Friday, March 31, 2006


I like DealBreaker. I like it most of all when they make fun of Michael Eisner!

Bud Selig's team is the one wearing the home whitewash

Bud's best bud George Mitchell will clear up this whole Barry Bonds mess, right? "Mitchell has deep connections to baseball that could call into question his ability to act in a fully independent manner. Mitchell is on the board of the Boston Red Sox and is the chairman of the Walt Disney Company, which owns ESPN, a broadcast partner of Major League Baseball that is televising a reality series starring Bonds."

But is that really such a big deal? "ESPN is not only paying $4.5 million to a documentary unit to produce Bonds' diary, it will allow Bonds and his minions editorial control."

Sssh. Stop asking questions.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Yeah. What would He do?

In a way, discussing United Church of Christ's newest ad can be tricky. Religion is such a sensitive, intensely personal issue and advertising is subjective, so it could all get so ugly so fast.

Still, let's rip the UCC a new one, shall we?

I admit, I'm interested in this only because I grew up in a UCC church. I can tell you that although the national leadership loves controversy, you'd really not know it from the typical local-level Sunday service where autonomy mostly means a low-key, pleasant, 50-minute gathering. That's true even here in the South, where the UCC is often confused with the flashier Church of Christ. (Telling difference: UCC members drink. And dance.)

At ChurchMarketingSucks, Doug's comment gets the new ad just right: "The UCC is saying churches are bigots, even if they try to say they’re different. Guess what, UCC—you’re a church, too, so you just cast yourself in the same light."

And this: why is UCC going after people who already go to church? I mean, what's the net gain if the UCC bags a Methodist? Shouldn't they really be reaching out to non-churchgoers? Instead of an alternative to other churches, shouldn't the UCC be presenting itself as an alternative to other Sunday activities, like sleeping in? Isn't that the real challenge here? I know that's harder and it might take more than a 30-second spot but it's just something they might want to consider. You know, just in case the coffers can't always support a $1.5 million ad budget.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Keeping that demo young

Ah, the potential cultural lessons of the latest cable TV ratings. Lifetime's the big loser "in part because of a protracted battle with EchoStar Communications." Also because their viewers are too old.

But the big winner? Lil' Kim.

Something wicker this way comes

Inexplicably, the NYPost remains the best place to get your Pier 1 news. If you read closely, you learn that analysts reached their gloomy conclusions after visiting stores -- in New York and LA.

Just a guess here? I'm betting the intended Pier 1 consumer lives somewhere in between those two cities.

Maybe that matters. Maybe it doesn't.

Talkin' baseball

Bank of America and Home Depot have bigger ones than Bud Selig. Admittedly that isn't saying much but it's refreshing to read statements like this: "'Baseball has got to get the perception of drugs out of the sport. It matters.'"

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

And how was your day?

My brain exploded at about 3:05pm central time. Fortunately, no bystanders were injured.

Monday, March 27, 2006

You're gonna have to learn your clichés

You're gonna have to study them, you're gonna have to know them. They're your friends.

Otherwise, you might be delayered. Or at least, unsiloed.

And I think we all know how painful that can be.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Jesper plays on a different course than you and I

It might have been a Sports Illustrated writer who once described Jesper Parnevik as dressing like the head pro at the Dr Seuss Country Club. But I always liked that look, especially when compared to the alternative. Now, Jesper finds bright colors to be completely over. So he's switched. To neckties.

I might love him.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Get well soon, Ms Dunnem

I know. I've said it before: Steeplechaser is one of my favorite things to read. But now it's like a role model for true blogging grit. How else would you describe a writer who retains her quirky, fun, clever and upbeat tone even when she gets hit by a car?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Is it too late to re-think the whole career thing?

I am so, so deeply ashamed: "While a recent Nielsen Entertainment study showed more than half of moviegoers found the pre-film ads annoying, still, advertisers lured by a captive audience are driving double-digit growth in the movie ad category."

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

More cowls please

The Dallas Morning News may be right. Michaels may be selling in part because the craft business is slumping and the "celebrity-led knitting craze has leveled off." But isn't there a bigger story here? I mean, if knitting is leveling off, what will happen to my favorite knitting blogs?

The public demands answers!

Sometimes, life beyond Target is too hard

When we last saw Isaac Mizrahi, he was groping young actresses, which in Hollywood is evidently only scandalous if you have no intention of eventually offering them important roles. So it was back to Target.

