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Posted: February 2, 2009 | 15:24 ET
Mark Healy - Partner, Torque Customer Strategy

Mark Healy brings ten years of marketing and leadership experience to Torque Customer Strategy. Having worked with global companies and smaller privately held firms in verticals ranging from telecom to media and healthcare, Mark’s most recent experience lies in brand re-builds, international market assessments and strategic repositioning. He writes a ‘Strategy & Tactics’ column once a month for Report on Business on, and is part of the Globe’s online Business Incubator. Mark is an Ivey Scholar graduate of the Ivey MBA program and a graduate of the Chemical Engineering Program at Queen’s University. He has worked in all five regions in Canada, as well as in Germany.

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Posted: February 2, 2009 | 14:05 ET
Looking for a Place that Practices Corporate Citizenship?

Fed up with working for an employer whose values don’t mesh with yours? You could be in for a pleasant change. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is gaining credence in the workplace. Imagine choosing your next employer based on how well they contribute to society!

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Posted: February 2, 2009 | 8:28 ET
"Synergy." "Impactful." "Web 2.0." Plenty of buzzwords have worn out their welcome (and "impactful" isn't even a word). According to BusinessWeek's Bruce Nussbaum, "innovation" is also passe. The key concept for 2009, he says, is "transformation."

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Tags: Creative
Posted: February 2, 2009 | 8:20 ET
Not so long ago, trend forecasting was a lucrative business. Now, any Joe with an Internet connection can use Google to predict consumer preferences. Or can he?

In Googling the Future, Newsweek looks at how easily accessible online tools can help companies determine rising or falling interest in products or services.

Google offers two such tools: Google Trends and Google Insights for Search. (It also offers Google Hot Trends, which shows users the most recent top 100 phrases entered into the search engine from U.S. destinations.)

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Tags: Forecasting
Posted: January 30, 2009 | 16:15 ET
Jennifer Wells talks to DDB Canada chairman and CEO Frank Palmer about how his company is faring in these tough times, and what the current downturn means for Canadian agencies in general. In Created, she looks three new spots for Lay's potato chips. And in Created, Wells salutes Ogilvy & Mather, whose Diamond campaign for Shreddies won the Grand Prix at last night's Cassies.

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Posted: January 30, 2009 | 9:33 ET
AIRLINE HOSTAGES--ER, PASSENGERS--have watched ads pop up on boarding passes, seatbacks and cocktail napkins. But one airline wants to plaster them on its flight attendants, too.

The union representing attendants on low-cost carrier Spirit Airlines, based in Florida, has rejected new uniforms that included an apron adorned with the logos of Budweiser and other alcoholic beverages, according to The Detroit News.

The logos would send customers the wrong message and hamper an attendant's ability to be taken seriously in the event of an emergency, the union says.

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Posted: January 30, 2009 | 8:05 ET
Because it's Friday, something fun.

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Posted: January 27, 2009 | 11:49 ET
It isn't the first aspect of an online media campaign to draw attention, nor does it sell a concept to a client, but the landing page is critical to virtually every Internet ad campaign. Even the most strategic site placement and effective creative can't generate the results every advertiser seeks without an equally effective follow-through. Think of it in terms of a golf swing: perfect contact with the ball (or Internet user) doesn't mean squat if you can't complete the action.

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Posted: January 23, 2009 | 12:40 ET
Jennifer Wells chats with Noel O'Dea, president of Target Marketing and Communications, whose branding campaign for Newfoundland and Labrador launched this week. In Created, she brings us a new viral video hit for Durex condoms. And in Noted, Well previews Trust Me, a new series set to debut on TNT.

"The show has garnered positive advance buzz, in part because its writers spent an age in the advertising biz," she writes.

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Posted: January 23, 2009 | 9:31 ET
IF YOU WATCHED COVERAGE OF PRESIDENT Barack Obama's inauguration, you likely saw plenty of Audi logos--at least on media from the United States.

The German auto maker sponsored streaming video of the event on multiple websites, then that evening sponsored entire newscasts on the big networks, with limited commercial breaks. Audi also bought a full-day sponsorship on and sponsored multiple-page special sections in large newspapers.

Audi has been aggressively boosting its brand and wanted to connect with the spirit of the day, says Advertising Age.

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Posted: January 21, 2009 | 22:45 ET
She doesn't look a day over 17, but she turns 50 this year.

And while Barbie may owe her eternal good looks to the miracle of plastic, she owes her iconic status to something far more transcendent.

When she was launched in 1959, Barbie the brand struck a chord in little girls that resonates just as deeply today. It's as if her face, form and fashion sense connected with something primal in our psyches. Sure, she has her detractors, but you can't deny that she's as much a 20th-century feminine archetype as Dietrich, Marilyn or Madonna.

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Posted: January 19, 2009 | 11:46 ET
Rico DiGiovanni - President, Spider Marketing Solutions

As president and partner of Spider Marketing Solutions Inc., a Toronto-based, privately held full-service marketing communications agency, Rico DiGiovanni has more than 20 years of promotional marketing expertise. With his renowned charm and ability to take companies and manage their growth, Rico has put Spider Marketing on the path towards achieving its vision of being a leader in creating innovative ideas that builds brands for its clients.

Prior to joining Spider Marketing, Rico was president and partner of Capital C, a promotional marketing agency in Toronto, for two years. Earlier, he acted as president of Marketing Drive, the promotional division of FCB Canada. His experience also includes four years at M Promotional Marketing and seven years at Gaylord Promotions. He currently is the President of CAPMA (Canadian Association of Promotional Marketing Agencies), the Regional Vice President of MAAW (Marketing Agencies Association WorldWide), and a founding member of the PMA Canada (Promotion Marketing Association).

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