I have always admired the UK's Newspaper Licensing Agency for its self-assured composure in freshly applying last century's rules to this one.

That's a repeat of the opening sentence to a blog post of mine from 2007. And in the last couple of weeks the NLA appears to just get sillier and sillier and less and less in tune with how the world works today. They have announced their imminent intention to begin charging agencies and clients for sending URLs to each other.

Yes, you did read that right. I can assure you, that is the case, and no laughing please from those of you outside of the UK!

Now I get copyright. As I had the opportunity to discuss with Lord Carter in relation to the Digital Britain report recently, the availability of too little copyright protection hinders innovation and competitiveness, as does too much. But whilst I appreciate that the newspaper available from my local shop is subject to copyright, I really don't expect to be charged for directing a house guest to the shop.

Stephen Waddington picks up the cause in a post this week, and PRCA Director General Francis Ingham is not mincing his words either.

I'm taking a break from the Friday Roundup for the next couple of months, but I leave in you good hands.

Best regards, Philip and the MarCom Professional team.

IBM serves up an ace @Wimbledon

by Andrew Grill of Gigafone

On Saturday 4th July, I visited the Wimbledon Championships as a guest of IBM, in relation to a book I am writing on the business use of twitter (more on this in an upcoming post). IBM, in conjunction with their advertising Agency Ogilvy has served up three brilliant applications for the 2009 Wimbledon Championships.  You can read more about the “Say Hello to a smarter Wimbledon” campaign, and my summary of each of them is below.

iPhone Wimbledon application

This is a must have application (just search for Wimbledon in the app store) for anyone following Wimbledon this year.  More...

Imperial Sugar Company Newsroom: Brand journalism creates an authoritative voice

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

When an explosion at the Imperial Sugar Company (ISC) sugar refinery at Port Wentworth, near Savannah, GA, occurred in February 2008, fires burned for nearly two weeks. It was mainstream media's dream story: Death and fire affecting a big corporation. Unfortunately for ISC, when journalists turned to the search engines for information about the company as they were writing their stories, many outdated reports and information appeared on the first pages of Google and the other search engines.

When the crisis subsided, executives at ISC hired David E. More...

Why do we search for “marketing” 135,000 times per day in the UK? And where have all the click throughs gone?

by Andrew Smith of escherman

Marketing: searched for 135,000 times per day in the UK

According to Google, we Brits enter the term marketing into our favourite search engine 134,466 times every day.  That translates to around 4.1 million times per month (curiously, by contrast, the term selling is searched for only 32,877 times per day – or just over 1 million times per month).

The accepted wisdom is that the number one organically ranked page on Google can expect to gain – on average – a potential 42pc of the total number of searches performed for a term. More...

Use a blog to keep your customers happy

by Graham Jones of Internet Psychology

A happy customer is usually a loyal customer and is also someone who ends up referring business to you as well. In other words, look after your customers and they will look after you. That, of course, is a rather well-known business adage, which is why it is so suprising that so few companies use blogging tools as part of their customer service.

Do you want to be rated excellent for your customer service?  Many companies merely use blogs to provide news or opinions relating to their products and services. More...

NLA goes on the defensive over eClips charges as PRCA leads industry fight back

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

PR Bristol reported today that the NLA is introducing a set of charges for the distribution of newspaper website content for business-to-business. PR Week carried the story at the end of last month. According to PR Bristol from January 2010 if you circulate a web page to a client both your agency and the client will need to pay the new NLA eClip charge. Clipping agencies will become liable for the cost from September 2009 and are likely to pass on the cost.

In the growing number of comments on the PR Bristol site an unnamed individual from the NLA defends its position.  More...

Facebook Advertising to Surpass MySpace by 2011

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

MySpace has been losing “face” over the course of the last year. With sliding traffic and attention as well as shifts in management and reductions in staff, MySpace is not only a place for friends, but also a place for skeptics.

According to a Compete.com, Facebook received 122,559,672 unique visits in June 2009 twice that of rival MySpace, which realized only 60,973,908 unique visitors.  In year-over-year comparisons, Facebook volume skyrocketed with 248.17% while Myspace slightly recoiled, down 5.65%. More...