Now Mizrahi wants his own site and I'm beginning to think he might be a complete idiot: "Mizrahi has started work on the prototype for a lifestyle magazine....[and] is treating the magazine primarily as a tool to test the viability of his online concept. 'The reason I am doing it is because it’s a crying shame that of all people, I don’t have a Web site yet, in all these years,' he said. 'What I need, more than anything, is content. I think it’s better to first have a hard copy. If I can actually look at a magazine and turn the pages, then it can be a Web site.'"

Oh there's a crying shame in there somewhere, honey, but it's not what you think. Maybe it's generational. Maybe it's simply personal preference. Still, if you have to touch things to believe they exist, maybe an online enterprise is not for you.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Denial is a convention in Vegas

The movie theater business isn't what it used to be but that, apparently, has not dawned on movie theater owners. Unfortunate! Except: it's their own fault. And: it makes Anne Thompson's ShoWest report a true comic masterpiece.

Without comment -- because why embellish the absurd? -- Thompson tells of theater owners who laugh at "Bubble," as they engage in yet more self-delusion: "This week National Association of Theatre Owners president and CEO John Fithian openly gloated over 'Bubble's' failure to launch, calling simultaneous release experiments 'radically misguided.' He pointed out that the average window between theatrical and DVD narrowed only four days between 2004 and '05, to four months and 16 days. 'The reality is the window is not changing,' Fithian said. 'The vast majority of Hollywood knows this windows model works.'"

The model works? Really? Huh.

But the real reason movie theater owners are doomed is clear if you just re-read Fithian's quote. Do you see any mention of the consumer? Even one?

At least Todd Wagner, the brain behind "Bubble" and himself a (gasp!) theater owner, sounds like he lives in the real world: "'Bubble' was a sleeper hit in hotels, where it was the third-biggest seller last month. 'That's part of the model,' Wagner says. 'Consumers had a chance to make an impulse buy. They read about "Bubble" and were able to click a button....We have opportunities to rethink how we bring content to consumers. New business makes all boats rise.'"

Gee. It's like protectionist business models are simply lost on the guy!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Myron Leon? Are you kidding me?

Someone's keeping Mike Wallace's career in perspective. Was I the only one who didn't know?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

We're all stocked up here

Tim Pollack won't stand for any of your lame-ass arguments. Sell creative someplace else.

It's just wacky enough to work!

Flatscreen TVs are good news for Pier 1: “’A lot of people are updating their furniture and decor to match the TV itself. We think it's helping to fuel home furnishing sales.’”

Of course, for a true and complete happy ending, everyone would have to buy their new set at Radio Shack.

Our long regional nightmare is not over

Around the cloud of Southwest's fare hike is what the Dallas Morning News would have you believe is a silver lining: "The increases didn't affect any of Southwest's flights from Dallas Love Field, where it is restricted to short-haul flights by federal law." But that federal law is the Wright Amendment. And no matter how obliquely DMN refers to it, the Wright Amendment already gives Dallasites the crap end of the stick when it comes to airfares. Maybe DMN thought you wouldn't notice.

And maybe DMN, along with too many area politicians with business ties to American Airlines or DFW Airport or both, thought you wouldn't notice that Southwest is a remarkably good corporate citizen. No. Only Mitchell Schnurman will make the point that without Southwest, Dallas would lose "5,000 direct jobs, one of the biggest taxpayers in the city, and the prestige of being home to one of the most-admired companies in the world. (And don't forget about the thousands more whose jobs are connected with Love.)"

But we're not affected by this recent price increase so: don't worry about it!

Monday, March 13, 2006

The Monday breakfast menu

I woke up this morning with the best intentions, fully prepared to chat about a number of pertinent topics. Then Blogger served me a nice tall glass of Shut The Hell Up.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Maybe it was just two clicks over my head

Here is my official reaction to Battlestar Galactica's season finale:

The fuck?

I'm not saying I can't be talked into loving it. I'm just saying I'm gonna need some time.

Friday, March 10, 2006

More proof that Rupert Murdoch controls my mind

That Simpsons clip was a Fox creation. If you're keeping track, that officially makes Fox cooler than NBC.

After all, Dallasites need more places to shop

Wrapped in tissue paper, tied with ribbon and buried at the bottom of this DMN article is a special gift for area trophy wives: "[Neiman Marcus CEO Burt] Tansky also said Thursday that he may be ready to talk about 'new specialty concepts' soon."

Uh, how soon?

