“The Man” Online: China Shuts down Foursquare, BP’s SEM

The U.K.’s Telegraph paper is reporting that “according to some sources” access to Foursquare has been shut down in mainland China. The reasons behind the censorship haven’t been explained, but it’s pretty typical behavior from a government that has regularly closed access to online services when they permit users to behave in unapproved manners–Twitter and Facebook have been targets, and the recent spat over Google‘s censorship is now the stuff of media legend.


BP buying “oil spill” and other terms on Google
As consumers turn online for information regarding the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP is looking to do some damage control by buying search ads on relevant keywords, and by broadcasting its cleanup initiatives on a dedicated YouTube channel. BP is said to be putting between $600,000 and $1 million into its paid search ad effort and $50 million more on TV ads.

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Too Effing Modern: Location Based, Crowdsourcing

Location based social networks are the current darling of social media. Foursquare is leading the way with what seems like a new Fourtune 500 endorsement each week. It is unclear where all these tools will lead us. Foursquare, Gowalla, Whrrl, and even MyTown are getting a lot of attention and a lot of businesses, big and small, are experimenting.So let’s take a moment and capture what all has been done with these tools to date. How are big brands testing the space? What are brick and mortars playing with? Nothing earth shattering here, but the more businesses experiment in the space, the more we all learn.
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Partnerships: Foursquare v Starbucks, Courvoisier v Daily Show

Foursquare Lands New Partnership With Starbucks
Starbucks is partnering with location-based social network Foursquare to offer discounts to its most loyal customers, Mashable reports. The “mayor” of each Starbucks location — the person who has checked-in there on Foursquare the most — is entitled to $1 off of any Frappuccino. It’s a one-time offer, lasting only for the next month, but Foursquare says it is confident that it will continue working with Starbucks on more offers in the future.

Courvoisier, the UK’s number one selling cognac, is to become the first sponsor of More4’s The Daily Show. The deal, brokered by ZenithOptimedia, forms part of a £15m investment in Courvoisier in the UK this year by its owner Maxxium. It will comprise a series of idents screened from 2 June for a whole year, aimed at promoting Courvoisier as a mixable and versatile drink for cocktails and punch. The move follows its 3D advertising campaign on Channel 4 in November.
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POS: Mobile, Cameras

The new POS: Mobile
It’s the ad served while you are reading the news in the morning on an e-reader that knows you’re at home and three blocks from a Starbucks. It’s a loyalty program on your phone that, through a hotel-room sensor, sets the lights and thermostat and turns the TV to CNN when you walk in the door. It’s finding a restaurant in a strange city on a Tuesday night, discovering that a store nearby stocks the TV you’re looking for, or that a certain grocery on the way home has the cut of meat you need.  Forget Foursquare or Gowalla: Soon every website and service will be able to tell where you are, opening up the floodgates for location-based marketing and blurring the budget lines for advertisers. “What used to be called point-of-purchase is now called mobile advertising,” said Kip Cassino, VP-research at Borrell Associates. “Mobile can be an extension of a retailer’s storefront.”
There is a growing number stores deploying video cameras, motion detectors and other sensors – some hidden, some overt – but all doing more than merely monitoring aisles for shoppers. Increasingly, whether customers realize it or not, and often they don’t, this technology is being used to study consumers for behavior, shopping and product preferences and other insights that will lead to more marketing opportunities and increase sales, according to the New York Times.
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