Pro-Adultery Website Ashley Madison Endorses Newt Gingrich

Of course, you've heard of (but certainly never used!) the website Ashley Madison, tagline "Life is short. Have an affair." After all, it's "the world's leading married dating service for discreet encounters." And of course you've heard of Newt Gingrich, Republican presidential contender, man about town, notable extramarital-affair admitter. Some might call this a match made in, if not heaven, somewhere marketers go to die. Because now there's a giant billboard on Route 1 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, that says, along with a big ole picture of Gingrich making a "shush" sign: "Faithful Republican, Unfaithful Husband. Welcome to the Era."

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Is It Battlefield 3 or Occupy Oakland?

We were somewhat confused tonight when we clicked on the livestream of Occupy Oakland and saw the above video. As of right now, when you click on the link, you see a flash of live footage from the rowdy streets of Oakland, then the above ad for the PlayStation game Battlefield 3.

The intercut juxtaposition of soldiers, protestors and cops in riot gear is unsettling, and apparently, we weren't the only ones who thought so. Occupy Wall Street's official twitter immediately retweeted our sentiment.

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Barack Obama Advertising in the...New York Post?

We knew that Barack Obama believes in hope and considers himself an endless optimist.

We have watched him try again and again (and again and again) to reach across the aisle in an effort to win over Republican support. Even when he gets nothing in return, he keeps on trying.

But is he so over the top optimistic that he's actually advertising in the New York Post?


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Smurfs Week Declared in New York City. Really.

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Monday marks a long-awaited moment in New York City history: The start of Smurfs Week. Yes. City officials announced it yesterday, and it is so. The Smurfs are taking on the "ambassadorial role" once held by Sesame Street characters and Dora the Explorer! The ostensible purpose of this marketing effort, or whatever you want to call it, which involves a Smurfs village near Columbus Circle, as well as Smurfs Week events in the Bronx and Brooklyn (but sadly lacking in Queens and Staten Island), is to entice more families to experience New York City. New York City is apparently using money to do all of these Smurfy things from Sony, whose The Smurfs premieres on Sunday. How fortuitious! Unfortunately, none of the actual Smurfs will actually be visiting, and already busy New Yorkers are now plagued with the challenge of having to explain to people why our city needs the addition of small blue creatures to make it compelling. On the up side, getting to punch anyone who says "Smurfy." [NYT]

Brooklyn Supermarket Resorting to Olfactory Mind Control

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A chain of supermarkets in Brooklyn and Staten Island has started piping in food scents to their stores in an effort to subliminally encourage customers to buy stuff. Scents you might smell in NetCost Market include "Lindt Chocolate," "Smoky Bacon," and "Rosemary Focaccia." A shopper in Sheepshead Bay told the Post, "It made me really hungry all of a sudden!" Well, yes, that's the idea. More »

Rick Jacobs, Founder of the Courage Campaign, On Pepsi and Corporate Giving

Steven Thrasher
Jacobs at the Don't Ask, Don't Tell repeal signing ceremony
Last week, we wrote about how the Courage Campaign won $50,000 from the Pepsi Challenge, and our concern about the ways in which Pepsi was able to use an LGBT advocacy group to market its product in the non-profit arena. It seemed especially alarming given how the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation had imploded just a few weeks before, after its $50,000 donation from AT&T tainted its actions. (UPDATE: GLAAD has formally withdrawn its endorsement of the AT&T deal.)

Rick Jacobs, the founder and chair of the Courage Campaign, reached out to us shortly after the story was posted. Surprisingly, he thought there was a "zero percent chance that you're not absolutely right that this is a way for Pepsi to advertise." But he also maintained that it was a very different situation at the Courage Campaign than at GLAAD.

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One Metro-North Train Car Has Secret Wi-Fi

There is, apparently, one train car on the New Haven line of Metro-North that has a secret. A secret called "Wi-Fi." Via Second Avenue Sagas, the MTA is keeping mum about which car it is because service is "not ready for prime time." Of course, it would be easy enough for a person to identify the Wi-Fi car simply by checking for Wi-Fi in each car while on his or her regular commute...meaning, it won't be a secret too much longer, will it? Hint: Look for the crowded car where everyone's using their laptops and looking like they just won the lottery.

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Teacher Faces Lawsuit After Friends Mock Student's 'Jolly Rancher Hairdo' on Facebook

Have you heard of the Jolly Rancher Hairdo? This is a hairdo in which Jolly Ranchers are tied to the ends of the hair. How could any kid, or candy fanatic, not love this hairstyle? When a seven-year-old student at a Chicago school excitedly sported it for picture day after seeing the style in a magazine, her computer teacher could not believe it, or, actually, claimed that her (likely candy-restricted) boyfriend would not believe it. So she took a photo. Inevitably, it ended up on Facebook.

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Marketers Are Totally Judging You Based on the TV Shows You Watch

AdAge has a fascinating little piece on what TV shows you watch and how that relates to the brands you like, based on information from "psychographic" (eek) "ad targeter" Mindset Media. The data was self-reported by about 25,000 TV viewers across 70-plus shows, most of which ended up attracting their own personality "type." Some of the findings reinforce what we already knew -- if you watch Mad Men, you're a creative, intelligent delight to society -- while others were downright disturbing (altruists like The Bachelor?).

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84th Thanksgiving Day Parade Will Be As Cheesy As Usual

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Charlie Brown will have a few new friends to hang out with as he floats down Sixth Avenue this Thanksgiving. Macy's has announced the lineup for this year's parade, which will include performances by Kanye West, Jessica Simpson, and Gladys Knight, helium-filled versions of Po from Kung-Fu Panda and the Kool-Aid Man (huh?), and a new Dora the Explorer float.

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