Sunday, December 8, 2019

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Democracy is subverted when politicians abuse their own failure to pass strict campaigning laws

If Britain’s politicians believed in defending democracy, there would not be an election on Thursday. Our leaders would have held back until laws controlling propaganda and foreign subversion were in place. They haven’t waited, because they don’t want to protect the integrity of the ballot. With wolfish smiles, they have welcomed the opportunities for spreading fake news that the web has brought them.

As the paper was going to press, the final online advertising blitz had begun. Full Fact, the campaign group that fights the necessary battle to keep public life clean, was monitoring online adverts from the Conservatives saying that the cost of a Corbyn government will be £1.2tn – a figure based on assumptions that are dubious to the point of fatuity – and promising to recruit 50,000 new nurses – a straight lie. Labour was claiming that a Tory trade deal with the US would increase NHS costs by £500m a week – a statement that is as good as a lie, as there is no trade deal to cost – and merrily chirruping that 95% of people won’t have to pay more tax to fund its dazzling spending spree, which, as the Institute of Fiscal Studies points out, isn’t true either.

Without prompting from Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump or Xi Jinping, both major parties want to spread big lies

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Friday, December 6, 2019

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The trailer is not only a shopfront for the film but also for some of the world’s priciest brands

The official trailer for the new Bond film, No Time to Die, was released only on Wednesday but has already been viewed tens of millions of times, which is an efficient sales job for a film its producers hope will make at least $1bn.

Appetites have been whetted and nerves calmed in the run-up to the film’s release in April after a bumpy production. The budget for the movie – Daniel Craig’s last in the lead role – is estimated to have exceeded $250m (£190m), having rocketed after the departure of the director Danny Boyle in August 2018, who left at the 11th-hour citing “creative differences”.

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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

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Shared ownership works well if share prices are rising, but the ad firm’s big fall may spell trouble

Here’s Jeremy Sinclair’s entry into the book of silly things said by advertising folk: “2018 was our 10th year of growth,” declared the chairman of M&C Saatchi in the annual report in May. “Growth of profit, earnings and dividends. Whilst it might be too early to say we’ve cracked it, it does seem that the strategy is proving itself.”

M&C Saatchi’s share price at the time was 360p. Now it is 79p, a level last seen in 2010, so yes, it was a tad premature to declare a great triumph. Even Sinclair’s boast about profits growth last year may need to be revisited in light of the ad firm’s latest confessions. An adjustment of £11.6m to reflect “accounting misstatements” will be spread between the financial results for 2018 and 2019.

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In ad man buys his partner an exercise bike for Christmas and she vlogs her grateful thanks

The exercise bike company Peloton has been widely criticised for a Christmas advert described as “sexist” and “dystopian” by social media users.

In the advert, a woman is seen receiving the gift of an exercise bike from her partner. There follows a series of vlog-style clips of her filming herself on the bike. In the course of it, she says: “Five days in a row, are you surprised? I am!” and: “A year ago I didn’t realise how much this would change me.”

The only way to enjoy that Peloton ad is to think of it as the first minute of an episode of Black Mirror

A gift like no other. pic.twitter.com/AZJCoMy8vw

I just saw the peloton ad pic.twitter.com/ls4cDVD0JE

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Advertising agency to take £11.6m hit as it issues second profit warning in three months

M&C Saatchi’s share price has plunged by more than 40% after the advertising agency admitted its accounting scandal is much worse than previously thought and issued a second profit warning in less than three months.

The embattled group, which has clients including O2 and Sky in the UK, said that after an external review by PricewaterhouseCoopers, it would be taking an £11.6m hit.

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Move over, Excitable Edgar! The most life-affirming Christmas advert of 2019 is here – and it’s for a tiny family-run hardware store in Wales

This year’s John Lewis Christmas advert, in which a dragon tries to kill several people then holds up a pudding, reportedly cost £7m to make. And that’s fine. It’s a good advert, and John Lewis has a reputation to uphold, and you can’t really put a price on the half a morning of vaguely duty-bound Twitter buzz it generated.

However, by no means is it the best Christmas ad this year. That plaudit now goes to Hafod Hardware, a tiny independent family-run hardware store in Rhayader, Powys, whose ad cost just £100 to make. Quite frankly, it blows John Lewis out of the water.

Related: Excitable Edgar the arsonist: John Lewis burns Christmas to the ground!

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Tuesday, December 3, 2019

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Some students currently get betting ads, while their more affluent friends see ones for universities

Researching the digital lives of teenagers brings with it great highs and lows. The highs are realising that new doors are opening for young people as they expand their horizons beyond their everyday worlds. The lows are different. Our research revealed young people in deprived areas are struggling to get online and stay connected. Some schools have poorly designed and funded IT systems and there are colleges that all but choke off digital engagement.

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Monday, December 2, 2019

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YouTube chief executive officer confirmed in interview there were ‘ads of Trump that were not approved to run on Google or YouTube’

Google and YouTube have pulled hundreds of ads for Donald Trump over the last few months, according to 60 Minutes on CBS.

Related: Trump heads to UK for Nato summit as impeachment deadline looms – live

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The Avengers, Frozen 2, Star Wars and Toy Story 4 prompt all-time high in advertising at the movies

A Hollywood blockbuster bonanza including the final instalments of the Avengers and Star Wars sagas, and Frozen 2 are fuelling an all-time record year for UK cinema advertising.

Seven films have taken more than $1bn at the global box office so far this year – Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Captain Marvel, Toy Story 4, Aladdin and Joker – resulting in an advertising bonanza as brands look to cash in on movie fans packing out cinemas.

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Friday, November 22, 2019

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Firm considering to raise amout of targeted people from 100 to ‘a few thousands’

Facebook’s plans to limit political advertising have taken another step, according to reports, as the company firms up plans to stop political advertisers from sending messages to very small numbers of people.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the company has weighed up whether to increase the minimum amount of people targeted in any given political advert from 100, the current limit, to “a few thousand”.

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