Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Advertising In The Dark, Miracle-Gro Marijuana, and Why Free Shoes Won't Save The Third World (Link Round-Up 6/14/11)

"We Actually Don't Know What We're Doing With Your Eight-Figure Media Buy"
Nielsen admits internet ad campaigns don't reach their intended target demographics
“In one instance,” says Charles Buchwalter, svp of Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings, “we showed that in a campaign in which a CPG advertiser intended to reach females 18-34 for a personal care product, 55 percent of the impressions were served to men.”

Someone's Never Heard of Hydroponics...
Sales at Scotts rose 5% last year to $2.9 billion. But the Marysville, Ohio, company relies on sales at three key retailers—Home Depot Inc., Lowe's Cos. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc.—for nearly two-thirds of its revenue. With consumers still cautious about spending, the retailers aren't building new stores as quickly as they used to, making growth for suppliers like Scotts harder to come by. Against that backdrop, Mr. Hagedorn has pushed his regional sales presidents to look for smaller pockets of growth, such as the marijuana market, that together could produce a noticeable bump in sales.
Lost Cause
Poor countries need economic stimulation, not donated shoes
To begin with, giving a kid a pair of shoes manufactured elsewhere undermines the economic vitality of that kid’s community, as many bloggers have noted. Further, as Saundra Schimmelpfennig, a blogger at Good Intentions Are Not Enough, points out, shoes are already manufactured fairly cheaply in countries like Argentina, where Mycoskie was traveling when he decided to start TOMS. Expanding the manufacturing industry in poor countries is often seen as critical to their economic future, and offering children free shoes from an American company can undermine that. Why not provide a resource kids can’t find locally?

Schimmelpfennig writes: “TOMS Shoes is a good marketing tool, but it’s not good aid.” She has a long list of reasons, including: “It’s quintessential Whites in Shining Armor. It’s doing things ‘for’ people, not ‘with’ people.”

This argument echoes the larger-scale critique by Dambisa Moyo, author of the 2010 book Dead Aid, in which she takes on big-aid advocates like development economist Jeffery Sachs and singer Bono for perpetuating the idea that what poor countries need is charity, when what they really need are long-term economic-development solutions that they, themselves, control.

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