Told you: Calls for plain packaging on beer now

Plain Packaging for beer: Is this our future?

Plain Packaging for beer: Is this our future?

I warned everybody, and have been doing so for years, that if we allow plain packaging for products like tobacco then it wouldn’t be long before calls for plain packing came for other products, most notably alcohol and sugar.

Well, no one listened to me. Commenters on this blog also, rather po-facedly, stated that they didn’t mind on tobacco. Now there are calls for plain packaging of alcohol.

Alcohol watchdogs are concerned beer branding featuring cute cartoons or resembling softdrinks, may be too appealing to minors.

The rise of the craft beer market has resulted in a new wave of creative, colourful, and often cartoonish labels as alcohol producers compete for consumers’ attention.

Auckland craft brewery Behemoth Brewing Company, has “brave bikkie brown ale” featuring a cartoon monster eating a cookie on its bottles.

A mouse riding a dog appears on Scallywag rich amber ale from Auckland craft brewery Schipper’s Beer, while a badger wearing a jetpack stars on its Boffin bitter.

Even the Mac’s beer range, owned by major brewer Lion, features labels with drawings of wolves, a shark fin and an Indian Pale Ale called “birthday suit” with a grizzly beer holding a hop bud. And two months ago, the darling of the New Zealand craft beer scene, Garage Project, released a “Lola cheery cola beer” in a can with a striking resemblance to Coca-Cola.

But while this type of branding can be fun and exciting for adults, it can spell confusion for youngsters, said Rebecca Williams, director of the Alcohol Healthwatch group.

She said cartoons on alcohol labelling sent a message to minors that alcohol consumption should not be taken seriously, blurring the reality that it contained a toxin.

“Look at the colours of them – they’re cute, they’re quirky,” said Williams.

When children liked a brand or could relate to it, it translated into early alcohol consumption, she said.

“I think it’s about time somebody was challenged.”

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Ad in Canada offering protection to threatened Muslim women is banned

Freedom of expression exists in Canada but only for Muslims. This is not the first time that advertisers have refused to run ads that they consider anti-Islamic but have been happy to run ads offensive to non-Muslims. In this latest case, the ad’s purpose was to help Muslim women. Mentioning the reality of honour killing, however, is not allowed because the ad company thinks that the truth is offensive.

In a court hearing scheduled to begin in September, the City of Edmonton will have to justify its silencing of a non-profit group that wants to promote gender equality and protect Canadian women and girls from honour killings.

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APN to divest of NZME; a matter of cashing up before it keels over

This is what happens when the accountant has been put in charge and you’ve lost the trust and confidence of your customers.

NZME chief executive Michael Boggs will spend the next 10 days meeting and greeting current and potential investors after APN News & Media shareholders overwhelmingly backed plans to carve out the New Zealand unit.

The Auckland-based publisher and radio network operator will operate as a standalone listed company after the plan to demerge NZME got 99.98 percent backing at Thursday’s special meeting in Sydney.

The transaction will see a one-for-seven share consolidation in the Australian company, then a distribution of NZME shares to those investors on a one-for-one basis. The deal then frees up APN to focus on Australian radio and outside advertising business, while NZME can pursue its merger with rival Fairfax New Zealand.

Boggs told BusinessDesk he’s about to hit the road to meet current and potential shareholders in Auckland, Wellington, Sydney and Melbourne over the next seven to 10 days to engage and get feedback from shareholders on their views of NZME and where they think the media group should be heading.

“We now can control our own decision making around capital investment and funding,” Boggs said.

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That didn’t take long; London’s Mayor censors women’s bodies


I am sure that this has nothing to do with Islam’s attitudes towards women and everything to do with feminism.

London’s first ever Muslim Mayor is set to ban images of ‘unrealistic’ scantily clad women from ads on public transport, which could see the city adopt some of the most censorious policies in the Western world.

Sadiq Khan argued for the move by appropriating the language of feminism, claiming that alluring images of beautiful women could make them “ashamed of their bodies”.

Ironically, the policy is likely to please both the misogynistic Islamist and prudish, third wave feminist, whose ends appear increasingly similar.

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Print is dead

You know print is dead when politicians stop advertising their campaigns in it.

It’s been said a number of times from “Ghostbusters” in 1984 to a more recent Onion article where there was an obituary under the headline “Print, Dead At 1803.” Now, it’s true — at least for 95 percent of campaigns. Print is, in fact, dead.

