durant will be a Nike guy, the question is how much did Nike pay him? The contract has been drawn up, but the paperwork has not yet been completed. I believe I'm going to be wrong on my prediction that Durant, when including signing bonus, would not get more than $6 million a year. The adidas deal was the larger deal, but Durant in the end seemed to go with the brand he was more comfortable with.
I have been reading Runner’s World for the last 10 years or so and I have never stopped at an ad like I did when I saw this Pearl Izumi ad in their August issue. What made me stop? I thought it was so outrageous. So over the top. I read the thing four or five times and wasn’t quite sure what the point was. Was I more likely to buy Pearl Izumis from reading the ad? Were these Pearl Izumis going to help me find dead bodies? Would they give me a free pair if I found one?
I get mail. Here's some of it with my responses back: From Randy Sheridan:I couldn't disagree more with your opinion that (a number change for Dale Earnhardt Jr.) would be good. A lot of fans are disheartened to learn that he will no longer be in a red Bud #8 next season. I do not drink the beer but will miss seeing that car synonymous with only him, in my mind. And I'm sure there will be several times next season where I'll see it fly by the screen and I'll think there goes Earnhardt.....