Control Room Nixes Plans for Ads on Celeb Sites

Campaign for Ford-Backed MSN Concert Called 'Inappropriate'

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SAN FRANCISCO ( -- Entertainment company Control Room has decided against an internet campaign promoting a concert by the artist Pink that would have run banner ads next to photos of celebrities such as Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and others.
Photo: Sebastian Mylnarski

The MSN concert produced by Control Room stars Pink and airs on MSN Music.

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Promoter to Run Racy Ads for Web Concert
Campaign Is for Ford-Backed Event on MSN Music

'Inappropriate' plan
"It has come to our attention that the intended placement of certain online ads planned by our marketing department would have been inappropriate given the content on, and context of, the targeted sites," Nina Guralnick, general manager, Control Room, said in a statement issued by public relations firm Edelman. "Control Room is in the business of delivering the highest quality live concerts from leading artists to digital platforms, and such advertising tactics are not consistent with our vision or marketing practices. The ads have not yet been posted and will not be running on any websites."

The announcement came a few hours after a spokesman for Ford Motor Co., which was not involved with the ad campaign but is sponsoring today's concert on MSN Music, said it was investigating the matter.

"Ford hasn't asked us for anything -- we're doing it," a Control Room spokesman said. He said it was "inappropriate" for Ford to be mentioned in the story about the ad campaign since it had no knowledge of the campaign.

Concert download promotion
The Control Room ad campaign was set to run starting tomorrow to promote downloading of the concert, which will be available for several months on the MSN Music site.

A Ford spokesman said earlier today the carmaker was unaware of the campaign, adding: "We would never be involved in this kind of activity, and we are currently investigating the situation thoroughly to determine exactly what the facts are." A Ford spokesman has not returned calls seeking comment on the campaign's cancellation.

Control Room marketing executive Jonathan Anastas said the campaign was intended to be a new way to tie ads to the context of websites on which they're placed. The banners were to play off the title of Pink's single "U and UR Hand" with headlines such as "Don't you and your hands have better places to be?" and "See the real Pink."
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