Archive for marketing

Game Over: Video game industry urged to stop marketing deadly weapons to children, “who are considered possible future owners”

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video games guns game over

Just a little something I received in my inbox (bolding mine). A fitting sequel to my last post, San Francisco sues gun companies for selling disassembled high-capacity magazines disguised as gun repair kits:

 Game Over: Video Game Industry Urged to Stop Promoting Guns and Gun Manufacturers

As E3 Conference Kicks Off, New Report Condemns Licensing Agreements and Product Placement for Guns in Games

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America Launches Pledge Petition

Washington, DC – According to a new report out today, video game manufacturers are signing profitable licensing agreements and product placement deals with the gun industry, and providing a dangerous promotional platform for assault weapons and other military-style weapons, including the same firearms used in mass shootings at Columbine and Sandy Hook Elementary.

According to the report, these video games often feature real-world weapons by make and model and have offered cross-promotional opportunities to players, often children, to purchase them once the game is over.

The report, published today by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and The Gun Truth Project urges the video game industry to cut commercial ties to weapons manufacturers and to end deals with the gun industry that promote deadly weapons to children.

The report’s publication comes as the video game industry convenes in Los Angeles for its annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3).

“We are outraged that video game companies and gun manufacturers are entering into deals to market guns to our children, particularly given the real-life epidemic of gun violence in America,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

The report demonstrates that licensing deals between video game companies and gun manufacturers are specifically aimed at increasing the visibility of firearms. One gun industry representative cited in the report even brags that video games provide an opportunity to promote to children, “who are considered possible future owners.”

However, the report shows that these promotional deals are actually not profitable for video game manufacturers. In fact, games featuring real-world guns identified by make and model do not sell any better than games with made-up weapon names. According to the report, the economic benefit is almost exclusively on the gun manufacturers' side.

One of the largest video game manufacturers, Electronic Arts (EA), announced just last month that it would no longer enter into licensing agreements with gun manufacturers after a legal dispute over a licensing agreement.

“We not only applaud that decision, we are asking the rest of the video game industry to follow suit,” said Watts. “There is no reason why video game manufacturers should do the gun industry's dirty work, promoting assault and military-style weapons to our children and teens.

Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America is urging video game companies to follow Electronic Arts’ lead and sign a pledge not to enter into any new licensing or product placement deals with gun manufacturers. The Every Child Matters Education Fund is supporting the effort.

Michael Petit, President of the national children’s advocacy group, the Every Child Matters Education Fund, added “thousands of children and teenagers are killed by guns every year. How any company, knowing that, could continue to market guns to our kids is simply beyond me. It is unacceptable.”

While the link between video games and real-world violence continues to be investigated, the report out today details the link between recent mass shootings and the video games of choice of the mass shooters and the correlation to the weapons they used in the shootings. For example, it has been widely reported that the Newtown elementary school shooter was an avid player of Call of Duty, which features Bushmaster semi-automatic rifles. During  last December's shooting spree, which claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults, he fired off 154 shots from a Bushmaster XM15-E2S.

“The manufacturers of video games should not enter into deals that promote assault weapons and military-style weapons to our children. The gun industry and their lobbyists have proven time and again that they’re only motive is profit, not encouraging reforms or regulations that would make our children and families safer. To them, our children are pawns to be manipulated for profit,” said Watts.

###

About Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America

Much like Mothers Against Drunk Driving was created to change laws regarding drunk driving, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America (www.momsdemandaction.org) was created to build support for common-sense gun legislation. The nonpartisan grassroots movement of American mothers is demanding new and stronger solutions to lax gun laws and loopholes that jeopardize the safety of our children and families. In just six months, the organization has more than 100,000 members with more than 90 local chapters in 40 states across the country.

Every Child Matters Education Fund was established in 2001 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization to make public investments in children, youth, and families a national political priority.

The Gun Truth Project is a working group and rapid response team leading efforts to expose, isolate, and fracture the gun lobby.

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VIDEO: Little League team raises funds by raffling off AR-15 rifle

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family values my ass

Nothing says family values better than an Illinois Little League raffling off AR-15 military-style rifles like the one Adam Lanza used to massacre six-year-olds at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, and by the Aurora, Colorado shooter.

