Morning Forum: Kim Kardashian’s Pharma Fiasco, Bic Apologizes, Phone Pics Deconstructed, Future of Freelancing and Much More

by James Thompson

Start your day with AdForum’s daily round-up of the latest news, trends, and notable work in the advertising industry.

Advertising Lessons from Kim Kardashian’s FDA Kerfuffle

Social media is inherently informal and offers the perfect camouflage for brands seeking to advertise to consumers in a discreet way. However, there is also something inherently deceptive about paying a celebrity to recommend a product or brand to their followers without disclosing that their tweet, Facebook post, or Instagram image is actually part of an advertising strategy that banks on the celebrity’s cult of personality to obfuscate the true intention of the social media content: to sell products. Read the full article at The Washington Post.

Why Kim Kardashian’s FDA Fiasco May Change Social Media Advertising Forever

Advertising, which has a history of seeking short-term gains over long-term consequences, may be rethinking celebrity-sponsored social media strategies. “Ms. Kardahsian's endorsement and ensuing press may have put Diclegis on the radar of more people than another campaign that actually followed the rules. But it will come at some price to the marketer's reputation -- which isn't ideal for a drugmaker, said Shift Communications CEO Todd Defren.” Read the full story at Ad Age.

Forbes on Kim Kardashian and Social Media vs. TV Drug Ads

"This use of drug promotion via social media is far more dangerous than TV drug ads. Getting celebrities with millions of followers to tout your product, however briefly, can have a big impact. The FDA needs to crack down on this as vigorously as it does other forms of drug promotion."  Read the full story at Forbes.

How to Dress Like Your Favorite Celebrity

In more celebrity worship news, Amazon has just invested in a celebrity fashion site, called WhoWhatWear, that helps the regular, downtrodden masses dress more like their favorite celebrities. Full story at BusinessInsider

Bic Apologizes for Stereotyping Women, in Many Ways, in Advertisements

Bic has a well-documented history of not understanding women, but this latest ad manages to set some sort of record in ways to demean women while using the fewest number of words. The backlash to these ads was, of course, fast and furious on social media, prompting Bic to trip over itself with apologies on Facebook and promises to do better.

“Hi everyone. Let’s start out by saying we’re incredibly sorry for offending everybody - that was never our intention, but we completely understand where we’ve gone wrong. This post should never have gone out. The feedback you have given us will help us ensure that something like this will never happen again, and we appreciate that.” Read more at Adweek.

How to Hold Your Phone When Creating User-Generated Content

“Holding your phone ‘the wrong way’ to shoot a video provokes surprisingly apoplectic reactions.” This New York Times article explores the many ways people use their phones to film everyday scenes, important events, and create content that becomes advertising in one form or another. The author’s insights and ultimate conclusions may surprise you: “The future of video, it turns out, just may be vertical.”

Advertising Is a Haven for Freelancers, Here Is What the Future Has in Store

“Talent-matching platforms and co-working spaces are just two leading trends behind a freelancer economy that's growing more robust by the day. Other models and services are bound to spring up to bridge more gaps between consultants and companies in more flexible ways than ever before.” Visit Fast Company for more details.

Agency of the Week

Wunderman: We live at the collision of data and creativity. We believe one cannot function without the other, and together they are powerful tools. Our ideas are born and rooted in cultural intelligence. We make sense of data exhaust to understand customers’ values and connect to them on an individual level. Because when we know what matters to people, people care about what we do. Learn more about Wunderman by visiting their AdForum profile page.

It’s Thursday, which means the weekend is right around the corner. Until then, stay strong, and remember: We all have a Superman in us, kids and adults alike. Some of us need him every day. View the ad below to release your inner Superman. 

(Coffee photo courtesy of bark.) 

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