Despite its passing, most campaigns from Senate through state House still spend a disproportionate amount of time strategizing about how to deal with newspaper editors and reporters. We would also argue that “earned media” campaign strategy focusing on all media outlets is about to be dead, too.

Before you start ticking off the exceptions, the main point we would submit is that campaigns and candidates have to reassess how much time they put into earned media strategy, versus social media strategy, versus fundraising versus direct-voter contact. We would argue in most races that aren’t for president, almost none of the candidate’s time should be spent dealing with the media.    Read more »

Fairfax woes continue as results show 12% drop in ad revenue

The online world, something existing media don’t understand, is killing mainstream media as sure as low dose strychnine kills a granny.

NBR reports on the slow demise of Fairfax:

Fairfax Media’s New Zealand division posted a 12% drop in first-half earnings as the publisher of and the Dominion Post, Press and Sunday-Star Times newspapers said gains in its online revenue didn’t offset the ongoing advertising decline in its traditional print publications.

Earnings before interest, tax, and depreciation fell to $30.3 million in the six months ended December 27, from $34.4 million a year earlier, the Sydney-based company said in a statement. Sales from its New Zealand business were down 7.4% to $181.4 million, with the dominant advertising revenue falling 9.2% to $119.8 million.

Advertising revenue was impacted by weak market conditions in New Zealand, Fairfax said in slides accompanying its earnings presentation. Supermarket, retail and employment advertising declines were offset by strong performance in real estate and health, it said.

The New Zealand division increased digital revenue 43% without disclosing any detail. It also said its flagship website retained its top spot among domestic websites, lifting its unique audience 4.6% to 1.8 million in January from the same month a year earlier, ahead of online auction site Trade Me, a former Fairfax subsidiary, which posted a 9.4% decline to 1.7 million. Rival news service, owned by APN News & Media, increased its audience 22% to 1.5 million.

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Toyota caved to a bunch of whinging prats who wouldn’t buy a ute anyway

The outrage brigade are at it again, this time it is Toyota who have caved to the whingers on Facebook and Twitter.

A new Toyota Hilux commercial which attracted backlash on social media will no longer be screened, effective immediately.

Toyota New Zealand made the announcement on Sunday saying the decision reflected feedback from members of the public who had been offended.

In the ad, animals are shown to look forward to death at the hands of hunters if it means they get to ride on the back of a Hilux.

[…]   Read more »


Social Media message for Muslim women

A reader sent me this video. He says…

Social marketing that has been widely circulated in the middle east in the last week

Possibly over-scripted by western standards and not really as brave as it looks, as it really only reflects change that is already happening

But perhaps a surprise for those who don’t live in the region



The video looks like a positive step in the right direction for Muslim women from the Middle East but will it drive change? Personally I don’t believe that hash tags or feel good social media campaigns have any real power.They make people feel good and create an illusion that change is happening.

I was curious as to the origin of the #GirlsCan campaign so I googled it. Which Middle Eastern country do you think it originated from?

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Sponsored Post – Glowing jelly experiment

Apparently “Little Kitchens” is a thing…since my kids are 17 and 19 I have no idea what it is on about.

I’m sure some of you readers are being pestered by your demanding little kids to get this thing or that thing…learn to say No.

How long has Snakk Media got?

I have been closely following Derek Handley and his latest imminent failure Snakk Media.

This guy is a shameless self-promotor who usually starts conversations like Pearl Going does, by mentioning that he once worked with Richard Branson, or held his dick while he took a leak on an island or some other inane story.

But it looks like Snakk Media has had a gutsful of poor performance.

Snakk Media [NZX: SNK] founder Derek Handley will step down as chairman of the mobile advertising technology company by the end of the year in a wider boardroom shuffle.

Mr Handley, whose interests own about 15% of Snakk, will leave the board of the firm he co-founded in 2010, and Michelle Kong will retire after the September 16 annual meeting, the company said in a statement.

Their exit is part of a boardroom rejuvenation, which will install Australian cloud hosting business Macquarie Telecom’s chairman, Peter James, as executive chairman. He will be based in Sydney along with chief executive Mark Ryan. Broadfield Advisory principal Martin Riegel was appointed to Snakk’s board in June.   Read more »