To Pin or Not to Pin: The Pinterest Copyright Controversy

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Pinterest Logo - courtesy of Pinterest.com (This is how we "pin" to WordPress)

After responding for a third time this week on Facebook regarding the Pinterest Copyright Controversy, it was decided an official Above Promotions Company blog post must be created.   You’ve read other hot topics on this blog, why not this one?

To Pin or Not to Pin, that is the question. 

(At least that is how we believe William Shakespeare would put it.)

It is important to note and yet it is not said as a pitch for us to obtain your business (although we wouldn’t turn it away), but matters of marketing your business should be left to the industry professionals who can be sure your plan of action is one with little to no risk.  With that said, here is our professional view on this topic.   Hopefully you can make a decision you as a business owner or casual user can feel comfortable with based on our feedback.
 
When the complaints first geared up a few months ago about the small startup company, Pinterest, they were surrounded by the fact people were saving photos from the originator’s site and THEN uploading to their board without giving credit to the source.   Now we see photographers and companies worried about the use of their image speaking up against this sharing site. 
 
Now to clarify, it is not being said a company should not be concerned about a potential loss in revenue.  It is also not being said a business should not be concerned about their image being used negatively either.  What is being conveyed in this blog is continuously and properly updating your business plan and working your brand in a positive light finds new avenues of income and can drown out the occasional rant or misuse.
 
Pinterest has proven to be a simple reminder of how in a technology savvy world those who are already struggling to get paid for their images or audio files will continue to be left behind.   To many, this is one more way they are being forced into fighting for or releasing their outdated business model. 
 
While indeed the businesses who own the images should have a right to where they want them to appear, this is an issue that didn’t just begin with “pinning”.  Google still struggles with the issue of copyrights.  It’s just for right now this start-up company, Pinterest, is getting the attention.  Give it time and the media will again turn back to Google.  
 
Image of William Shakespeare.  Courtesy of MIT.
Image of William Shakespeare. Courtesy of MIT.
 
So, to Pin or Not to Pin?

In working with our clients, we utilize the “pin it” button to get an image to a board on Pinterest.  Using the pin it feature allows the “do follow” links of origin to appear.   This saves time and keeps all parties involved from having to quote where image originated.  (You may be scratching your head now as to why we would be concerned about someone being linked to an image we pin.  Quick tip: don’t only pin your products.  People don’t want to feel like they’re being sold to on this site.)

So for the business owner who blogs about products not pertaining to their organization, it is recommended to utilize the originator’s URL for the image, as well as caption under the image quoting the source.  Now, when you’re ready to pin an image from your blog, the “do follow” link will take them back to your page and essentially back to the origin of the photo online.  In general, as long as your blog isn’t attempting to inappropriately sell a product you don’t have rights to or are not generating negative feedback to the readers, many businesses will welcome you sharing their product for free.  Essentially that’s the purpose of the internet and why businesses spend so much money on search engine optimization.

If you are someone who wants to attempt to control all of your images and content that are online, you may be on the don’t pin it and boycott it side.  That’s ok too.  Feel free to utilize the no pinning code on Pinterest and place it on your website.  While you’re at it, be sure to grab one from Tumblr and add the codes to Google, Yahoo, Bing and Ask as well. 

Here is one more important note for users of social media sites.  Those Terms and Conditions that you skipped over to start talking to your friends contain valuable information on sharing and possibly selling information and images uploaded to their server.  Think of it as compensation for you using their equipment for free.  Well if this bothers you as well, then you may want to review the policies of the sites you are using and then make a decision not only on Pinterest, but other sites as well. 

Finally, it is to be said that although we enjoy using our Pinterest.com/abovepromotions account, we are not pro-Pinterest.  We are however, pro-keeping-up-with-the-times and utilizing avenues to reach key demographics.  Our goal is always on ensuring the brands we work with have the best possible outcome of surviving in these times.

So with all of this information, what will you do?  Pin or Not Pin?  We want to hear from you.

(Please note this information on how to share photos on Pinterest is in general.  Results of your use is not guaranteed and is at your own risk.  Contact us for direct marketing advice concerning your business by visiting www.abovepromotions.com)  

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Is the Levi’s Brand Hitting the Ad Mark for Their Curve Jeans?

An old Levi’s jean advertisement from 2010 has managed to circulate the internet again.  Rehashing the criticism previously experienced.

Levi's Curve Id ad - Photo courtesy of Copyranter.com

However, the more recent ad does appear to be closer to addressing the concern of representing various curves.  It’s just not as obvious as to those who may not understand female body types.

Levi's more current ad - Courtesy of Shine - Yahoo.com
Levi's more current ad - Courtesy of Shine - Yahoo.com
What do you think?  At initial glance you would think these three women have the same body type, skinny. 
 
We admit the copywriting on the first ad above is lacking in effectiveness in relating the brand to the image.  (At least the font matches the words of the text)  In looking at the overall brand and understanding from a fashion stylist’s view-point of there actually being different body curves (apple, pear, triangle, square and not just skinny, average and obese) actually represented in the photo, the side profile from the models doesn’t fully articulate it.  A true fashion stylist  would demonstrate the body type from a full frontal view.  This would be where the viewer of the ad could see that one model is more Marilyn Monroe that the adjacent one.  This is also why we continue to stress to clients and potential ones, that a knowledgable Creative Director  who is familiar with the respective industry is crucial.  This ad simply needed a better translator to explain Levi’s point in their Curves line.  One could easily conclude the first ad was just an overall disaster. 
 
The second ad is better at showing the different body types, but may be missing in the message of focusing on the uniqueness of the brand.  So where does Levi’s go from here?  Their show at the recently passed Mercedes Benz New York Fashion Week will tell soon enough. 
 
Hiring a good Creative Director to help execute your brand from concept to print is crucial.  Not all readers are fashion experts so many can easily miss the mark as many critics did.  Don’t let your advertising dollars go to waste.  Contact Above Promotions Company today for your consultation.

Is Spitting in Golf Bad for a Player’s Image

Keegan Bradley, Professional Golfer - Photo Courtesy of Getty Images
Keegan Bradley, Professional Golfer - Photo Courtesy of Getty Images
 
 As a sports fan one can see athletes doing things that well, just wouldn’t look right at the dinner table in your local church hall.  Yet there is one habit many do on a regular basis many of us wouldn’t think twice about.  For instance spitting while on the field.  Unfortunately, for professional golfer, Keegan Bradley, this simple action of spitting during the final round of the Northern Trust Open tournament sparked negative comments.  No he didn’t spit at Tiger Woods or a heckler in the crowd, but he simple spit prior to hitting his golf ball and this triggered feedback from golf fans.

Yes, Bradley did what baseball, football, track, soccer, rugby and other athletes do during a competition.  As if they didn’t have to remember to refrain from unsportsmanlike conduct, one has to remember to not spit in public too.  It is understood you wouldn’t want a basketball player or bowler spitting on the floor and causing someone to slip.  But shouldn’t more grace be given to the athlete who plays out in the heat under extreme weather conditions?  Will we then ridicule an athlete for not stopping to wash his hands if he sneezes?

Regardless if Bradley does it again, which may draw more people to watch him just to see if he does, we can appreciate his tweet on Twitter which said, “Id like to apologize for my spitting.  It’s like a reflex, I don’t even know I’m doing it, but it’s a longtime habit I’ve got to try to conquer.”  It’s a crazy reason for crisis communication, but we give him and his team an A for effort and the content in the response.

What do you think?  Should an athlete have to apologize for spitting at no one during a game?