1. Former French prime minister Georges Clemenceau – or was it George Bernard Shaw? – once said, “A young man who isn’t a socialist hasn’t got a heart; an old man who is a socialist hasn’t got a head.” But it occurs to us that maybe the problem with socialists – at least here in Canada – is they’ve just chosen the wrong signature colour: A new survey by the paint company Dulux suggests women and men increasingly dislike orange as they age. The global survey, conducted to promote what the company is calling “colour awareness,” also found that Chinese and Indians prefer colours like yellow, pink, and light blue for their walls, while we North Americans prefer beiges and greys. By which we’re pretty sure they mean we’re boring.
2. More boring than our British counterparts, that’s for sure. Want proof? This week the U.K. saw the first airing of an ad for a sex toy shop during a daytime television broadcast. The spot for Lovehoney, an online retailer that sells intimate apparel, erotic books, and adult toys, is a rather tame beast: it features a married couple sharing an intense 20-second goodbye kiss, just before he leaves for work in the morning. “While you can use can use sex to sell anything, when it comes to a sex toy company, you can’t,” explained Nick Ellis, the creative director of the agency Halo Media, to Campaign magazine. We’d tell you more about the company, which uses the motto “The sexual happiness people,” but our Internet connection at work wouldn’t let us log on.
3. Staying on that side of the pond for a moment, we heard this week that companies may face a greater possibility of a criminal conviction for ambush marketing – that is, the practice of trying to associate a brand with a marquee event without paying for official sponsorship rights – at the 2012 London Games. According to the U.K. magazine Marketing, the British Parliament is set to consider a proposed amendment to the 2006 Olympics Act which would put the burden of proof on a defendant, marking a stunning reversal of legal convention: That is, guilty until proven innocent. Which, come to think of it, is the way many people think of advertisers.
4. But what’s the penalty for trying to piggyback on a Canadian election without paying for official sponsorship rights? (No, they don’t really exist: You can’t buy an election here. Yet.) Because over the past few weeks we’ve seen a bunch of marketers trying to capitalize on interest in the Ontario election with their own campaigns – from the province’s public school teachers to the Environmental Alliance. Our favourite, though, is probably a faux-political pitch by the , an effort from Arby’s Canada to create a spat over which fries are better – straight or curly. Since we’re non-partisan, we don’t actually have a preference. We just like the idea that Canadians might get excited over something. Other than, say, the thought of painting their walls beige.