Most read: American Apparel image banned for inappropriate sexualisation
For the second time in six months American Apparel has come under fire from the Advertising Standards Authority. Naughty.
An image of a young female model wearing a thong body suit was deemed inappropriate by the ASA, which said it could cause "serious offence" because the model looked to be under 16. The ad must not appear again in its current form in the UK. (Please note our image has been duly cropped).
The retail brand said the model was 20-years-old and that the image was consistent with its previous ads.
Talking point: Starbucks #RaceTogether campaign takes a battering
Starbucks isn’t one to shy away from campaigns with social purpose behind them. This certainly isn’t the first time the brand has tackled race issues either.
In January, it ran a print ad in the New York Times paying homage to the Martin Luther King Jr national holiday, which showed the alphabet spelled out backwards against an all-black background. The letters appear in white, apart from M, L, K, which stand out in red. Under the letters the copy reads: ‘It's time to look at things differently. Again.’
That ad garnered a lot of praise. Its latest initiative, however, to unite customers with conversations about race, hasn’t gone down so well. The Twitter backlash has been severe. Branded awkward and downright strange, many have tweeted that having a conversation about race with a Starbucks barista is the last thing they want to be doing when grabbing their morning caffeine fix.
Howard Schultz, Starbuck's chief executive, said that Starbucks should be "willing to talk about these issues in America… Not to point fingers or to place blame, and not because we have answers, but because staying silent is not who we are."
With the continual obsession from brands to be ‘part of the conversation’, has Starbucks taken it too far this time?
We're committed to doing our part to address race relations in the US. We'll have more to say on #RaceTogether tomorrow.— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) March 18, 2015
On social: China’s biggest messaging app goes green for St Pat’s Day
You may have seen the hashtag #GoGreen4PatricksDay on Twitter yesterday, perhaps through a haze of Guinness. Iconic structures around the world such as the Empire State Building, the London Eye and Rome’s Colosseum were illuminated a brighter shade of green.
But Campaign Asia reported on a more modern initiative across the Pacific by Tourism Ireland, aided by Publicis Shangai. Users of WeChat, China’s biggest messaging app with more than 400 million active users (wowzers), were invited to scan a QR code to turn the wallpaper of the app an eye-catching emerald, with a few four-leaf clovers thrown in for luck.
As well as being a fun feature on St Patrick’s Day, Barry Colman, executive director of Publicis Shanghai, explained that it "promoted Ireland as an innovator when it comes to digital."
What the others are saying: Good riddance to Internet Explorer
Sometimes a brand becomes so toxic it’s time to cut your losses. Even when you’re Microsoft and even when the product, Internet Explorer, was used by the majority to first access the web.
But when you’re dealing with the headline "People Who Use Firefox or Chrome Are Better Employees" in the Atlantic, it’s time to say goodbye. Marketing Magazine has the story on Microsoft breaking with the ‘hated’ Internet Explorer brand.
According to Yahoo Tech, it sounds like it was a tough decision. They quote Microsoft marketing chief Chris Capossela: "Many of us here on the Redmond campus loved IE. Yes, he was a cad and a scoundrel and a bit of a loose cannon, and the end got mighty ugly, but he was one of me own kind."
Buzzfeed wasted no time dancing on its grave, reminding us of all the (okay, okay – hilarious) memes that gave IE a kicking. But we’re softies at heart and can’t help feeling the pang of nostalgia.
Fear not. The Guardian clarifies that "reports of IE’s demise have been somewhat exaggerated." It’s used by so many businesses, legacy support is a must. A stay of execution!
BR Recommends: 400 bottles of Grolsch on a wall
No, not the empties from BR’s hump-day lunch. It’s Grolsch’s street art installation in Shoreditch, celebrating 400 years of the Dutch beer.
We were on hand to watch street artists from Graffiti Life create the piece and spoke to Ali Pickering, portfolio brand director at Molson Coors, to learn more about the campaign strategy. Make yourself comfortable and watch the video.
FYI: None of 400 bottles of Grolsch on the wall fell. Celebrating 400 years of a brand is important, but so is health and safety.
Compiled by Rachel Bull and Jonathan Shannon
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