Yahoo:

The Atwood-Hammond group partnered with the local armory for the raffle, which launched on Tuesday. "It has been going gangbusters," Charidy Butcher, co-owner of the Atwood Armory, told RawStory.com. “My phone has been ringing nonstop since 4:30 this morning. It’s just been crazy."

Butcher said she's received calls from people as far away as Washington state wanting to enter the June 29 drawing. A ticket costs $20.

"Considered a deadly weapon by some"? Did I hear that correctly? So it's not "considered" a deadly weapon by others, just by some? What else could it be used for, a paper weight?

Think Progress:

[G]un manufacturers have worked hard to associate assault weapons with children. The industry has released ads and articles encouraging children to ask for an AR-15 for Christmas. In internal studies, manufacturers were advised to “start them young” and “target programs toward youth 12 years old and younger.”

Here is the ad that TP is referring to: Ad: Hey kids! “Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!”

Family values my ass.

Via reocities.com

Via reocities.com

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Sheriff's pro-gun radio ads to be paid by taxpayers. "This has nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with self-promotion."

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sheriff guns protect yourself

In my post Ad: Hey kids! “Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!” I included this story:

Before Calling 911, Sheriff Tells Residents To Get ‘In The Game’ With A Gun. Wisconsin County Sheriff David Clarke:

It’s no longer a spectator sport; I need you in the game, but are you ready? [...]

You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back; but are you prepared? Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there. You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now. Can I count on you?

As you can see, Clarke is the same sheriff who made a fool of himself in the video above. Which he did over and over again whenever Piers Morgan gave him the opportunity. Which was often.

He's also the same sheriff whose scary, fear-mongery pro-gun radio ads (referred to as "safety messages" in his video) will be paid by taxpayers.

JSOnline:

Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke Jr. has been showered with free media time, including four appearances on two national cable TV outlets, to espouse his support for citizens arming themselves for self-protection.

But the local radio ads that launched the whirlwind of attention for Clarke were paid spots that will be billed to taxpayers through the sheriff's county budget, Clarke said Friday.

Clarke calls that "crime prevention." Or as I like to call it, negligence waiting to happen.

Here's one of his "safety messages":

Yes, families should consider getting gun training "so you can defend yourself until we get there."

What could possibly go wrong?

Say it with me, kiddies, the family that aims together, maims together.

Critics have said the ads discourage people from using 911 and instead promote gun proliferation. [...]

In an email, Clarke said his paid radio spots were not gun ads, but public safety announcements.

Supervisor John Weishan Jr. said the sheriff's ads did not qualify as something that promotes general welfare and safety and were an inappropriate use of public money.

"There is a way to do public service announcements to promote public safety," Weishan said. "This has nothing to do with public safety and everything to do with self-promotion."

Gee, ya think? And all at the taxpayers' expense. A twofer!

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Ad: Hey kids! “Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!”

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guns for kids Via reocities.com

Via reocities.com

Via... please pay this page a visit.

Kiddies? Meet Mr. Gun! Mr. Gun, this is Everychild USA! Now you two go play and have yourselves a great time! And remember! Safety first!

Oh my.

The firearms industry is wringing its profit-filled hands because shooting sports are declining in popularity. So what's a poor gun manufacturer to do? Why, what else? Team up with the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NBC Sports is one of their very special gun show sponsors) and the National Rifle Association to spend millions on "junior shooter" "recruitment and retention"!

Then those new mini-recruits will be all locked and loaded and can set out to recruit other youngsters! Hey boys and girls! Start shooting early on, and we've got you for life!

Genius!

Those sweet, innocent, vulnerable kiddies are the ripest target (no pun) ever! Indoctrinate them into a lifestyle chock full o' guns while they're young and impressionable and before you know it there will be a whole new market for one of the most talked-about products in stock: The good ol' Bushmaster AR-15, the very semi-automatic assault weapon that was used in Newtown to slaughter 20 children.

What could possibly go wrong?

That's right, moms 'n' dads, the folks at the NRA and in the weapons biz are trying their darnedest to convince you that guns can "provide a safe and healthy pastime" for your little ones.

