Showing posts from May, 2020

Needless Necessities: Amazon Delivers 100 Million Items Like Masks and Ventilators to the Front Lines, And Lots of Totally Useless Crap to the Rest of Us

Since launching a b-to-b service in late March dedicated to those on the front lines of the coronavirus fight, Amazon says it has provided more than 100 million items to workers, including masks, ventilators, surgical gloves and sanitizers, as CNBC reports . It's not making a profit on those products — yet one more example of a brand doing good during these weird and perilous times. (Ad Age has been keeping an excellent, comprehensive running tally of these companies — check it out here .) I don't know about you, but I'm doing my own part to make up for Amazon's lost profits and to ensure that business keeps flowing to the world's largest e-tailer and its boss, aka the richest man in the universe. How? By purchasing every little thing off Amazon I've ever even passably considered acquiring for myself. Acacia cutting board as big as your sofa? Check. That weird David LaChapelle coffee table book from like 20 years ago, full of arty pictures of naked and ot

Be Careful Reporters, You're Running Out of Adjectives

Bleak. Painful. Historic. Uncontrollable. Calamitous. Yep, we're in a real panic situation. Or, rather, a  PANIC!! situation. The coronavirus pandemic has been a goldmine for media organizations as they attract more viewers, sell more papers and earn more downloads thanks to a public that's hungry for the latest news about the crisis and its effects — nay, sweeping effects. It's also been a gift to those writers and editors prone to the hyperbolic and the hysterical. When they're teaching you to write (as if writing could actually be taught, but that's a topic for another post), you learn to use adjectives judiciously, sparingly. The same goes for adverbs. Stephen King, in his excellent tutorial On Writing, pointed out that "the road to hell is paved with adverbs." Somebody ought to remind today's reporters of that. Part of the reason the general public has such contempt for the press is that we have an annoying tendency of describin

'Absolutely NO Burgers!!' Where's the Beef at Wendy's?

With all the marketing throwbacks lately, perhaps it would be fitting for Wendy's to resurrect "Where's the Beef?" That's what one dude suggested on Twitter, sharing a snapshot (above) taken at a Wendy's that had run out of hamburgers — only to have reporters from The New York Times and NBC hit him up for permission to use the photo (which wasn't his, as it turned out, but, rather, was a pic he'd taken from a friend's social media feed). "Some of our menu items may be temporarily limited at some restaurants in the current environment," said Wendy's, which suffered the shortage at the same time it was  launching  a gift card giveaway on Twitter, as Ad Age reported . What's been lost in much of the coverage of Wendy's running out of meat — and which was absent from even its own corporate statement — is the fact that it is one of the few burger chains to use fresh rather than frozen meat. Seems to me touting the fact that i