Multinational Monitor

SEP/OCT 2007
VOL 29 No. 4


Ecuador's Oil Change: An Exporter's Historic Proposal
by Kevin Koenig

Fueling Another Debt Crisis
by Neil Watkins

The Best Congress Oil Could Buy
by Steve Kretzmann

A Call for Global Economic and Energy Transitions

Sin and Society II
by Edward Alsworth Ross


Bolivia Asserts Oil Sovereignty
an interview with Carlos Villegas

Causes of Soaring Oil Prices
interviews with oil industry analysts

Can Big Oil Adapt to Climate Change?
interviews with oil industry analysts


Behind the Lines

Independence from Oil

The Front
CAFTA and the Politics of Fear - Whistleblowers Betrayed

The Lawrence Summers Memorial Award

Greed At a Glance

Commercial Alert

Names In the News


Commercial Alert

Branded Entertainment

There is a new television star with a familiar name: Jack Daniel’s. But not everyone is ready to roll out the red carpet.
Jack Daniel’s is the official sponsor of AMC’s “Mad Men” — a television series about an advertising agency in the 1960s. The product is mentioned by name in the series and is shown in some scenes.
The consumer group Commercial Alert filed a complaint with the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) charging that Jack Daniel’s is violating liquor industry standards by promoting liquor consumption mixed with sex and irresponsible behavior. (Multinational Monitor editor Robert Weissman is the managing director of Commercial Alert.) Commercial Alert also urged AMC to broadcast public service announcements about alcohol abuse before, during and after each episode.
In its response to Commercial Alert, DISCUS denied that Jack Daniel’s was the sponsor of “Mad Men.” “This series is not Jack Daniel’s ‘branded entertainment,’” stated DISCUS’s letter. “Jack Daniel’s has no commercial arrangement with AMC for this series and the three product placements are all unpaid.”
And Matthew Weiner, creator and executive producer of “Mad Men,” says the show is not advocating drinking. “I’m trying to tell a story about that time. It’s not done for glamour,” he told the Los Angeles Times. In that era, “people drank more and all the time. They drank in their cars, at work, in the morning at work.”
Branded entertainment — with sponsors’ products integrated into programs and their names associated with the program’s name — are the latest rage on Madison Avenue. PepsiCo, Burger King and Grey Goose Vodka are among those experimenting with branded content. And Unilever’s Axe antiperspirant teamed up with MTV to create a quasi-reality television series called “The Gamekillers.”

School of Ads

Reading, writing, arithmetic — and advertising. Plans are underway for a new high school in Brooklyn dedicated to advertising and media studies. The High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media, proposed by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, aims to encourage more minority students to become ad men or women.       
“The number of African-American personnel at advertising agencies in New York is something less than 4 or 5 percent,” says Markowitz.
The school has been approved by the New York City Department of Education, and administrators hope to enroll more than 100 students to begin classes in September 2008. The American Association of Advertising Agencies, an industry trade group, is set to provide money, equipment and other resources, including access to executives.   
The school will be located in heavily minority central Brooklyn to emphasize “the importance of diversity to this industry’s future,” says Ron Berger, the chair of Advertising Week, a weeklong series of events, panels and seminars designed to inform students about the role advertising plays in New York City life.
“We hope to open the eyes of a new generation to the power of advertising as a potential career,” says Berger.
An advisory board for the proposed school is being formed, led by Rick Boyko, director of the Adcenter at Virginia Commonwealth University and a former senior creative executive at the New York office of Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide. Top industry executive Jerry Della Femina, a Brooklyn native, has already volunteered to teach at the new school.

Nair Goes to Middle School

After running its “Nair for short-shorts” advertising campaign for nearly 30 years, the depilatory maker is moving beyond the leggy 20-something demographic — and into middle schools. Nair’s newest line, Nair Pretty, is targeted at 10- to 15-year-olds, or “first-time hair removers.” Advertisements with the tagline, “Pretty isn’t a look; it’s a feeling,” suggest that Nair is the path to empowerment.
Ads running in magazines like CosmoGirl and Seventeen read, “I am a citizen of the world. I am a dreamer. I am fresh. I am so not going to have stubs sticking out of my legs.”
Knowing that pre-teen girls rarely buy their own toiletries, Nair Pretty is also being advertised to their mothers, through Redbook and a “Mom’s Corner” on the Nair Pretty website. Those ads read, “Introducing our first hair remover made for your daughter’s young skin, skin that’s prone to cuts and nicks.”
Nair first introduced its product in 1940 and is now part of the $95 million depilatory industry.

— Jennifer Wedekind


Mailing List


Editor's Blog

Archived Issues

Subscribe Online

Donate Online


Send Letter to the Editor

Writers' Guidelines