.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Who's That Girl? March 22 07:

The buzz is that the hot spokesperson for the new Right Guard RGX "are you ready to step up" campaign is actress Rachel Specter. I've emailed Dial Corp. for a confirmation.

Dial, a unit of German giant Henkel, just bought the Right Guard brand from P & G last year, and is looking to "reinvigorate" it:
Reinvigorating the Right Guard Brand

This is a bold opening launch for Henkel to create a new consumer brand in the competitive bodyspray market, and in doing so, it is going against the grain of how bodysprays smell and have been marketed. Henkel is making a serious effort to extend the Right Guard franchise into new territory to help invigorate it.

"Right Guard is a great brand that has earned the loyalty of millions of U.S. men, including today's younger generation," says Koven. "We are saying that RGX is 'powered by Right Guard.'"

An Ignored Market: Maturing "Regular Guys"

With Henkel's encouragement to pursue innovation, Dial product managers conducted extensive market research to identify target consumers who were not currently using bodysprays, but who were open to the concept. "Current competitor bodysprays rely on marketing that is saturated with runaway sexual imagery," said Koven. "We believe their scents are overpowering for most women, and their consumers tend to be young teens on the prowl. We found that this positioning was a turnoff for many 'regular guys' who are a little older and more independent. Regular guys believe maturity and confidence can be better aphrodisiacs than an overwhelming fragrance. We are offering these guys crisper, cleaner fragrances that don't overpower. With RGX, they will get an 'air of confidence'™, not an air of arrogance."

The motivating tagline for RGX -- Are you ready to step up? -- also aims to capture young guys who are maturing. RGX television advertising features a confident young woman who educates on the qualities of a man vs. a boy, and how to have an air of confidence vs. an air of arrogance."

I think they are on to something here. The sagging sales of the "Lad Mags" (accompanied by Maxim's drive to reposition itself) shows that the hedonistic, oversexed young male image is so last year. And that can't be bad.

Friday, March 16, 2007
Since I left The Daily Brief, I have judiciously deferred to my friends there on military matters. But I break with that here. And the subject upon which I chose to part with my good friends there is gays in the military. And where I hinge my argument is on a statement by a newsie we all deplore, on a show we all deplore: Dan Rather, on this week's installment of HBO's Real Time With Bill Maher, summarized his response from service members, to the question of gays in the military: "have you been to a gym lately?"

And here is yet another example of where our rank-and-file is way out ahead of both our military leadership, and the general electorate. And, on this question, who's opinion really matters? If our boys and girls in uniform don't care that one of their compatriots gets off on scamming on them in the shower, as long as there is no physical assault, who are we to care?

Hey, Gen. Pace: get with the program.
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Holy Gerrymander, Batman!!!!

Well, I said I've been "out of the loop" for some time now. But, much to my surprise, I find I'm no longer in Dana Rohrabacher's 46th California congressional district:

But where am I? My heart kind of sank when I thought I might be in Loretta Sanchez's 47th District. (Actually, as Jackasses go, she's not that bad.) But it seems I'm in the 40th, and my representative is Ed Royce. I'll have to study his record, but it seems to me he's a don't-make-waves loyal Dumbo.
Monday, March 05, 2007

I have to admit to being somewhat "out of the loop" up to now; as nothing seemed to work properly on my old Windows 98SE set-up, I haven't been listening to Internet radio for several months. But I've just installed Win XP Pro SP2 (on my new Core 2 Duo system, thank you), and I've just put up WinAmp 5.33. Of course, the first thing I wanted to listen to is Radio Paradise.

Well, just in time, it seems, as I find Internet radio (the only "radio" I ever listen to) is under attack from the feds. A quick check around the blogosphere shows that my friend, Radar, at The Daily Brief, is already all over this. But it seems my good friend, Eugene Volokh, is silent on the matter. This is important to me because, like me, he is a "pragmatic libertarian," who recognizes the value of the regulatory state. But is is much more able to express his argument in legalese.

All that said, this becomes a matter of economics. And, as Radio Paradise's Bob Goldsmith puts it, this will simply put Internet radio out of business. The math, as worked out by Kurt Hanson, of Radio And Internet Newsletter (RAIN), is laid out here, by ConsumerAffairs.com's Martin H. Bosworth:
The CRB's new royalty structure begins at $.0008 per performance, retroactive to January of 2006. While that may not seem like a lot at first, the CRB decision defines "per performance" for Web radio as streaming one song to one listener.

Kurt Hanson, writing for his Radio And Internet Newsletter (RAIN), calculated that an average Web radio station that plays 16 songs per hour would owe 1.28 cents per listener per hour. And the more listeners per hour, the more royalty fees the station would have to pay, "in the ballpark of 100% or more of total revenues," according to Hanson.

The rates would continue to increase each year. In 2007, Web broacasters would owe $.0011, $.0014 in 2008, $.0018 in 2009, and $.0019 in 2010. Those royalty fees only cover the actual broadcast of the songs to listeners -- the station owners would also have to pay royalties to the performers as well.

The owners of SaveNetRadio.org claimed that a royalty fee of $.0011 would tally up to "about 1.76c per hour, per listener. A station with [an average of 500 listeners] would be hit with fees of $211 per day, $6,336 a month or $76,000 a year."

Obviously, this establishes an uneven playing field between Internet and broadcast radio. One might argue that "the difference in technology already establishes an uneven playing field." But that is the nature of the free market - that is what drives technological advancement. This regulation is, by it's very nature, Luddite.

Now, it is incumbent upon all of us to spread the word, and call our congresspeople, and put a stop to this.

Update - Here's the email I've just sent to my congressman, Dana Rohrabacher. I will be sending something similar to my senators shortly:

I want to go on record as adamantly opposed to the recent U.S. Copyright Royalty Board decision on fees paid by Internet music content providers. The small capital investment required for start-up of one of these operations has yielded a rich landscape of programming, which simply isn't available through terrestrial or satellite broadcasters. It is vitally important that this nascent industry be protected.

Please inform me of precisely where Congressman Rohrabacher stands on this issue, and what actions he plans pursuant to it.

Thank You
Kevin L. Connors
Westminster, CA
A blog dedicated to the personal musings of Kevin L. Connors - a pragmatic libertarian, engineer, businessman, and journalist.

04/01/2006 - 05/01/2006 / 05/01/2006 - 06/01/2006 / 06/01/2006 - 07/01/2006 / 07/01/2006 - 08/01/2006 / 08/01/2006 - 09/01/2006 / 09/01/2006 - 10/01/2006 / 10/01/2006 - 11/01/2006 / 01/01/2007 - 02/01/2007 / 02/01/2007 - 03/01/2007 / 03/01/2007 - 04/01/2007 / 05/01/2007 - 06/01/2007 /

Powered by Blogger