Virtue v Vice

It seems my old mate Spencer Baim is kickin’ ass down at Virtue (the company he founded with Vice Magazine). The idea was to create a company that would add credible Vice-like mojo to brands and activate through Vice’s various media and experience channels. I just came across this article about “How Vice, and Virtue, Are Helping to Sell Brands” – seems they have picked up an AoR assignment …!
“Starting in January 2010, Virtue will serve as the agency of record for Palladium’s global creative and media accounts as the boot expands its relaunch campaign into countries like the U.K., Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, Japan, the Phillippines and Taiwan in the coming months, all markets where Vice has a presence.”

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Airlines: Hello Kitty, Goodbye Mr X

Taiwan’s EVA Airways has gone the extra mile by designing two Hello Kitty brand Airbus A330-200 air crafts for domestic flights. Some of the goodies passengers can be treated to include Sanrio sponsored Hello Kitty themed food, bath products, and even a Hello Kitty boarding pass (which will certainly raise some eyebrows at the boarding gate).
A blogger apparently trying to help American Airlines inadvertantly gets an AA UX employee fired.
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Recession Zeitgeist: Office Politics, Upcoming Talent Wars … Ad CEOs Think its over … the Economist Doesn’t

Recession Ups Backstabbing and Sucking Up
More than four in 10 US employees say they are encountering increased workplace backstabbing, “sucking up” and politicking as co-workers take desperate measures to stay employed amid widespread fears of layoffs during the recession, according to a study conducted by Professor Wayne Hochwarter out of Florida State University.

dilbert-pvc-set

many employers, you may soon be facing a “resume tsumani” when valued workers who have been with you through the recession start flooding the market with CVs as the economy improves. Planning for post-recession turnover may determine whether you’re among the talent winners or losers when the economy improves.
Global ad Omnicom Group Inc. and Publicis Groupe SA reported significant declines in revenue and profit but indicated a bottom may be at hand in the global advertising downturn. “We don’t see a recovery, but we feel we’ve hit the troughs,” said John Wren, chief executive of Omnicom. He added that it will take a couple of quarters to cycle through the current downturn, and a couple more before growth comes. “We believe the worst is behind us,” said Publicis Chief Executive Maurice Lévy. “All figures should be less in decline in the third quarter than in the second quarter.”
The global slump has reached its trough. Asia’s economies are looking rosier, buoyed by a spectacular rebound in China, where output grew at an annualised rate of some 16% between April and June. Even in America and the euro area, GDP is likely to stop shrinking during the summer. Trade, having fallen precipitately, is levelling off (see article). And, as firms rebuild their stocks, global growth over the next few months could be surprisingly robust. That is a welcome prospect. But it is not the all-clear. For this “recovery” has fragile foundations
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Inspiration: Cool Japanese Tin Toys

Cool tin cars from Japan. This selection from the Tanaka collection features 70 cars, airplanes, buses, spaceships, speedboats, and helicopters that provide a fascinating overview of the postwar Japanese tin-toy industry—a symbol of Japan’s startlingly rapid postwar rebirth—and of the Golden Age of automobile styling in the United States.
jap cars
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Best Cities For: Hair, Men, Startups

Santa Barbara, Calif. has been named the best US city for “good hair days,” while Corpus Christi, Tex. ranks as the place where people are most likely to experience a “bad hair day,” according to an analysis compiled by TotalBeauty.com, which listed the top cities in each category. The study examined average humidity levels, pollution, rainfall, wind speeds, water hardness, demographics, and took into account the number of beauty salons per capita to determine rankings for the cities have the best – and worst – conditions for healthy, stylish hair.
cities
Best Cities for Men: Chicago, Barcelona, San Francisco
Because it strikes the ideal balance between “cosmopolitan” and “comfortable,” Chicago has landed the #1 spot on the list of the world’s 29 best cities for men, according to website AskMen.com, which recently conducted the analysis. Barcelona and San Francisco came in at #2 and #3. Cities that round out the top 10 are London, Sydney, New York City, Berlin, Hong Kong, Copenhagen and Paris.
Small US cities that have a stable base of industry, a young and educated workforce, plentiful venture capital and a reasonable cost of living are the most conducive to startups, according to BusinessWeek and ZoomProspector, which recently collaborated to identify the best small city in each state in which to start a business. The research found that, among other things, proximity to a university was an important factor in city selection. As examples, the cities of Ann Arbor, Mich., Auburn, Ala., Cambridge, Mass., and Colombia, Mo., all were tops in their respective states
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