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Chloe Dao is my new hero

When your curriculum vitae includes, among other things, "former political prisoner, southeast Asia," pretty much you got scoreboard on every other member of society. Every day you wake up is a victory. But I don't think that story alone is why Chloe Dao won Project Runway.

I like to believe it was something Chloe said -- a throwaway line actually -- while explaining her work to the judges. Did you catch it? As they questioned her decision to show ALL eveningwear, she summed it up sorta like this: "This is my collection and I knew I'd have to defend it so I just decided to do something I loved." So screw y'all. Sure there's strategy and marketability involved and Chloe gets that but also, she's going to do what makes her happy. And she has to take pride in her final product. That's a lot more commitment to a personal creative vision than, oh, Santino showed.

And to further rationalize all the hours I spend watching TV: for me and 3.4 million of my closest friends, watching Chloe's beautiful mother silently cry with joy was one of the best moments ever.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

I was right. Therapy would have been a waste of time.

It's so much cheaper and more fun to read blogs! First, Dan Renzi makes me feel less alone in the world with this Penthouse-letter-for-shoppers opening sentence: "Today I went to Target. I needed dog food and deoderant....I grabbed a cart and proceeded to fill it with $242 of worthless home items."

Then Althouse continues to link to articles that diagnose my true, underlying problems: "The term attention-deficit disorder turns out to be a misnomer. Most people who have it actually have remarkably good attention spans as long as they are doing activities that they enjoy or find stimulating....we should probably be calling the condition something like 'intention-inhibition disorder,' because it is a condition in which one's best intentions — say, reading 50 pages in a dense textbook or writing a 10-page paper in a timely fashion — go awry."

There ya go. A fellow sufferer and a name for my condition, all in one afternoon. I feel better already!

Shouldn't it be called Mumbai Company anyway?

Among all the things a CEO can say, "'This was more challenging than I thought,'" is not the most inspiring. So James Carreker will be stepping down at Bombay Company. His recent performance was what you would call, in local terms at least, typical.

One question: can the same search firm find TWO qualified executives to move here -- or would it be easier to just hire the first taker as CEO of both Bombay and Radio Shack?

Just one more alcohol note and I'll stop. Because I can quit anytime. Promise.

Norman Adami, Miller CEO, gets all regretful: "as consumers began to look for more personalization and sophistication...Brewers stuck to the formulas that had worked before: mass-advertising campaigns with lots of bikinis and bad jokes. 'We were promoting sameness and increasingly going lowbrow. It is as if we were promoting beer as the official beverage of the knuckleheads.'"

Monday, March 06, 2006

Someone out there is having a good time

Sales of superpremium liquor are up and happily my personal purchasing habits are only part of the reason. Admit it. You're going out, getting effervescent and choosing the good stuff too:

"The incidence of people going out for a meal has grown, and the on-premise spirit business has picked up with that -- and at an even more rapid rate,' said Bill Anderson, vice president of sales for privately held Bacardi USA, the No. 3 spirits company. Bacardi has shifted more marketing resources into the now sells about 30% of its total U.S. volume on-premise, with even higher percentages for its top-end brands like Grey Goose vodka, which is closer to 50%."

Oh, those "marketing resources." Coasters? OK. But cute bartenders who use flirting to sell a new gin?

Yeah, that'd be OK too.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Some day that goodie bag will be yours. Oh yes, it will be yours.

Good news! Oscar nominees want to work on your spot. And it can only be assumed they'll happily read your screenplay too. See? You're closer than ever to blowing that popsicle stand.

Just remember though, celebrity swag is not tax-free.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Joshie: mystery man, genius

A discussion about Original Sin brings us the best comment left on a blog ever: "Obviously Irenaeus couldn't be Pelagian since he lived centuries before Pelagius, but I'm just bringing that up to be an ass."

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Quote of the day

In honor of Jack Wild: "Can't do a little 'cause you can't do enough." I know. I never understood that lyric either until I was older. And wiser.

Matador is only your nickname, big guy

A better question might be why did Ricardo Mayorga show up in a big glittery toreador's costume? No. Wait. An even better question: why does that do a little something for me?

Hemingway. I blame Hemingway.

Rupert cannot be stopped

I always thought it was odd how no one noticed the dark downside of MySpace until Rupert Murdoch -- the media's favorite little satan figure -- bought it.

But this IS Murdoch, so he can fight back. Behold: the power of Idol.

The problem? I was so totally going to be Ace's friend but now that Bucky won every Southern heart and vote by begging for some sweet tea, I'm torn!