Stuff I wrote this week

Not here. In other places.

Hey, look down there

1. The ASA needs to sharpen its teeth when it comes to paid for social media
Over on The Drum, I’ve written a fairly lengthy piece on why, with a UK on the brink of Internet censorship, the Advertising Standards Authority needs to get better (and faster) at policing paid-for social media.

With the government’s renewed interest in internet censorship, the marketing and advertising industry would do well to take notice of what’s going on around it. We only need to look back at the Leveson Inquiry as well the current furore about the Press Complaints Commission’s lack of interest in signing up to new restrictions to see that Westminster will not simply sit back and watch should we not live up to the standards that we enforce upon ourselves.

If we don’t police ourselves properly, the government will – and they will be far, far more draconian in their approach than we could ever dream.

It’s an interesting issue and if you have the time, I’d love to get your opinion.

More.

2. Ads are arriving on Instagram: 3 things you should know
Did you see the news yesterday? Instagram took another significant step towards rolling out ads on its platform and pulled back the curtain on how they’ll look as well as how they’ll work.

There are three things you should definitely know about this announcement and fortunately for you, that’s exactly what I’ve written for Social@Ogilvy.

I hope you find it useful.

3. The Voicemail: Episode 071
Fellow mobile geeks might already know that I record a weekly podcast about mobile technology happenings called The Voicemail. This week’s episode is especially good as, instead of my usual co-host, Stefan Constantinescu, joining me from Finland, Mr Michael Hell jumps in from Austria! The reason why this is exciting, for me at least, is that not only is Michael extremely well-versed in all things mobile, but he is also responsible for The Voicemail actually getting off the ground – so it was really awesome to get him on the show at last.

If mobile is your thing, or even if just fancy knowing a little bit more about the recent Apple iPad announcements / the new Nokia devices revealed this week, then why not give us a listen (we’re on iTunes too).

Have a great weekend.

 

Microsoft and Nokia: No Surprises

This post was first published on Medium (and Marketing) and is reposted here with permission –

What happened?

In a move that has been on the cards since February 2013 (or 2011, depending on who you talk to) Microsoft finally stumped up the cash and bought Nokia’s device business.

ms1

This should not come as a surprise.

There is much to be said about this sale, ‘I can’t believe this has happened!’ should not be one of them.

Continue reading “Microsoft and Nokia: No Surprises”

Want a Lumia 920 on Vodafone?

UPDATE: AS OF DECEMBER 19th – IT’S COMING

It ain’t gonna happen…

 

Lumia and Vodafone? NO.

The Nokia Lumia 920 is the latest (and greatest?) Nokia flagship phone. It was announced on September 5th, 2012 and sources are placing its release at around the middle of November somewhere.

I like the look of it and, since knowing mobile tech the way I do, I gave it the fairly highly-regarded label of ‘My Next Phone‘.

But there’s a problem. This morning this happened –

Dan Bowsher is one of the super-smart social media chaps at Vodafone and, as managing editor of the Vodafone UK blog, it’s kind of his job to be on the button with stuff like this – so I appreciate the heads up, Dan, thank you.

The ironic thing is, the same episode of The Voicemail that Dan is talking about is also the exact same one where I name-check Vodafone as being one service that I could not live without.

But now, I am in a quandary –

I’ve been a Vodafone customer for nigh on 16yrs. I honestly can’t think what kind of data they have on record or how much customer equity I’ve built up over that time.

And they’re not going to range the one phone that I really, really want.

My options are as follows

  1. Buy the Lumia 920 SIM-free (not ideal).
  2. Leave Vodafone and join a network like EE (who are not only ranging the Lumia 920 but also launching with the first 4G network)?
  3. Ignore the Lumia 920 and perhaps consider a different handset – like the new HTC Windows phones or in fact, an iPhone 5 (which is genuinely a serious option)?

 

Opinions please.

UPDATE: Vodafone have published a blog post confirming the above Windows Phone 8 device strategy 

 

 

 

Bare Jing

Writing up my diaries, it seems that China really did get the better of me and my Moleskine. What lies below is the last full entry, after here it’s just random scattered notes that I’ll do my best to put into some kind of coherent timeline. Wish me luck…

I. Love. It. Here. Already.

Moleskine Entry April 24th 2011

  1. Bejing (and China in general actually) is beautiful. Stunning even. I am more at peace now than I think I have ever been. I am calm and immensely happy.
  2. We have been busy.

We arrived on April 22nd. It was raining. Hard, Asian, Bladerunner-esque city rain.
It was perfect.

I had video to show you, but it never saved – this makes me sad, but I think the definition above does it justice.

China!

After checking into our hotel and getting our debrief, we ventured out for some food.

OH MY GOD THE FOOD.

Oh my God it was so good

THIS WAS AMAZING

Plus, naturally, my first experience of Chinglish.

