Our Blog ~ Pros and Cons

Pros and cons will discuss the good and bad in marketing, media and politics. It will also feature marketing tips and whatever else we’re in the mood for posting.

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December 6, 2013

What do you get when you combine an advertisement with a news story? Those in the industry would say, “An advertorial.” Those who have spent money on advertorials, though, would say, “Not much.”

The advertorial is the illegitimate child of advertising and journalism. It represents the worst of both worlds, as it lacks the credibility of journalism and the effectiveness of advertising. It’s as tacky as an infomercial and generally as worthy of attention as yesterday’s weather forecast.

October 20, 2013

Ironically, by focusing on defunding Obamacare, conservative Republicans helped the new entitlement by deflecting attention from the failed launch of the federal healthcare exchange that is Obamacare’s core program.

“Failed” is an understatement.  It was like a Fourth of July fireworks display on the Esplanade consisting of a single sparkler.  It was like fighting World War II with a slingshot.  It was like trying to end world hunger with a Happy Meal.  The Obama legacy is now, “Backward,” not “Forward.”  It’s “No, We Can’t,” not “Yes, We Can.”

October 11, 2013

“America cannot be great if we go broke.”

National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform

Imagine a CEO who has been spending more money than his company takes in.  He has been operating without a budget for more than four years, because his budget proposals are so out of line, no one will support them.  His company will stop running if he fails to negotiate an agreement with his board of directors.  The CEO announces publicly that he will not negotiate.  He leaves the country and puts his CFO in charge of reaching a deal.  Except his CFO says he will not negotiate, either.  As a result, the company shuts down.

Whose fault is it?

In Obamaland, the fault never lies with the Commander in Chief, who seems to think his most important job is to blame others.  It’s a job he’s very good at.  While President Truman was famous for saying, “The buck stops here,” for President Obama, anything that happens is always someone else’s fault.

On the rare occasion that something good happens during his administration, though, he’s quick to take credit.  You may recall, for example, that he personally captured Osama Bin Laden.

How would you like to have a boss like that?

September 25, 2013

The earth isn’t cubed yet, like Bizarro World, but it increasingly seems to be upside down, inside out and moving backward instead of forward.

The fictional planet Htrae, aka Bizarro World, was invented by D.C. Comics as a comic spinoff from the typically stiff and serious world of Superman.  On Bizarro World, people would buy bonds to lose money and politicians would be put in charge because of their stupidity.  On Htrae, black is white and wrong is right.

Is Earth any different?  In today’s world, we have a President who “leads from behind.”  He snubs allies, but meets and negotiates with dictators, such as the president of Iran, who refuses to even shake his hand.

We have a United Nations that’s run by the thugs of the world.  The United Nations seems to exist to criticize the United States and Israel, even though America is its main source of funding and Israel is America’s ally.

September 18, 2013

Leaders lead.  And then there’s President Obama.

In his reaction to Syria’s use of chemical weapons, President Obama has demonstrated what the oxymoron “leading from behind” truly means.  It means not leading at all.

When France shows greater resolve and a tougher response than the United States in standing up to the world’s bullies, you know we’re in trouble.

President Obama is not a leader.  He is a politician.  There’s a big difference between the two …

August 12, 2013

“We got all the friends that money can buy
So we never have to be alone
And we keep gettin' richer but we can't get our picture
On the cover of the Rollin' Stone.”

                                 Shel Silverstein

It was never about taste.

To survive, Rolling Stone needs to sell magazines.  And by featuring pretty boy terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover, Rolling Stone sold magazines.  In fact, news stand sales were double what they usually are.

Trying to boost sales seems like such a capitalist thing – counter-countercultural – but Rolling Stone lost its countercultural cred many years ago.

True, running a flattering photo of a terrorist on the cover was in poor taste.  But this is a publication that has run Boy George on its cover.  It’s not about taste.

August 7, 2013

Use your three seconds wisely.

That’s about as much time as you have to capture a reader’s attention, so don’t waste it with meaningless fluff, clichés or meandering prose.  Make every word count.

The lead paragraph (or lede, as the old-school journalists would call it) of whatever you’re writing needs to convince readers immediately that it is worth their time to press on and continue reading.  A boring beginning will result in a quick end.

July 24, 2013

What’s wrong with major league baseball?  It seems that practically every day there’s a new PED scandal.  PEDs are “performance-enhancing drugs,” for those who haven’t been paying attention.

But what’s the big deal?  Baseball is the most boring professional sport in existence (unless you consider golf a professional sport).  With 162 games a year and each game lasting about nine hours or so, baseball could use some entertainment enhancing drugs (EEDs).

July 23, 2013

Imagine if President Obama announced when he first ran for President that he was white.  An absurd thought, right?  But is it any different for him to call himself black?

President Obama is not black, of course.  He is multiracial and was raised by his white mother.

You would think he would be as accepting of his white heritage as he is of his black heritage.  Touting his multiracial background, he could have been a racial uniter, for the good of his country.  Instead, he is a racial divider who uses race for his own good.

July 10, 2013

Digital cameras are giving people a false sense of security.

They create the illusion that all you have to do to produce photos for your Web site, your newsletter and other communications is to point and click.

Point and click and you’ll produce a photo, but it’s unlikely to be very good.  Fortunately, there’s plenty you can do to improve the quality of your photos.