Thursday, March 15, 2007


Starting tonight, on Home Box Office, the documentary film "ADDICTION" will be previewed, and will be broadcast numerous times throughout the month. Some cable broadcasters will also be participating with a free HBO weekend starting on March 17th. HBO, in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, has put together a campaign to educate Americans on drug and alcohol addiction. The campaign highlights the understanding of drug and alcohol addiction as a disease of the brain. The campaign centers on the 90-minute documentary and will proceed to broadcast a series of interviews with leading addiction experts throughout March.


The four-disc set includes topics such as The Adolescent Addict, The Science of Relapse, Parents of Opiate-Addicted Children, The CRAFT Approach to treatment and Brain Imaging are explored to show the complexities of both addiction and recovery. Three discs of additional content are provided that will not premiere on the network. An interactive Addiction: Communities Take Action website will arm communities with tools, including a hosting toolkit and viewer's guide, to support their efforts. Purchase your DVD for year-round screenings and community gatherings with family, friends, neighbors and colleagues.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Dolce & Gabbana Reluctantly Pulls Controversial Ad from Spain

Dolce & Gabbana are probably one of the best fashion design teams of our day, but why did they make such a poor and irresponsible business and advertising decison to produce and distribute an ad that looks to portray gang violence against a women? How insensitive were the decision makers who produced the ad? Dolce & Gabbana, the fashion designers and owners, the art director, photographer, stylists, hair and makeup artists--all--were a part of the shoot and no one had the nerve to say this was out of line? I've art directed fashion shoots myself. I know everyone looked at the images on the computer screen and thought they were sensational and congratulated each other on another work of art.

According to Brandweek, Stefano Gabbana, a partner in Dolce & Gabbana, indicated that the image represented an erotic dream or sexual game. Apparently the ad ran in Spain, but was withdrawn from the magazines when Spain's Women's Institute advocated for it's removal. Spain's Women's Institute, a branch of the labor ministry, said the ad "not only reduces women to a sexual object but the image sends the message that the use of force as a means to achieve subjugation is admissible."

More disturbing is that Gabbana said he would only pull the ad in Spain, because "they have shown themselves to be a bit backward," he was quoted as saying in the La Vanguardia newspaper.
According to the newspaper, Dolce & Gabbana defended the campaign as art "What has an artistic photo got to do with a real act? You would have to burn museums like the Louvre or the paintings of Caravaggio." Isn't he getting that a bit backward himself? These ads are not hanging in a museum. They may set out to create art, I surely can relate to that. But, they are still selling products and an image. Neither gang violence against women, nor an erotic sex dream should have a place in the global marketing of products, even though it often does. If a company has consumer groups and activists stating an ad looks to be promoting violence against women, perhaps it might be wise to remove the ad, minus the prima-dona attitude and discriminating commentary. A "we're sorry" might be better a business management tactic.

Spain's not the only country that wants the ad pulled. 13 Italian Senators demanded that the offensive ad be pulled as well. Sad thing though is that this ad is still getting plenty of free publicity and mileage, and Dolce & Gabbana are running other violent images in Britain. As long as violence sells movies, the nightly news, and products it will keep coming at us. Don't like it? Complain and don't buy it!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


The Girl Scouts are going digital with website promotion for their annual cookie drive. Here's the perfect example of how a Non-profit organization can wield the power of the Internet to reach their audience, drive traffic and make money for programs. The Girl Scouts have created a website and have used YouTube, MySpace and Friendster to reach out to people who want to purchase Girl Scout cookies. They've even created a little cookie movie from old archived commercials. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy, the Girl Scouts are also operating cookie academies, where girls 11 and older are learning how to create business plans, manage money and attract larger customers for bulk orders. One Girl Scout said it really helped her to better understand business practices. And that’s exactly what it should do, according to Katherine Cloninger, the Girl Scouts chief executive, who says cookie selling fosters independence, self-esteem and confidence.

Anyone for just one thin mint? Search by zipcode to find where you can
get your box.