Bloomingdales’s Slammed With Social Media Outrage Over Date Rape Ad


Wow. I just wrote about an idiotic bank ad which made light of environmental issues and now we have a Bloomingdales’ ad which many say makes light of date rape.

A Christmas print ad for the retailer shows an image of a woman and a man with a very questionable headline between them. The headline reads, “Spike your best friend’s eggnog when they’re not looking.”

Like every brand which finds itself in this situation, an apology has been issued on a Facebook post which reads, “In reflection of your feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale’s sincerely apologizes for this error in judgement.”

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In reflection of your feedback, the copy we used in our recent catalog was inappropriate and in poor taste. Bloomingdale's sincerely apologizes for this error in judgement.

Posted by Bloomingdale's on Tuesday, November 10, 2015

In reflection of your feedback?

How about upon reflection of our brand’s incredible idiocy and insensitivity and common sense and, well, everything?

Here’s the full ad:


And here’s the outrage:

And the brand’s apology on Twitter:

Who’s running things at these big brands?

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Bloomingdales’s Slammed With Social Media Outrage Over Date Rape Ad

Idiotic Bank Ad Makes Light of Environment, Social Media Goes Bezerk!


Did you miss me?

You would think after all these years we would have moved past the point were brands make egregious lapses in judgement knowing full well the wrath of social media outrage will rain down upon them like a ton of bricks. But, apparently, no.

A Philippine bank, BDO Unibank has apologized for an ad it ran which made light of environmental issues. In the ad, which carries the headline “Save the environment or save up to see places,” a man can be seen holding a sign that reads, “Stop deforestation” behind a woman who is enjoying her travels. The word “or” is placed between the two.

The bank has since apologized for the ad in a Facebook post which read,”We apologize that the Ads have been very insensitive. The posts have since been removed and we have taken steps to resolve the matter internally.”

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We apologize that the Ads have been very insensitive. The posts have since been removed and we have taken steps to resolve the matter internally.

Posted by BDO Unibank on Friday, November 13, 2015

Predictably, and with good reason, social media outrage filled Facebook comments including mocking the brands automated bot which responded to every tweet with, “Thanks for your feedback.”

The ad has been pulled by the bank but not before screenshots were taken preserving the idiocy for time immemorial.

Environmental advocate Renee Karunungan snagged a screenshot and pointed out the bank’s owner, Henry Sy, owns a firm that cut down trees to build a parking lot and erected a building which caused massive flooding during a typhoon because they blocked waterways.

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So BDO Unibank deleted this post. But of course there is a reason screenshots were made. Im putting it back so that we…

Posted by Renee Juliene M. Karunungan on Thursday, November 12, 2015

Here’s a Storify of the outrage the ad has caused:

Read more here:
Idiotic Bank Ad Makes Light of Environment, Social Media Goes Bezerk!

3 Ways to Incorporate Mobile And Social Analytics In Your Ad Campaigns


In today’s competitive business environment, most advertising agencies are using data analytics to hone their clients’ campaign strategies and to improve their job of targeting, tracking, and engaging customers.

With mobile commerce growing at an annual rate of 42 percent, and with one-third of online shoppers making at least one purchase via smartphone over the last 12 months (and 20 percent via tablet), marketers that ignore mobile analytics are doing themselves a major disservice. The same goes for social, where tracking, measuring, and engaging consumers via sites like Facebook and Twitter is absolutely crucial.

As an agency that was in on the ground floor of both the mobile and social advertising movements, and that has been employing analytics to create accountable advertising for decades, we can clearly see that everything digital is moving in a mobile direction. In fact, with some campaigns, we’re seeing as much as 70 percent of orders coming through digital platforms – and the majority of those are being made via mobile devices, even for large, international brands.

To get a better idea of how mobile and social campaigns are performing, consider using one or all three of these ways to leverage analytics:

1) To track consumer activity via their mobile devices. While mobile devices may appear to be “untethered” and therefore more difficult to track and measure, the reality is that it’s quite easy to get a grasp on “m-commerce” activity. Not only can you track the direct sales that are coming in – and what devices are being used (phones, tablets, etc.) – but you can also tie that information back to specific consumers.

This will help you create more accountable and profitable advertising in the future, and it will allow you to harness those 70+ percent of orders that will soon be coming in via mobile devices (if they aren’t already). One of the simplest tools available to you is Google Mobile App Analytics, which allows you to track and measure activity taking place on your app, establish and measure goals, determine conversion rates, keep track of campaign consistency, and apply the resultant data for actionable insights.

Having this information in hand, and then analyzing it for key points and patterns, will help you develop even more effective mobile campaigns in the future.

2) To parlay social activity into key campaign goals. What started out as a fun way for friends to keep in touch and share photos with one another has transformed into a powerful advertising and sales tools for organizations of all sizes.

Today, platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are being folded into the campaigns of even the largest, most well known brands. And while tracking the performance of such efforts was elusive until recently, today’s companies are keeping closer tabs on their social activity and using the information garnered to hone their campaigns.