Chinglish... YES!

Eight ate, total? £40. You can see why we love it here.

After our appetites were full sated, we ventured out to the bizarre food market to try out the the strange delicacies therein.

Starfish @ The Night Market

How about some lobster?

I ate a scorpion. Nuff said.

The lights, the buzz, the constant chatter of bartering; the atmosphere is enchanting. With my new found friends in tow, we continued.

Our guide had mentioned a lake far north of the city surrounded by bars. It was a fair old walk but we found it, eventually.

Gorgeous lanterns

Walk far enough around and you’ll make your way past the over-priced tourist spots and find more appeasing, friendly bars who create new prices on the spot (and, when asked nicely, will let you play your phone’s Spotify playlist through in-house sound system).

It was ace.

Which leads us nicely to yesterday; April 23rd:  Mao Money, Mao Problems

Today we did as much as we could. We’ve planned to do the wall tomorrow and as such, the others don’t have much time left to do the tourist bit. Our honcho this time ’round is a bit more hands off, choosing to show/tell us things and then let us find our own way.

Things we did:

— – — – Whatley out

Silent Tee Protest

IAB: Rules Rules Rules

This post first appeared on the blog of the IAB on August 8th, 2011 —

18th January 2011. That was the date of the this year’s first meeting of the IAB Social Media Council (SMC). Back then all the talk was about the impending ASA remit extension that would very very soon cover not only companies’ marketing claims on their own websites, but also in other non-paid for space they control – aka, ‘earned media’.

As an industry trade body the SMC assembled and collectively pondered on what would be considered best practice for adhering to these standards. I don’t think it was at that meeting that any kind of course of action was agreed, however, I do believe a large amount of the assembled members agreed that, like our US counterparts, ‘#ad‘ would probably work best.

Fast forward six months and with the remit fully in place, has anything changed? Not really. Has there been a seismic shift in the behaviour of online advertisers? Probably not.

Admittedly we haven’t seen any major cases reported to the ASA quite yet, but isn’t that thanks to a certain level of understanding and intelligence of your average internet user? If we move away from the online world for a second and instead think about the combined worlds of brand, celebrity and sport personality – how do these kind of standards play out there? Case in point: Tiger Woods and Nike.

When we see Mr Woods teeing up at the PGA Tour do we question that the Nike cap he chooses to wear is there for any other reason than advertising? No. Of course not. It’s an expectation. Something that we, as the viewing public, have grown to accept within this particular industry. It’s a given that this happens. However, it’s also assumed that – given his high profile nature – that this sponsorship must have happened. Why else would he be wearing the logo? And of course, there is no doubt that Nike put out a press release when this sponsorship was made – but how long ago was that? Shouldn’t he be adding the the word ‘ad’ onto that hat? No, of course not. That’d be silly.

But if he tweets something about Nike, will be have to append it with ‘ad’ ?

It doesn’t make sense.

Yes of course I agree that we should ultimately make it explicit that a piece of content created in the name of advertising is in fact an ad, but why not have something on our website/homepage/bio that states this is the case? Better yet, exactly how are paid endorsements going to be handled moving forward? Social media are fundamentally different, but a sponsorship deal is a sponsorship deal. Be it product placement in movies (and games), Nike on Tiger Woods…. or bloggers being sponsored by a brand  to write about products, it’s the same rules – right?

So HOW can we expect to retrofit one solution across them all? We can’t.

Everything that’s been written about social media has defined how different they are from the rest of the media types that have come before it. Here we are at the turn of a new decade (yes we are) and now suddenly the ‘free world’ of the internet is being regulated like it’s a piece of out of home.

New rules are required. Ones that are built on customer smarts, not crafted out of the remnants of out of date thinking.

So now what?

 

Notes on a Notebook

Moleskine entry: January 12th, 2010

I’m a bit miffed; I keep using this Moleskine for work. We’re not far from the end of this first book now and well, soon it will be time to buy another one… or two. I’m thinking maybe one for work purposes and another for personal, i.e.: sketches, notes, journal entries etc.

Admittedly, this in itself opens me up to a whole new world of potential pitfalls. It will not take long to tire of carrying two book instead of one, and I can imagine quite clearly just about to present somewhere and finding that I have the wrong notebook with me. The more I think about it however, the more I realise that this is really the only true path forward.

Hellboy 2 flashes before my eyes. I don’t know why.

Two Moleskines it is then, for 2010. Let’s see how we get on with that one then, this time next year…

Fast forward

I’ve raced over the deadline and time has caught up with me. Annoying. Time hasn’t been my friend and a full year has lapped my moleskine entries.

In a word; balls. Time to knuckle down and bust these guys out. The next few posts are going to be ALL moleskine entries.

I really need to catch up.

Until later…