NY Times' ad column may go dark; Putin talks pay TV ad ban

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In other news: What's in store for Cuba's ad market? ... End of the line for NY Times' ad column? ... TripAdvisor heads to Brazil ... Brands abandon "Sorority Sisters"

Last day for New York Times' advertising column? As longtime columnist Stuart Elliott takes his final editorial bow today, the New York Post's ubiquitous Keith Kelly reports on speculation Elliott won't be replaced. No successor has been named, and a Times spokeswoman told Kelly, "Questions like this one are not likely to be settled until early in the new year."

Ads on Russian pay TV? Just say "nyet." Russian President Vladimir Putin’s annual media conference always covers a wide range of topics, and Thursday’s installment included the country’s TV advertising. Putin told reporters that a pending ban on commercials on pay TV networks was initiated by federal free-to-air stations. Putin signed the bill in July, saying it would level the playing field between channels that make money from subscriptions and advertising. "The ad market is shrinking," Putin said. "We had to choose whether to support federal [free-to-air] networks from the budget, which is already stretched, or give the networks a chance to take advantage of the shrinking market."

Who’ll pioneer Cuba’s advertising market? And on another front in the former Cold War: Brands pondering the prospects for new opportunities in the wake of diplomatic relations with Cuba may want to look to Adam Armstrong, a Toronto ad exec who worked for years in Havana with Cerveceria Bucanero. Armstrong discusses the challenges of working in a country that officially frowns on marketing, fewer than 3 percent of the population has Internet access or a mobile phone.

TripAdvisor steers toward Brazil. TripAdvisor announced that it has extended its presence to Brazil as well as the UK with its first-ever TV campaigns in those countries. The ads promote TripAdvisor’s hotel metasearch and booking capabilities using its Instant Booking feature.

Brands drop out of "Sorority Sisters." In the face of consumer complaints that it demeans historically black sororities, advertisers are backing away from VH1’s new "Sorority Sisters." Honda, Carmex, Crayola and Hallmark announced they were withdrawing their support. Opponents to the show used social media via a hashtag campaign, #BoycottSororitySisters, and a petition on MoveOn.org that has amassed more than 68,000 of its target 75,000 signatures.

Got an item you think should feature in the Daily Download? Drop a line to matthew.rothenberg@haymarketmedia.com.

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