“In 2015, there are now companies whose sole job is to sift through social data and find emerging clues and patterns. Facebook has a billion users, Twitter has hundreds of millions, and LinkedIn is the de facto professional networking site,” writes Jonathan Hassell in CIO.

Remember that social allows you to track more than just “who is Tweeting about you” or “who is posting information about your firm on Facebook.” It also helps you measure brand awareness, hone campaign goals, and determine the best possible approach for a specific marketer (brand awareness vs. direct sales vs. consumer engagement, and so forth).

3) To “listen” to your customers in new and innovative ways. There was a time when companies had to rely on “live” focus groups, written surveys, and customer feedback forms to find out exactly what their target customer groups were thinking. Today, most of that information is available online and a lot of it is at the marketer’s fingertips (as in, the company doesn’t have to ask for it).

“If your customers are talking about you, you want to hear what they’re saying. If you’re spending good money to talk at them, why not devote some percentage to listening to what they have to say?” writes Mikal E. Belicove in Entrepreneur. “Research shows that the conversations your customers have among themselves drive about 13 percent of business decisions and can amplify your advertising by 15 percent.”

Becoming that “fly on the wall” is fairly simple. If you’re running an engagement campaign, for example, look at whether customers are tweeting and/or re-tweeting information about their experiences with the product. If it’s a direct sales campaign, then pay close attention to how those social interactions parlay into mobile and/or online sales.

In the end, the only way to determine the effectiveness of a campaign’s mobile or social efforts is by taking a hard look at the data and then using that information to take action. While this step was easy to ignore just 5-10 years ago, agencies that don’t take the time to effectively measure their mobile and social efforts are doing their clients a disservice and overlooking a large chunk of potential business.

This guest article was written by Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, CEO of Hawthorne Direct.

3 Ways to Incorporate Mobile And Social Analytics In Your Ad Campaigns

So You Think Your Website Is Perfect. Here’s 7 Reasons You May Be Wrong


OK so the entire world of marketing has been wetting its pants over social media and content marketing the last few years but what about that old fashion – yet, incredibly important — thing called a website? Have you dusted it for cobwebs lately?

And after all that time and money you spend on social media and content marketing, it’s still the website — or the most part — where all the action you care about — sign ups, sales, etc. — occurs. So if your website is still a piece of annoying Flashturbation or, worse, not supporting your omnichannel efforts, you might as well go unearth that Geocities version of your website from back in the day.

Here’s a few tenets of a well oiled website. Maybe you know all this stuff. Maybe you’ve forgotten. And, hey, we all get busy and can use a good, swift reminder from time to time.

Content Refresh

If you have people who return to your website more than once and they notice nothing has changed – in what feels like a decade (or, let’s be honest, even a week), then you are going to lose them very quickly. Whether you like it or not, refreshing content with new and interesting ideas creates a reason for customers to come back to the site.

Maybe you have been too busy to update but potential customers don’t see it that way. Instead, they may begin to think your business is on its way out. However, if they see new content, then they tend to equate the frequent blogs posts, articles, and pages to a vibrant and successful business.

The best way to continually update content is to have a blog as part of your website, but you can also add an articles library and, as you grow, add new pages about your expanding product line or service portfolio. If you are too busy to do the content yourself, consider using a freelance content writer from ELance, iFreelancer or Guru.

Multiple Points of Entry

Having relevant content that’s of interest to various segments of your audience is, of course, very important. But you also need appropriately segmented places for them to visit within your site.

Multiple points of enrtry — ie. landing pages — provide a way for you to provide segment-specific information about a new product or service. Oh and you can more easliy track metrics related to each marketing campaign that you may run to understand whether or not certain audience segments are actually visiting these pages and how they are responding to your content and offers. In addition, landing pages keep a website from becoming cluttered.

Design Makeover

Like your content, the actual design of your website can become dated. You don’t want your audience to be able to carbon date the look of your page to the 2000s or the aforementioned Geocities era. Instead, as your brand evolves or, as you change your overall corporate identity, make sure your website design reflects that the shifting style and positioning of the brand.

If you don’t have the budget to hire a designer or ad agency, you can head over to places likeWix where you can find hundredsof website design templates that will give you a starting point. Good ‘ol WordPress also has a lot of templates to completely change the look and functionality of your website allowing you to easily add new pages or enhance its user-friendliness.

When your customers and potential customers experience a design makeover, they are more likely to envision you as a company that’s moving forward rather than getting tired and falling asleep.

Higher Reliability and Speed

People, it’s 2015! We have big pipes! There’s no excuse for your slow ass site that takes fully 30 seconds for a page to load. Design can greatly affect page load times but so can hosting. And, seriously, when was the last time you actually spent a minute or two checking into you web host’s tech specs? Yea, that shit is boring but it’s the back bone of your website and that boring shit matters.

So yes, it could be the hosting company that is slowing you down, so you might want to consider researching what web hosting companies which can offer faster connections and less downtime. For example, is one. Another isHostwinds. They offer numerous hosting plans that scale up as you grow your business so you don’t have to worry about outgrowing them.


