Tag Archives: Marketing

New Scientist peeks into people’s buying brains with ‘neuromarketing’

Certainly among the more forward thinking magazines in terms of content, New Scientist has this week boldly gone where no magazine (they “suspect”) has gone before: neuromarketing.

Neuromarketing is a from of marketing that uses brain-imaging technology to “peek into people’s heads and discover what they really want”.

You may find that sinister. What right does anyone have to try to read your mind? Or perhaps you are sceptical and consider the idea laughable. But neuromarketing, once dismissed as a fad, is becoming part and parcel of modern consumer society. So we decided to take a good look at it – and try it out ourselves.

A group of New Scientist readers – 19 men, to be precise – were connected to an electroencephalograph (EEG) machine shown various cover designs for the latest edition, after which NeuroFocus Europe, the company undertaking the tests, looked for “specific EEG patterns which the company believes betray whether or not a person will buy a product”.

The winning design is now on the newsstands. As for how it will sell, that is another test entirely.

See the full post at this link…

You can also take part in the magazine’s “Rate the Cover” survey at this link.

Media Release: Social networks to fall under Advertising Standards Authority’s remit

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) could see its remit extended to cover marketing activity on companies’ websites and social networks, it was announced yesterday.

Says the Advertising Association’s (AA) release, which can be downloaded at this link:

The Advertising Association (AA) has submitted the industry’s recommendations to the Committee of Advertising Practice (CAP), for the extension of the non-broadcast Advertising Code in digital media, which will be administered by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). This landmark move for advertising self-regulation seeks to address societal concerns and will increase protection for consumers and children.

Marketing communications activity in paid-for space online is already covered by ASA. But the extended remit could come into force by Q3 2010.

A release from the ASA states:

Currently, the ASA’s online remit covers paid-for marketing communications such as pop-up and banner ads, paid-search and viral ads. However, nearly two thirds of the complaints that we receive about online marketing activity are not presently covered by the code. The proposed extension of our remit will plug this regulatory gap, ensuring that consumers enjoy the same level of protection on websites as they do in paid-for space.

BBC executives’ expenses: the links. Now play!

You’ll find the information tucked away on the BBC Freedom of Information site at this link.

Update: Journalism.co.uk wasted a little bit of its time getting the annoyingly inaccessible BBC PDFs into spreadsheet format, but knew that the Guardian’s data people would be doing that too. So we’ll get back to other duties while you have fun with this from the Guardian’s DataBlogDATA: download the full spreadsheet of BBC executive expenses.

More to follow from Journalism.co.uk, but in the meantime the links you’ll need if you want to play yourself. Some files are missing – BBC Information informs us that there are more to come.

And the individuals:

Mark Thompson’s expenses 2008/09 PDF (63KB)
Mark Thompson’s expenses 2007/08 PDF (47KB)
Mark Thompson’s expenses 2006/07 PDF (48KB)
Mark Thompson’s expenses 2005/06 PDF (44KB)
Mark Thompson’s expenses 2004/05 PDF (42KB)

Mark Byford’s expenses 2008/09 PDF (41KB)
Mark Byford’s expenses 2007/08 PDF (41KB)
Mark Byford’s expenses 2006/07 PDF (42KB)
Mark Byford’s expenses 2005/06 PDF (41KB)
Mark Byford’s expenses 2004/05 PDF (40KB)

Jana Bennett’s expenses 2008/09 PDF (47KB)
Jana Bennett’s expenses 2007/08 PDF (48KB)
Jana Bennett’s expenses 2006/07 PDF (48KB)
Jana Bennett’s expenses 2005/06 PDF (48KB)
Jana Bennett’s expenses 2004/05 PDF (51KB)

Tim Davie’s expenses 2008/09 PDF (47KB)
Tim Davie’s expenses 2007/08 PDF (42KB)
Tim Davie’s expenses 2006/07 PDF (47KB)
Tim Davie’s expenses 2005/06 PDF (41KB)

Erik Huggers’ expenses 2008/09 PDF (39KB)

  • Lucy Adams, Director, BBC People – biography to be published shortly

Zarin Patel’s expenses 2008/09 PDF (42KB)
Zarin Patel’s expenses 2007/08 PDF (42KB)
Zarin Patel’s expenses 2006/07 PDF (45KB)
Zarin Patel’s expenses 2005/06 PDF (40KB)
Zarin Patel’s expenses 2004/05 PDF (37KB)

John Smith’s expenses 2008/09 PDF (44KB)
John Smith’s expenses 2007/08 PDF (44KB)
John Smith’s expenses 2006/07 PDF (44KB)
John Smith’s expenses 2005/06 PDF (46KB)
John Smith’s expenses 2004/05 PDF (46KB)

Caroline Thomson’s expenses 2008/09 PDF (50KB)
Caroline Thomson’s expenses 2007/08 PDF (51KB)
Caroline Thomson’s expenses 2006/07 PDF (51KB)
Caroline Thomson’s expenses 2005/06 PDF (45KB)
Caroline Thomson’s expenses 2004/05 PDF (50KB)

And while we’re about it – here’s the link to the Audit Committee standing orders:

And the Register of interests:




Travel and transport:

Guardian was wrong to buy Madeleine McCann keywords on Google

The Guardian has admitted it mistakenly bought the keywords Madeleine McCann from Google.

By wrongly purchasing the keywords a link to the paper’s coverage of Madeleine’s disappearance appeared in a column of sponsored results when a search for her name was made on Google.

The newspaper has now taken down the link and has reviewed the list of keywords it owns, Marc Sands, marketing director for the Guardian, told Journalism.co.uk.

The paper’s purchase of the words Madeleine McCann was criticised by Justin Williams, assistant editor at Telegraph Media Group, on his personal blog, who said the practice showed the paper was ‘desperate’ to hold onto its position as the UK’s most popular newspaper website according to the most recent Audit Bureau of Circulations Electronic (ABCe) traffic figures.

“The purchase of terms is a way of getting your stories, at a cost, in front of people. It’s absolutely what everyone does all the time,” said Sands.

[advert]A search for the terms shows the Mirror currently owns the keywords McCanns cleared, while a Google search for other keywords, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, show the the Sun and Times have also purchased phrases from Google.

“It is a way of getting it [news] distributed to people who have expressed an interest in that subject,” he added.

“The issue with the Madeleine McCann keywords is an interesting one. It’s like advertising, but not really: the only reason you and I search for a term is because we are interested in that term.”

The practice had been criticised in the blog post, he said, because of the Guardian’s previous stance on the coverage of the McCann story.

“The Guardian in the past has been very critical of the coverage of Madeleine McCann, saying it has been salacious and misleading. What the person in the blog post is saying is that Madeleine McCann is not to be treated in this way, so what on earth are they doing buying keywords?”

The issue led the paper to review its list of current keywords to assess ‘what news is okay to do it with and what isn’t’, he said.

The Guardian buys thousands of Google keywords relating to current news stories every week, he added. It currently owns the keywords ‘stamp duty’, ‘university league tables’ and ‘post office closures’.

“Madeleine McCann slipped through the net. You don’t approve all these [keyword purchases] every day. We would have had to say to the company that buys the keywords for us: never buy the keywords for Madeleine McCann,” he said.

Search engine marketing and search engine optimisation of newspaper websites is a ‘new area’ for publishers, added Sands.

“Everyone is working their way through and trying to remain true exactly to the principles of what they’re doing, but also to ensure that they’re getting read.”