PR Blotter

January 3, 2014

When soccer teams compete for the FIFA World Cup this summer in Brazil, another fight will also be taking place between Nike and Adidas, regarding which company will reign as the planet’s biggest sports apparel brand.

As Reuters reported on Dec. 10, Nike currently owns 14.6 percent of the global sporting goods market — compared to 11.4 percent for Adidas — and is whittling away at the German brand’s No. 1 position in Europe.

For more than 40 years, Adidas has decorated soccer kits and shoes with its distinctive parallel-lines logo. The brand has strong partnerships with the German soccer club Bayern Munich and with FIFA, the international governing body for soccer.

In its contest with Nike, Adidas will be using so-called “ambush marketing” by launching a new soccer jersey for Sao Paulo’s Palmeiras club in the yellow, green and blue worn by the Brazil national team.

But Nike’s well-designed, comfortable products and big-name endorsements, along with early adoption of new technologies and a big social-media presence, have fueled its success.

With headlines like “5 Ways to Deal with Stress” and “6 Foods You Should Never Eat,” numbered lists — aka, the listicle — have become one of the most common ways to package editorial content on the Web.

As a recent article in The New Yorker suggests, such headlines catch our eye by standing out in a stream of content, spatially organizing the information and promising a finite story and easy reading experience.

People can process information presented in list form more efficiently than when it is “clustered and undifferentiated, like in standard paragraphs.” By putting articles into short, distinct components, lists appeal to a tendency to categorize things.

The “mental heavy lifting of conceptualization, categorization, and analysis is completed well in advance of actual consumption,” according to the post. Maybe so, but readers should remember that bite-size pieces of reporting are “limited in content and nuance, and thus unlikely to contain the nutritional value of the more in-depth analysis of traditional articles that rely on paragraphs, not bullet points.”

According to the AOL study “Mobile Moms, Mobile First,” mothers with children ages 5 and under are the most active smartphone users and devote almost 37 hours a week to apps and Web browsing. This number of hours is more than mothers of older children as well as males and females in general and Millennials.

LinkedIn revealed the 10 most overused buzzwords of 2013 by its 259 million members. If you’re trying to stand out on the website, or on a résumé, then these are the words to avoid:

  1. Responsible
  2. Strategic
  3. Creative
  4. Effective
  5. Patient
  6. Expert
  7. Organizational
  8. Driven
  9. Innovative
  10. Analytical

The Federal Trade Commission is warning advertisers that it intends to vigorously enforce its rules against misleading advertising.

As The New York Times reported on Dec. 6, so-called native advertising or sponsored content has become more aggressive on the Internet as technology has given companies the ability to target specific audiences and individuals and to receive instant feedback when they react to what they see.

Recent surveys revealed that 73 percent of online publishers offered these kinds of advertising opportunities, FTC officials said. The New York Times will begin the practice in 2014.

During a test that the commission conducted with advertising and publishing experts, advertisers and marketers reportedly were loath to label such ads as advertisements. “The whole point of the word ‘sponsored’ is to avoid calling it what it is,” according to Robert Weissman, president of the consumer-advocacy group Public Citizen.

Most Americans say it doesn’t matter if their co-workers are men or women. But for those with a preference, men say they would rather work with men — and so do women, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

About three-quarters of adults, including 78 percent of men and 76 percent of women, say it doesn’t matter to them if their co-workers are women or men. However, to the remaining 22 percent, gender matters — and it’s men who get the nod from both sexes by about a 2-1 margin.

Retweets are most likely to happen after hours, according to a story that TrackMaven released on Dec. 10 highlighting research that shows when people are tweeting.Based on nearly 1,500 Twitter accounts with more than 1,000 followers, the study looked at things like timing and structure.

Beginning with the timing component, research found that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday showed the most activity. The most active times of the day for tweets, were noon to 1 p.m. ET, likely during lunch breaks.

However, when it came to retweets, users were most active when they weren’t at work, and the day that showed the highest average retweets was Sunday. Between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. are when people retweet the most, according to the research. Other findings show that Twitter users will have more success if they spell out retweet and use more upper case letters and exclamation points as well as photos.

Gallup’s annual survey on honesty and ethical standards found that Americans consider nurses, pharmacists and grade school teachers as having the highest ethical standards, while they consider lobbyists, congressional members and car salespeople to have the lowest ethical standards. Newspaper and TV reporters and advertising practitioners also ranked low on the list again this year.



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