Kinda reminds me of when the tobacco industry blasted out these handy dandy little messages:

smoking healthy old adsmoking ad old healthy baby

Via the New York Times:

The pages of Junior Shooters, an industry-supported magazine that seeks to get children involved in the recreational use of firearms, once featured a smiling 15-year-old girl clutching a semiautomatic rifle. At the end of an accompanying article that extolled target shooting with a Bushmaster AR-15 — an advertisement elsewhere in the magazine directed readers to a coupon for buying onethe author encouraged youngsters to share the article with a parent.

“Who knows?” it said. “Maybe you’ll find a Bushmaster AR-15 under your tree some frosty Christmas morning!”

The industry’s youth-marketing effort is backed by extensive social research and is carried out by an array of nonprofit groups financed by the gun industry, an examination by The New York Times found. The campaign picked up steam about five years ago with the completion of a major study that urged a stronger emphasis on the “recruitment and retention” of new hunters and target shooters. [...]

Military-style firearms are prevalent in a target-shooting video game and mobile app called Point of Impact, which was sponsored by the shooting sports foundation and Guns & Ammo magazine. The game — rated for ages 9 and up in the iTunes store — allows players to shoot brand-name AR-15 rifles and semiautomatic handguns at inanimate targets, and it provides links to gun makers’ Web sites as well as to the foundation’s “First Shots” program, intended to recruit new shooters.

Think Progress adds this:

Federal law prohibits the sale of rifles to those under age 18. But through programs at Boy Scout camps and 4-H clubs, the NRA trains children on how to safely shoot single-shot rifles. And, according to the report: “Newer initiatives by other organizations go further, seeking to introduce children to high-powered rifles and handguns while invoking the same rationale of those older, more traditional programs: that firearms can teach ‘life skills’ like responsibility, ethics and citizenship.”

And by "life skills" they mean "death skills."

but wait there's moreBefore Calling 911, Sheriff Tells Residents To Get ‘In The Game’ With A Gun. Wisconsin County Sheriff David Clarke:

It’s no longer a spectator sport; I need you in the game, but are you ready? [...]

You can beg for mercy from a violent criminal, hide under the bed, or you can fight back; but are you prepared? Consider taking a certified safety course in handling a firearm so you can defend yourself until we get there. You have a duty to protect yourself and your family. We’re partners now. Can I count on you?

Go read that one. Then down a strong alcoholic beverage.

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Steven Spielberg Offering Nancy Pelosi Advice on Rebranding Democrats

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It's all about the lighting, Nancy. Take it from a former actress.

Oh this isn't about camera angles, it's about marketing angles! Gotcha.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi - who will lead the minority, not the majority, in the new Congress - is reportedly turning to another Californian for advice on how to improve the image of her and her colleagues: Filmmaker Steven Spielberg.

Included in a story on Pelosi in the Washington Post yesterday that got a little bit lost amid the activity around the busy last day of Congress was news that lawmakers say Pelosi is now "consulting marketing experts about building a stronger brand. The most prominent of her new whisperers is Steven Spielberg, the Hollywood director whose films have been works of branding genius..."

So what do you think, can the Dems can get nominated for Best Reinvention of a Political Party?

UPDATE: Spielberg denies he's advising Pelosi.

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Obama to appear on 'The View,' marking first visit by sitting president to daytime talk show

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Oy, this whiffs a bit of desperation. But then again, it is pretty much of an hour with the the most important voters to get the good word out.

NEW YORK - ABC's "The View" has welcomed many notable guests, but none more prominent than President Barack Obama, who is scheduled to visit for Thursday's edition.

In making the announcement on Monday, executive producers Barbara Walters and Bill Geddie said this marks the first time a sitting U.S. president has visited a daytime talk show.

They said the majority of the hour will be devoted to Obama's appearance, which will touch on topics including jobs, the economy, the Gulf oil spill and family life inside the White House. It is scheduled to tape on Wednesday.

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Quickie: Tony Hayward Called to Testify

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Today's Quickie:

I'm running a little behind today, so this was new to me:

BP CEO Tony Hayward will testify on June 17 before the House Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations within the House Energy and Commerce Committee, chaired by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI).

This should be very interesting television.

Squirming always makes interesting television. We're already used to lying.

If you need reminding of the havoc he's caused, and what a few people think of him:

That was today's Quickie. Was it good for you?

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