As 2005 draws to a close, I thought it high time that we reflect on the excesses not only of the season, but of pop culture and mass media in general. And in the spirit of the ever-more self-flagellating, doubt-plagued, soul-searching media world, I decided that some new guidelines were in order. To wit:
During last week's episode of "CSI: NY," detective Danny Messer's phone rang to the tune of Coldplay's "Talk" -- a $2.49 ring tone that was then explicitly marketed during a commercial break, in a shameless cross-promotional deal between CBS and Capitol Records. Effective immediately, Fox News shall be prohibited from arranging to have anchorwoman E.D. Hill's cellphone "accidentally" ring to the tune of the Black Eyed Peas smash hit "My Humps" during "Fox & Friends" morning banter.
Upon announcing the upcoming launch of a product called "Trump: The World's Finest Super Premium Vodka," teetotaler Donald Trump's flak told "Page Six" that "He hasn't tasted it, but he decided that for those who have a distinguished taste for vodka and who drink moderately, this is it." Effective immediately, Trump is enjoined from slapping his name on any products he hasn't tried, such as "Trump: The World's Most Absorbent Luxury Tampon" and "Trump: The World's Funniest-looking, Not-so-convincing Hairplugs." Oh, wait, that second one's OK.
Effective immediately, Mariah Carey's current Billboard airplay-gainer "Don't Forget About Us" shall not ring at any time during NBC's entire prime-time lineup.
Unfortunately, Fox's cancellation of Paris Hilton/Nicole Richie reality show "The Simple Life" didn't stick, because E! picked it up for a fourth season. Effective immediately, the E! network will be canceled. (All E! employees are asked to clear out their desks by the end of the day; you may pick up your final paycheck in the break room closest to your workspace.)
Effective immediately, TiVo shall wait at least 15 minutes between issuing a gratuitous, stock-boosting press release about each new distant-future strategic initiative or yet-to-be-launched tweak to its premium-brand DVR.
Hey, hold on a sec. My cell's ringing (Trace Adkins's "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk"). Oh, it's Vanity Fair columnist Michael Wolff; I'll just let him go to voicemail. OK, carrying on...
Effective immediately, cuddly, kohl-eyed twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen get sent to rehab for their continued overuse of eye shadow and eyeliner. Furthermore, all newspapers and magazines are enjoined from simultaneously running pictures of the twins in issues that also contain pictures of cuddly, kohl-eyed Tai Shan (the baby panda at the Washington National Zoo), to avoid confusion. (FYI: Tai Shan is the one who wasn't on "Full House.")
Effective immediately, stories about Howard Stern moving to Sirius Satellite Radio (had you heard?) -- such as last week's Wall Street Journal piece about Stern's "Anti-Censor" -- shall run no more than four days of any given week. For the convenience of the mostly New York-based journalists who continue to tirelessly shill for Stern/Sirius, the Stern/Sirius-promoting article schedule shall match Manhattan's Upper East Side alternative-side-of-the-street parking rules.
After he won his little gold statuette for "The Pianist," actor Adrien Brody turned into one of the biggest Oscar-winning media whores ever, appearing on way too many magazine covers and in countless I'm-too-sexy-for-my-nose fashion spreads (as well as ubiquitous ads for Diet Coke and fashion label Ermenegildo Zegna.) Now he's appearing mostly shirtless on the cover of the current Men's Health, explaining how he went from "SCRAWNY TO BRAWNY!" Effective immediately, Brody will be required to a) return his Oscar; b) dismiss his publicist; and c) please, please button his shirt back up.
Effective immediately, the ring tone for Carrie Underwood's new hit single, "Jesus, Take the Wheel," may only ring on the cellphones of emergency medical technicians attending to non-fatal Nascar accidents during ESPN broadcasts.
Got your own bans? E-mail me at [email protected] and put "Effective immediately" in the subject line; I may put them in a future column, and you might even win a Media Guy Bag-of-Swag.
The Media Guy's column appears weekly on AdAge.com and in the print edition of Advertising Age. E-mail him at [email protected]