Welcome to the latest edition of Marketer's Brief, a quick take on marketing news, moves and trends from Ad Age's reporters and editors. Send tips/suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Before we shuffle off to Florida to cover the Association of National Advertising's big "Masters of Marketing" event, here are a few marketing items that caught our eye this week, including how an advertiser had to defend an, uhm, crappy ad Down Under. But first we begin with the ANA event, and how one trade organization is trying to get the attention of marketers as they arrive in Orlando.
Ad production group targets creative shops
A group representing editing, visual effects, audio mixing and video finishing workers is using the Masters of Marketing swag bag to continue its campaign against letting creative agencies handle ad production and post-production work. The Association of Independent Creative Editors, or AICE, has put an oversized postcard in the bag that carries a "Skip Ad" prompt and the web address, www.AvoidTheSkipAdButton.com. The website carries a video, below, warning marketers that "agencies who push work in-house may not have your best interests in mind." The topic of how to handle ad production has emerged as a hot-button issue this year in the wake of an ANA report claiming that ad agencies engage in non-transparent practices when they do the work in house.
Animated human feces O.K. in Australia, never questioned in U.S.
U.S. marketers sometimes don't appreciate the freedoms they enjoy. They should exult over the fact they won't get hauled off before some tribunal for showing "animated human feces" on TV. Not so in Australia, where RB (the marketer formerly known as Reckitt Benckiser), got hauled before the Advertising Standards Bureau for its V.I.Poo ad, the very same ad it has showed in the U.S. with no one having to make a perp walk. Australian authorities cleared the ad, Mumbrella reports, noting that "bad taste," possibly including said animated feces, and such phrases as "the devil's doughnuts," is not illegal there.
Over-the-counter drugs lag in digital, e-commerce
Over-the-counter drug brands have been far slower than other packaged-goods categories to embrace e-commerce, according to a new report by consulting firm L2. The firm found only 14 percent of health product listings are eligible for Prime listings on Amazon, vs. 47 percent of household cleaning products. Even so, e-commerce sales still accounted for 61 percent of growth in OTC between May 2016 and April 2017, according to L2. But only 31 percent of OTC search volume on Google is branded, a potentially bad sign as voice-ordering expands, leaving the door open for Alexa or others to put private-label products in the cart.
It's my bed-in-a-box!
Another day, another new boxed mattress. Following in the footsteps of e-commerce startups Casper and Tuft and Needle, Wayfair, the online home décor retailer, is unboxing its first foam mattress. Called Nora, the queen size costs $599 and includes free, two-day delivery—slightly less than the competition. "In the past, shopping for a mattress was complicated," said Steve Oblak, senior VP and general manager of Boston-based Wayfair, in a statement. "With Nora, we've eliminated the guesswork and made it easier and fun to shop for a premium mattress." While "fun" might be a stretch, the bed-in-a-box mattress movement has been catching on with consumers as dozens of brands hop on the bandwagon. National retailer Mattress Firm even has its own version.
Would you buy this?
Jack in the Box calls these fast-food's first-ever 100 percent Ribeye burgers. The All American one comes with red onion, tomato, provolone cheese, real mayo and "hand-leafed spring mix lettuce" on an artisan potato bun. The premium meat has a bit of a premium price, $5.50-$6.50 vs. regular burgers, which start at $3.99 at the chain.
Tweet of Week
Sending love & kindness to all those who need it right now. pic.twitter.com/1PQUs9AN8x— Sesame Street (@sesamestreet) October 3, 2017
Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza named Shivram Vaideeswaran as its chief marketing officer. He was most recently VP of marketing at the Tender Greens restaurant chain, and prior roles included marketing and new product positions at Taco Bell. Blaze, a five-year-old chain with more than 200 locations, counts LeBron James among its founding investors and recently secured an investment by consumer-focused private equity firm Brentwood Associates.
Contributing: E.J. Schultz, Jack Neff, Adrianne Pasquarelli, Jessica Wohl