While more people are starting their searches from their smartphones and tablets, not as many companies are adding responsive website design to sense when a visitor is using something other than their laptop or desktop. Not employing technology that senses your new mobile customers can lead to a disastrous experience that accomplishes nothing except for losing a potential customer.

Insuring your site employs responsive design means your website will fit the screen on which it’s being viewed. It can also mean that you offer a choice between a mobile website version and a regular one so the user can select their preference.

Coding Compliance

While this is on the technical side of things, coding compliance is pretty important. Since the standards regularly change, you’ll need to make sure your technical talent is aware of what’s required. Not only will this help your website achieve higher rankings to turn that digital sales funnel toward your business, but it will also keep you in the good graces of those that track website compliance.

Graphics Optimization

Search engine optimization goes beyond just selecting the right keywords and phrases that get the attention of search engines everywhere. You also need to optimize graphics – including photos and videos on your website. Use relevant and descriptive words in the title tag and alt gag in your image code as an additional way to throw that net out wider over the Internet and draw more of your target audience to your website. Since you will be regularly updating your website’s content, don’t forget to optimize every new graphic you add.

And so there it is. Maybe you’re on top of all of this. Maybe you’re not. Maybe you have a boss who thinks Flash is still all that. Hopefully, this information will help you better manage your website and, ideally, build more business.

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So You Think Your Website Is Perfect. Here’s 7 Reasons You May Be Wrong

4 Things Brands Can Learn From Subway’s Jared Fogle Scandal


Jared Fogle, the man that taught America it was possible to lose more than 200 pounds eating subway sandwiches, has been charged with possessing child pornography and is reportedly planning to plead guilty.

Fogle was also the leading spokesperson for Subway for 15 years and contributed to nearly half of Subway’s growth.

As the news of Fogle’s charges became a reality, Subway quickly cut ties with their former spokesperson.

Here are 4 things brands can learn from Subway’s recent crisis.

The truth will come to the light

For 15 years, Fogle’s charitable contributions and fight against childhood obesity provided no warning of his charges to date. Humans are highly unpredictable and humans make mistakes. For this reason, brands must take measures to insure their spokesperson(s) is as wholesome in private as they appear in public and, in a case where they are not, find out before the media does.

Subway, or any brand hiring a spokesperson, should have considered employing an investigative service to at least conduct a surface check to determine any potential irregularities. Obviously, brands should not wait for a crisis to be attached to the brand, should be the first to know and the first to end any relationship that might lead to damages to the brand.

Act fast and leave little speculation

Subway, to their credit, did act quickly after Fogle’s allegations went mainstream and issued a simple statement stating, “We are very concerned and will be monitoring the situation closely. We don’t have any more details at this point.” It is important that brands do their best to control how the public perceives them before the public has a chance to conjure up its own conclusions.

Subway’s statement was also close-ended, leaving little room for speculation or hearsay – a tactic brands should take note of. Shortly after, Subway decided to end their relationship with Fogle and issued another simple and closed-ended statement, “We no longer have a relationship with Jared and have no further comment.” Such swift action allowed Subway to mitigate the damages and left little room for further questioning and probing.

Although in recent days allegations have been made that some Subway management did, in fact have some knowledge of Fogle’s situation and, according to one former Subway employees, failed to come forward. That situation is still playing itself out in the news.

Social media can be your friend

While the public used Twitter to vent their frustrations and confusion, Subway used a series of tweets to broadcast their position before, during, and after their decision to terminate their relationship with Fogle. Not shying away from social media allowed Subway to keep the masses updated with facts as they unfolded and remain a trustworthy and transparent brand.

Diversify, when possible

Subway invested heavily into one person as the face of their company for 15 years. This can be quite risky for brands as consumer perspectives changes over time and can later prove to be disastrous if that person comes under scrutiny as Fogle has. Consequently, brands such as Geico have decided to simply create their ideal spokesperson. Geico’s Gecko, for example, is a fictional character that can take on multiple personalities and therefore resonate with multiple audiences at the brand’s leisure.

In addition, because the fictional Geico is not prone to common human error, Geico takes on much less risk. In a 15-year time span, Subway had ample time – especially if some inside the organization had inside knowledge about Fogle — and opportunity to transition to other, safer spokesperson.

Not every brand can succeed employing the fictional spokesperson strategy but it is worth considering. Fictional characters are, of course, immune to human frailty.

Despite the downfall of Subway’s most recognized spokesperson, Subway appears not to have experienced any noticeable backlash from consumers – apart from a pre-Fogle scandal downward spiral in sales — and will likely emerge relatively unscathed. While brands can’t plan for the sudden downfall of a spokesperson, actively monitoring their spokespeople, responding quickly, and diversifying is a great way to mitigate losses.

This guest article was written by Keran Smith, co-founder of a digital marketing agency, Lyfe Marketing.

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4 Things Brands Can Learn From Subway’s Jared Fogle Scandal