Every once in a while some career marketing exec will have a blinding flash of conscience, and declare that they're quitting the rat race and taking their expertise to a nonprofit where it can do some good for the world. That's not usually what happens. Usually, a marketing exec surveying the fundamental emptiness of their career will have that same twinge of conscience, and decide that the way to solve it is to bring some real do-gooding purpose into the marketing industry. On that note, allow me to introduce you to "purpose-based marketing," just the latest futile quest by a prominent career adman! Jim Stengel is retiring as head of marketing at P&G—the world's biggest advertiser—and starting up his own marketing firm that he says is about "defining what a company does — beyond making money — and how it can make its customers' lives better." Though the WSJ describes this approach as "newfangled," it's been around for years. You know what the ceiling is on the market for this type of thing? The ceiling is how much extra leftover cash companies have to throw around after they do their real marketing, which has the goal of making money. Nothing "beyond making money" comes about until the "making money" part is accomplished. Corporate social responsibility is considered a luxury product. Which is why Jim Stengel's firm is doomed, according to his less conscience-plagued peers:
Many developers are giving up on Facebook's third-party applications platform, finding it too hard to follow the social network's strict rules for programs which piggyback on its lists of friends and news feeds to find new users. But one application has thrived: Joe Green's Causes has seen traffic triple in the past month, helped in part by interest in the election. But only in part.Causes, Inside Facebook notes, is part of Facebook's "Great Apps" program — handpicked applications which enjoy special treatment from Facebook, including more frequent appearances in users' news feeds. What makes Causes a Great App? One hopes it doesn't have anything to do with Green being Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's Harvard roommate. (Chart by Inside Facebook)
For nearly a month, we've needled gay Hollywood to contribute to the "No on Prop 8" cause that, for a while, seemed to be the exclusive domain of straight allies like Steven Spielberg and Brad Pitt. Most visibly MIA was Ellen DeGeneres, whose marriage this summer to actress Portia De Rossi should have given her even more reasons to fight Prop 8, which is designed to take away marriage rights awarded to same-sex couples in California. Now, finally, DeGeneres has stepped up to the plate, donating $100,000 so that the "No on Prop 8" campaign can air a new ad DeGeneres has recorded about how the proposition affects her personally. Props must be paid. The ad, after the jump:
ONE is the big, vague, utopian project to fight poverty with a nice website and Livestrong-type bracelet sales. They do other things too, I'm sure. It's comparable to Al Gore's effort to end global warming with star power and earnest ads. But ONE has better ads, because they're slightly less earnest. The latest, out today, reveals Matt Damon's true inner femininity:
Today at its F8 developers' conference, Facebook will announce a plan to give favored widgets more abilities to promote themselves on the site. The first two apps to get "preferred" status will be Causes and iLike. What does being a "preferred" widgetmaker mean? A source tells us that in the short term, Facebook will simply promote preferred apps in users' News Feeds more often, increasing their chances of spreading from friend to friend. "Basically, it is a subsidy program for their favorite darlings," says our source. Causes is an app backed by former Facebook president Sean Parker; iLike is a startup backed by Marc Bodnick of Elevation Partners, who is also a private Facebook investor and the brother-in-law of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg. Our source also tells us that after top tier preferred apps, there will be a middle tier of "certified/approved/vetted" applications as well.
Not that we have to remind you, but you should be making your preparations now to attend the August 30 "Million DJ March" in Washington, DC. One million DJs—a number equal to almost all of the DJs in Williamsburg—will "descend on Washington to celebrate decades of service to the entertainment industry." And what worthier cause could there be?
A former Starbucks employee named Mary-Elise Smilek says she was fired after four years with the company, just because she couldn't attend last month's mandatory 3-hour retraining session/ PR stunt. She had a midterm to study for. Harsh! Now she's the subject of much debate among the bored employees and company drones at the Starbucks Gossip blog. Some say she's a hoax; some say she's a victim; and the most hardcore corporate robots say: she got what she deserved for not completely dedicating her life to the Starbucks cause!
British dandy and self-taught expert in criminality Sebastian Horsley was stopped at JFK on his way into our country for his book party yesterday, and sent right back home to London, as we learned last night. But! The party must go on. A Harper-Collins rep informed us the party for Horsley's Dandy in the Underworld is still on for tonight, at Housing Works. Only now, as the attached invite shows, it's a "LET SEBASTIAN IN RALLY." We think we've got just about enough book-releasing dandies, thank you very much, but hell, what's one more.