Disturbing billboard bleeds when it rains. The local government in Papakura, New Zealand isn’t screwing around when it comes to road safety. Their new bleeding billboard campaign takes a Red Asphalt approach that they hope will creep out reckless drivers.
Let me be the first to say “mission accomplished.” Kids are creepy anyway, but throw in a system that leeches blood when it rains and you just might scare people into giving up their cars entirely. Not surprisingly, the billboards have been effective. Since they were put in place, there hasn’t been a single fatal accident in the area. — Gizmodo
Silvio Berlusconi hits back at criticism over G8 summit. Silvio Berlusconi has attempted to fend off allegations that preparations for the G8 summit have been so chaotic that Italy’s membership of the group was being called into question. The Italian prime minister said a report in the Guardian, citing senior western officials as saying the US had taken the lead in managing the agenda for the summit, was “a colossal blunder by a small newspaper”. Guardian today issued a statement saying it wholeheartedly rejected any suggestion that the news story was unfounded. — Guardian
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VB gets an extreme makeover. Hot on the tail of last week’s announcement that they will be lowering the alcohol content of Victoria Bitter, Fosters have taken another step to drastically alter the marketing of their iconic beer, launching a new campaign that abandons the 40-year-old slogan “hard earned thirst” and throws up a new one, ” the drinking beer“. ‘Cause, you know, you don’t normally drink beer. But some things remain the same. The first advertisement with the slogan will debut during the first break of the Ashes, featuring a cast of famous Aussie blokes and a thousand Ballarat locals. For something totally new and different — men, and lots of them, to sell beer. — Eleri Harris
Irish newspaper requires new sub-editor. For the headline hall of fame, last week Irish newspaper the Mayo Advertiser, printed this front page story about telecommunications company ICT Eurotel:
Earth Hour’s (somewhat empty) new campaign for Copenhagen. The team behind the Sydney-spawned and now-global Earth Hour movement, for which The Age was called out for shamelessly spruiking in 2008, is expanding their reaches beyond convincing people just to turn off lights for an hour a year. Now they’re looking at Copenhagen, asking people to vote, rather obliquely, for either the planet or global warming. Urging fans to show their support through social networking, the Earth Hour team Monday provided a five minute lights off video montage set to the sound track of Mary and Max with some uplifting “we can do it” subtitles.
Earth Hour, organised by the WWF, has been pretty successful at self promotion thus far and it’s clear they will receive the token support they seek online — but how does this translate into real terms at the December United Nations climate change meeting in Copenhagen? What exactly, other than unspecified “action” to prevent climate change, is Earth Hour hoping to achieve? — Eleri Harris
Boston Globe bidding deadline delayed. The deadline for potential buyers of The Boston Globe to submit their bids for the paper, which had been set for Wednesday, has been postponed, the Globe reported Tuesday. The New York Times Co., which owns the Globe , has delayed the deadline to an unspecified future date. The delay comes as the Boston Newspaper Guild prepares to vote July 20 on a new contract that includes wage and benefit cuts of $10 million. — Editor and Publisher
On the perils of travel writing. Travel writers are, by definition, a lonely, nomadic bunch. We hop off the plane or train and get to work: which, to the envy of a large sector of the general public, entails eating, drinking, taking notes, snapping pictures, chatting up chefs, city officials, park rangers, hotel managers, drunkards and taking more notes. Then we get back on the plane, go home, write up the story and (eventually) do it all over again in another locale, the palimpsest of historic buildings, empty wine bottles, ancient temples, plane delays, and countless interviews with interesting people helping to quickly erase previous places from our memory. It’s not that we forget about those places. We just rarely look back. But what happens when your subject is where you actually live? — World Hum
Sarah Palin and CNN? Far-fetched maybe, but betcha someone’s thought about it . Sarah Palin, soon to be the ex-governor of Alaska, says on her official website that she’ll be “advancing in another direction” after again shocking many a Republican. Some assume that could be a run for the presidency. But first things first — a TV talk show. What better way to keep your name in play while also getting a crash course in how to be more “media savvy?” NFL coaches do it all the time between jobs. Former Arkansas governor and 2008 presidential candidate Mike Huckabee is doing it right now with his weekend show on Fox News Channel. But wouldn’t Palin be better on CNN? — National TV Reviews & News