Unhub helps your website visitors find you everywhere

by Graham Jones of Internet Psychology

Website owners often have a real problem thanks to the burgeoning impact of Web 2.0 technologies. The issues is this: most people active online these days have several places which they can call "home". They have a web site, a Facebook page, a Twitter page, not to mention Ecademy, Squidoo or dozens of other possible places.

The "Unhub" bar at the top of the screen means your web site visitors can easily find out more about you.  So, where, exactly, do you send people? Should you send them to your main website or to your Facebook page? Or what about starting them off at Ecademy or your Squidoo people page? It's all potentially confusing. More...

United Airlines Breaks Guitars

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

It's fascinating how a customer service mishap can turn into a world wide rave, particularly when smart people are determined to let the world know about their situation in a clever way. Companies are on notice!

In the spring of 2008, the band Sons of Maxwell were traveling to Nebraska for a one-week tour and Dave Carroll witnessed his Taylor guitar being thrown by United Airlines baggage handlers in Chicago.

He discovered later that the $3500 guitar was severely damaged. United Airlines didn't deny the incident occurred but for nine months the various people Dave communicated with were reluctant to take responsibility for dealing with the damage. More...

B2B DIY Media Buying, or Use A Pro?

by Jon Carlson of LSI

Media Buying: DIY (Or Not?) (Read time: 6-7 minutes) With budgets tight, companies are looking for every way possible to shave pennies. Is “Do-It-Yourself” a viable option? This isn’t actually a new conversation. Two plus decades ago when I was working in the automotive segment with an ingredient brand company, we discussed this multiple times. I’m Marcom in the high-tech sector now and my senior director just tossed the topic on the table this week. Media VP, David Rowe, and I sat down over a virtual cup o’ More...

The Decline of Traditional Advertising and the Rise of Social Media

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Forrester Research released its five year forecast that estimates interactive marketing spending from 2009 – 2014. Forrester predicts that interactive marketing in the US will near $55 billion and represent 21% of all marketing spend by 2014 and will include search marketing, display advertising, email marketing, social media, and mobile marketing.

More significantly however, overall advertising in traditional media will continue to decline in favor of less expensive, more effective interactive tools and services. More...

Is Crowdsourcing Content Just an Excuse for Laziness?

by David Knowles of

If you haven’t heard, the impact crowds can have on the news, and society in general, is a hot topic at the moment. Recent examples include the use of Twitter in the Iranian elections and the Guardian newspaper inviting its readers to audit MPs’ expenses.

But is all the hype around crowdsourcing just an excuse for laziness on the part of those who present that content as their own 'work'’? After all, the concept has been tarnished by being linked to cheap labour and ways for companies to cut costs by outsourcing to the lowest bidder. More...

Heartfelt Blog Posts Provide Counterpoint to Hartigan Rant

by Trevor Young PR Warrior of Parkyoung

I read half a dozen blog posts this week that kind of made a mockery of the broadside News Limited boss John Hartigan recently aimed at the blogging fraternity. For those unaware of the outburst in question, in a speech to Canberra's National Press Club Hartigan turned on the blogging fraternity, reportedly saying:"In return for their free content, we pretty much get what we paid for - something of such limited intellectual value as to be barely discernible from massive ignorance".Naturally, the blogging community bit back. More...

Facebook Helps Brands and Personalities Convert Visitors to Fans

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

Facebook Connect is connecting people across the social graph to fresh content and furthermore it’s channeling outside Web events into individual lifestreams. Essentially, Facebook is solidifying its position as not only your primary social network, it’s also a emerging as a central hub for your attention, updates, news, promotion, and enlightenment.

Now, Facebook is extending its network to the World Wide Web, allowing brands and personalities who have or will host Fan Pages to embed a widget version of the page directly into Web sites, other social networks, social networks, and blogs. More...

Japanese supermarket makes buying easy for your online shoppers

by Graham Jones of Internet Psychology

Japanese shoppers are finding it easier to buy from a new kind of online store that replicates what they see in their local supermarket. The Okuwa Company owns over 140 supermarkets in southern Japan but has recently seen a boost to its online sales thanks to supplying its customers with a new computer program.

Buying goods online could be just like being in a real supermarket for Japanese shoppers The program allows shoppers to enter a replica store where they can virtually wander around their local supermarket on their PC, picking items from the shelves as though they were in the real shop. More...

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