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Media buyers react cautiously to Rogers' new NHL deal

Chicago Blackhawks' Brandon Bollig, left, fights with Calgary Flames' Brian Mcgrattan during first period NHL hockey action in Calgary, Alta., Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013.

JEFF MCINTOSH/THE CANADIAN PRESS

"For big hockey clients, there may be a bit of sticker shock from what they're used to… At the end of the day, there's only so many people who are going to watch hockey. The way it sounds, hockey could be on almost every night of the week. Some of the games are going to pull much greater audiences than others."

– Nancy Surphlis, managing director at media buyer OMD, reacting to the news this week of Rogers Communications' $5.2-billion deal to secure NHL broadcast rights in Canada, starting with the 2014-2015 season.

Media buyers were cautiously positive about the deal, but expressed concerns that with one media partner controlling the bulk of NHL games (Rogers sub-licensed some games to TSN as well, and TVA for French-language broadcasts) it could mean higher prices for advertisers – or being asked to bundle ads into packages with lower-profile games for those who want ads alongside the biggest events.

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Holiday spending

With the arrival of the stampede-inducing sales bonanza that is Black Friday, the holiday shopping season has officially begun. In Canada, the sales outlook may be modest – at least if shoppers follow through with plans to moderate their spending.

According to a survey from Toronto-based marketing consulting firm Level5 Strategy Group, Canadians are not looking to spend more money than they did 12 months ago.

69%

Proportion of those polled who plan to spend about the same amount on holiday shopping as they did last year

21%

Planning to spend less

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9%

Percentage who plan to spend more than last year

What they plan to buy

62%

Respondents who said they planned to buy gift cards

48%

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Women's fashion

42%

Men's fashion and electronics. Forty-one per cent planned to buy toys

36%

Music and movies or house and home items. Thirty-one per cent said beauty products for women

27% and below

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Magazines and books (27)

Jewellery (26)

Men's personal care (26)

Kitchen supplies (25)

Children's products (24)

Pet supplies and accessories (22)

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Tools (18)

Crafts and collectibles (16)

Health and fitness items: 9 per cent

Furniture: 7 per cent

Other: 15 per cent

Source: Level5 Strategy Group survey of 1,043 participants

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Change of plans

Small U.S. toy maker GoldieBlox has given up its legal fight with rap group the Beastie Boys over a parody of one of the group's songs in its new ad.

Last week, the ad posted on YouTube attracted more than seven million views in its first six days. It showed young girls building a Rube Goldberg machine in their house to the tune of the Beastie Boys' Girls, with new lyrics criticizing the advertising of most female-targeted toys. The company soon got a call from the group's lawyers asking about the ad. In response, GoldieBlox went to court in Florida asking for "a declaratory judgment" that its video falls under "fair use" guidelines in copyright laws because it was a parody.

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch (aka MCA), who died in 2012, stated that he did not want his music ever used in advertising.

On Wednesday, GoldieBlox reversed course, and put new music into its video.

It also published an open letter to the group on its website. In it, the company's founder, Debbie Sterling, said the team did not know about Mr. Yauch's wishes when they made the ad.

Fewer 'likes'

Facebook's growth in Canada is slowing, according to new research from eMarketer

16.6 million

Number of Canadians who are active on Facebook at least once a month this year, from any device.

4.9%

2012 growth in Canadian Facebook users

3.1%

Projected growth in users in 2013

2.9%

Projected growth next year

94%

Proportion of social media users who are on Facebook in Canada

62%

Proportion of Canadian Internet users who are on Facebook

48%

Proportion of Canadian population who are Facebook users

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