JWT has set up a sensory-marketing venture with experimental psychologist Charles Spence, who works with brands such as Unilever, McDonald's and Starbucks. Brands test everything from the correct crunching sound for Pringles to the best sound to accompany Courvoisier's aroma. Spence recommends that marketers delve even further into such experiments. One example he gives is turning radio-frequency security tags into actual radios when clothes are being tried on in dressing rooms.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is abandoning its attempt to force cigarette-package labels to include macabre images such as sewn-up corpses and diseased lungs. The plan was found to violate free-speech rights in lower courts, and a memo from Attorney General Eric Holder to House Speaker John Boehner says the FDA will not appeal the case to the Supreme Court.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau is moving to a new phase in digital advertising metrics with its official release of SafeFrame 1.0 specifications. "[T]he new standards strengthen the evaluation of digital media and promote cross-platform comparisons" by measuring how long the ad is in view and helping determine viewable impressions, writes Laurie Sullivan. Researchers predict that viewable impressions will be a critical factor in increasing average CPMs, Sullivan writes.
Scripps Networks Interactive is leading the way with televised "sponsored content" or "native advertising" -- spots produced in the same style as the shows they are sponsoring. For example, Scripps has collaborated with Scotts Miracle-Gro on a multiplatform arrangement that includes TV and online ads and advertorials in Food Network Magazine and HGTV Magazine. This collaborative strategy is credited with helping Scripps for the first time cross the $1 billion mark in upfront sales for the current season.
Billing itself as the "World's Fastest Agency," Floyd Hayes' virtual shop operates via Twitter briefs and turns over a creative concept to clients in 24 hours or less for a one-time fee of $999. "A big question is, 'Is this a stunt?' The answer is, absolutely not. I'm 100% serious. WFA will provide dedication, expertise, respect and passion to each and every brief it receives," says Hayes, a former creative at Cunning, London. Tom Finneran of the 4A's criticized the concept for, among other things, valuing speed over client input.