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The Takeaway

Takeouts: Tiger Woods, The 'Celtic Tiger,' Listeners on Jobs

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

  • Business Takeout: New York Times finance reporter Louise Story says the companies that Tiger Woods endorses have pulled television advertisements featuring the scandal-plagued golfer.
  • Ireland Takeout: BBC Correspondent Mark Simpson on the massive cuts unveiled today in Ireland's annual budget, which make for a particularly sad coda to the "Celtic Tiger's" rapid economic growth in the 1990s.
  • Listener Takeout: We hear from you, our listeners, on finding and keeping jobs both full-time and freelance.

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The Takeaway

Always Be Closing: Obama to Pitch to Congress, U.S.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

President Obama is addressing a joint session of Congress tonight. His mission? To sell health care reform. In what may be the pitch of his presidency, President Obama hopes to jumpstart the debate that has stalled over the summer while critics of his health proposals dominated many public forums and his approval ratings dropped. To help President Obama get in touch with his inner Willie Loman and sell health care reform to a seemingly skeptical audience, we have gathered a roundtable of experts: Ted Widmer is a former speechwriter for Bill Clinton; Lisa Schiffren is a former speechwriter for Vice President Dan Quayle; and Cindy Gallop, an advertising consultant and former chair of ad agency BBH.

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The Takeaway

Pfizer Settlement: An Over-the-Counter Drug Bust

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Pharmaceutical mega-corporation Pfizer has agreed to pay $2.3 billion in civil and criminal penalties for its unlawful drug promotions. The company will pay the largest health care fraud fine in history for aiming their advertising dollars at patients, not doctors; promoting off-label uses of their drugs without FDA approval; and creating and distributing phony "independent" medical educational materials. The products at the heart of the case include Bextra, a drug approved to treat arthritis but marketed for other uses; and Wellbutrin, an anti-depressant promoted as a smoking cessation aid. Pfizer's agreement to pay the penalty for their intent to defraud marks the culmination of a long and complex case. Tony West is the assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He worked on the case and joins us to talk about drugs, advertising, and the law.

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The Takeaway

Fact Checking the Health Care Reform Debate

Monday, August 17, 2009

To sift through the rumors, hearsay, and falsehoods being spoken and shouted in the debate over health care reform, The Takeaway talks to Trudy Lieberman, director of the Health and Medicine Reporting Program at CUNY's Graduate School of Journalism and a longtime contributing editor to the Columbia Journalism Review.

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The Takeaway

Mad About "Mad Men"

Friday, August 14, 2009

This Sunday, AMC kicks off the third season of its runaway hit, Mad Men. Set in 1960’s New York City, the show celebrates the world-weary cool of the Madison Avenue advertising world. It also portrays an America in transition, having passed through the doldrums of the Eisenhower era and not yet ready for the free lovin’ Woodstock nation. For a look at what this year’s Mad Men brings to the small screen, we are joined by Eric Deggans. He is the television and media critic for the St. Petersburg Times. And to gauge if Mad Men gets the advertising world right, we are joined by Cindy Gallop. She is an advertising consultant and former chairman of the advertising agency BBH.

Courtesy of AMC TV, here's the finale of season 2:

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The Takeaway

"Julia" and "G.I. Joe"

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

This past weekend, just-released "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra" took in about $30 million more than just-released "Julie and Julia." We discuss the public hunger to see "Joe,"despite the damning reviews, with a moviegoer who really cares: 10-year-old Detroit resident Grant Headlee. We also get the critics' take from Ben Fritz, Los Angeles Times staff reporter.

Watch the G.I. Joe trailer to get a glimpse for yourself.

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The Takeaway

Smokey Bear Turns 65

Monday, August 10, 2009

Smokey Bear turned 65 on Sunday. He represents the longest running public service campaign in U.S. history, and it's still going strong. Joining The Takeaway is Helene Cleveland, fire prevention program manager for the U.S. Forest Service, to talk about Smokey's impact on preventing wildfires.

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The Takeaway

'True Blood' and the Spread of Viral Advertising

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Viral marketing campaigns have changed the way the entertainment industry lures audiences. For the TV show "True Blood," for instance, the ad campaign that generated buzz was an effort to mobilize support for a (fictitious) Vampire Rights Amendment. The Takeaway is joined by one of the people behind the "True Blood" campaign, Steve Wax, a managing partner at Campfire ad agency, and Brian Morrissey, Digital Editor for Ad Week magazine.

Watch a video featuring the Vampire Rights Amendment viral ad campaign:

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The Takeaway

The Future of Advertising

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

As much as the world of journalism is having to react and evolve quickly due to the proliferation of blogs and social networking sites like Twitter taking over much of the fast-paced reporting, so too does the world of advertising. In the face of technological advances like TiVo, which allow viewers to fast forward over their very bread-and-butter, ad agencies and the companies they represent are having to get very creative to capture consumers' attention. To discuss the brave new world of 30-second spot- free advertising, we turn to advertising consultant and former chairman of ad agency BBH, Cindy Gallop.

Click through for transcript

Here's how one company is handling the change in advertising:

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The Takeaway

Battle of the Brands: Do Attack Ads Work?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Consumers are spending less money, so companies are using increasingly aggressive advertising techniques to compete for dwindling dollars. Does bashing your competitors help or hurt? Advertising consultant Cindy Gallop joins The Takeaway to describe the fierce ad climate.

