The many roles of Barbie
In her 50 years, Barbie has held down a number of jobs: surfer, rock star, ballerina. As part of her "I Can Be" campaign, Barbie has commissioned an Angus Reid survey that reveals Canadian girls are a pretty ambitious bunch. For instance, more than half of the girls surveyed said they would rather own their own company than be a secretary or a stay-at-home mom. We're curious, then, why Mattel has decided to bring out Barbie dolls in the likeness of Mad Men's Joan, the cheating secretary, and Betty, the alcoholic stay-at-home mom. Martha Stewart seems a more fitting choice: Ex-Con Domestic Diva Barbie?
Yes, Lindsay, it's all about you
Remember Mattel's Lindsay Lohan doll? Ms. Lohan is in the limelight again, this time for suing E*Trade for $100-million over an ad she claims invokes her likeness without permission. In the ad, a baby girl grills her baby boyfriend over whether he spent the evening with "that milkaholic Lindsay." Ms. Lohan, who has had trouble with drugs and alcohol, argues through her lawyer that she has "single-name" recognition, like Oprah. Personally, we don't see the likeness: The baby in the ad is fully dressed, appears sure of her sexuality, hasn't been jailed and seems to have a bright future ahead of her.
Cadillac gives GM the silent treatment
Like a trophy wife who splits when her sugar daddy falls on hard times, Cadillac is distancing itself from parent company General Motors, citing the auto maker's embarrassing bankruptcy as the reason for the break. Cadillac is removing the name GM from its dealerships, its advertising, even its e-mail address. Cadillac, which saw its U.S. sales drop 32 per cent last year, says it will not take part in the companywide Red Tag Event, either. We think that's wise, because when suitors come calling, Cadillac won't want to look cheap or desperate.
A new Oscar category
There are some things money can't buy, including Oscars. The maker of the independent film Iron Cross is suing the trade paper Variety, claiming an unfavourable review destroyed its chances of getting an Oscar or finding a distribution deal. In the suit, Calibra Pictures says it agreed to pay Variety about $400,000 (U.S.) for a promotional package. In a strange twist, the paper allegedly offered to help find a distributor for the film and to line up awards consultants to help get nominations. But then journalism got in the way. And the Oscar for best drama in a marketing deal goes to …
Actors making a killing
Just in time for Passover, an Israeli supermarket is airing a television commercial that parodies January's killing of a Hamas commander in Dubai. In the surveillance footage of the incident issued by Dubai police, suspects can be seen following Mahmoud al-Mabhouh through his hotel sporting hats, wigs and tennis rackets. In the ad for the Mahsanei Kimat Hinam stores, actors prowl the aisles wearing similar disguises. The punchline: "We offer killer prices." Kind of makes you wonder what they've got behind the meat counter.