"It's the brands that project the most confidence in themselves that can sell themselves on their own merits, and not attack the competition, that will ultimately succeed."
— Advertising consultant Cindy Gallop on advertising in the recession

This Domino's commercial is an example of the battle of the brands. Take a look.

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The Takeaway

Pork: Now 100% flu free!

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

For high quality video, click the "HQ" button.

You can't get swine flu from eating pork. (And it’s not even called swine flu anymore—technically it’s H1N1 Influenza A.) Nonetheless, the pork industry can’t be happy about having its product associated with a frightening illness, even if that association is completely imaginary. Advertising consultant Cindy Gallop (who's never actually worked for the pork industry) joins The Takeaway with her creative suggestions for resuscitating a product that's been sullied by circumstances.

Curious about the pork industry's response to the flu? Check out our conversation with Mike Faga from Iowa Select Farms, the largest pig producer in Iowa, in Pork producers push back at H1N1 fears.

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The Takeaway

The Color of Money: Marketing financial services in communities of color

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Today is the Part Two of The Takeaway’s series “The Color of Money.” We’re exploring how the financial crisis is affecting people of color in the United States, perhaps differently than it affects their white peers. Today we are taking a close look at how financial services are marketed by black Americans to black Americans. For example, “rush cards" — no-credit-check, pre-paid credit cards with $200 credit limits and $50 a year in fees. We’re joined by Boyce Watkins, professor of finance at Syracuse University and founder of YourBlackWorld, to discuss access to credit, the failings of financial institutions, and the changing American Dream.

Listen to Part One of The Takeaway's Color of Money series, Debtors' Prison: It lives in the 21st Century.

Here is the ad for Russell Simmons' "Rush Card":



And here is a conversation about that Rush Card from the Young Guns Now (some harsh language):

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The Takeaway

Fifteen years after the genocide, Rwanda re-brands itself

Monday, April 06, 2009

This week marks the start of the 15th anniversary of the Rwandan genocide in which an estimated 800,000 ethnic Rwandan Tutsis were killed by ethnic Rwandan Hutus. The genocide destroyed Rwanda’s economy and infrastructure. Today, the Rwandan capital of Kigali is a place of cafes with wi-fi and gourmet coffee even a shopping mall. The Takeaway talks to Jeff Chu, Senior Editor at Fast Company magazine. His story Rwanda Rising, in this month’s issue explores Rwanda President Paul Kagame's aggressive attempts to bust traditional aid models, court western investors, and to turn Rwanda from an impoverished nation into a powerful, popular brand.

After you read his article, be sure to read Jeff Chu's interview with Rwanda's President in Fast Company.

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The Takeaway

Creative re-branding in dour times

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

In trying economic times, even the most popular brands fade away. In the UK the famous American brand Woolworth's has all but shuttered its windows, save for one store that's survived by re-inventing itself. Can American businesses take a lesson? The Takeaway talks with Woolworth's owner, that is, Wellworth's owner Claire Robertson of Dorchester, England and with branding expert Elizabeth Talerman about what it takes to make or break a brand in tough economic times.

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The Takeaway

Super Bowl ads: A post-game analysis

Monday, February 02, 2009



When it comes to Super Bowl Sunday, who turned out the best commercial is almost as newsworthy as who won the game. This year companies forked out a record $200 million for a slice of the Super Bowl advertising pie. With the economy in shambles, consumer confidence at a 30-year low and the GDP shrinking at an alarming rate, these ads need to get a serious bang for their buck. To assess if this year’s batch of commercials did what they needed to do to motivate reluctant consumers, we turn to Behavioral Economist Dan Ariely. He is the James B. Duke Professor of Behavioral Economics at Duke University and author of Predictably Irrational.

Missed the ads? Watch some highlights here:
Drink Sobe
Drink Bud Light
Buy an Audi
Go to Cars.com
Drink Pepsi
Drink Coke
Use H&R Block
Get a job on Careerbuilder.com
Freak yourself out with Etrade.com

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The Takeaway

Advertising firms face collapsing economy

Thursday, November 20, 2008

When an economic downturn hits, everyone starts pinching pennies. Advertisers are keenly aware of this fact and quickly start altering their ads to emphasize value, fuel efficiency and economy over taste or style. Cindy Gallop, former chairman of the ad agency BBH now consultant, explains how advertising changes during a recession.

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The Takeaway

Got GOP?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

President Bush's approval rating has dipped below 30 percent and the Republicans got pummeled during this election cycle. It's clear that enthusiasm in the GOP base has eroded. To help get the elephant back on its feet, The Takeaway turns to advertising guru Jeff Goodby. He's the advertising mastermind behind the popular (and long-running) 'Got milk?' campaign.

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The Takeaway

Bob Jump, the voice behind Republican ads

Friday, October 10, 2008

You may not know Bob Jump's face. But you probably know his voice. Jump is the man behind many of the Republican Party’s political ads, along with more conventional product advertising. He's voiced ads for John McCain, Ron Paul and dozens of Republican candidates from across the country.

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The Takeaway

Narrowly targeted ads in swing counties play on racial fears

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

As the campaign season progresses, a new type of attack is emerging. Ads targeting Barack Obama have been produced by political action committees that are not connected to John McCain. They're showing up in very specific areas in battleground states and playing on racial fears.

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The Takeaway

The end of air travel as we know it

Friday, August 22, 2008

Soaring oil prices, coupled with climate change, is making commercial aviation not only unpopular but maybe impossible. Is the mile-high club about to end for good?

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