How Long Before Ads on Uniforms Make Baseball Players Look Like Nascar Drivers?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and tooling around ESPN.com, when I came across Ronald Blum’s Associated Press piece.

Padres 1st MLB team to reach uniform ad deal, with Motorola

NEW YORK (AP) — There will be a new pitch on Major League Baseball fields next season.

The San Diego Padres became the first team to announce a deal for ads on their uniforms, saying Tuesday that patches with a Motorola logo will be worn on the sleeves of their jerseys.

The March 10 memorandum of understanding for a new collective bargaining agreement between MLB and the players’ association gave the 30 teams the right to sell patch ads on uniforms and sticker ads on helmets. The sides adopted an Aug. 6, 2021, proposal by MLB to amend a section of the Official Baseball Rules which states: “No part of the uniform shall include patches or designs relating to commercial advertisement.”

Here’s what MLB is proposing: “Notwithstanding the foregoing or anything else in these rules, a club may license to third-party commercial sponsors the right to place their name, logos and/or marks on the uniform, provided that the patch or design is approved in advance by the Office of the Commissioner after consultation with the players’ association.”

What the hell, Doc – are baseball players as brand billboards the new national pastime?

– Logo NoNo

Dear NoNo,

You’re not the only one exercised about the branding of baseball players, at this letter to the San Diego Union-Tribune attests.

Corporate logos on Padres uniforms are a bad call

Re “Motorola patches to land on Padres jerseys in 2023” (April 19): I had read in the U-T that corporate advertising was going to be allowed on uniforms this year, but as far as this San Diego Padres fan is concerned, adding Motorola’s “batwing” logo to the team’s jersey is in poor taste and just clutters an otherwise classically great uniform.

It’s only a matter of time until the Padres Friar will have a “Support Your Local Developer” stitched onto the back of his robe, and Padres jerseys will look more like pro soccer’s, where the teams’ cities have disappeared and been replaced by only the corporate sponsor(s’) logo(s).

Is Mass General Brigham’s Ad Campaign About ‘The Facts’ Actually Factual?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There I was, minding my own business and working my way through the Boston Sunday Globe, when I came across this full-page ad for Mass General Brigham touting the healthcare system’s proposed expansion.

The ad’s subhed claims that “The capacity problem is preventing us from caring for the patients who need us the most.”

As you know, Doc, advertising quite often is entirely fact-free, so should we take this campaign at face value? Or what?

– Mess General

Dear Mess,

First, let’s look at the ad’s body copy.

Okay – so according to Mass General Brigham, demand has outstripped supply at the hospital for the past three years.

Except, according to this piece a few weeks ago by Boston Globe reporterJessica Bartlett, the expansion could simply be a naked power grab by the healthcare behemoth.

For weeks, Mass General Brigham has splashed its teal ads across newspaper pages, television screens, and the Internet to rally support behind its proposed $2.3 billion expansion.

The campaign, which experts estimate cost millions of dollars, has angered competitors and a legislator, who say the health system is using its deep pockets to relay misleading information to regulators and the general public. Mass General Brigham, for its part, says it’s using the ads to dispel misinformation spread by critics and to speak directly to patients.

Here is Mass General Brigham’s manifest destiny TV spot.

And here is MGB’s pitch to extend its tentacles into Westborough and Woburn.

Critics of the expansion plans include not only local competitors and community groups, but also the health insurance industry, as Bartlett’s Globe piece noted.

The Massachusetts Association of Health Plans, which counts 15 of the state’s largest insurers except Blue Cross Blue Shield, has come out against Mass General Brigham’s proposed expansion . . .

In a letter sent to the Department of Public Health on Tuesday, the association said the state’s largest and most expensive provider shouldn’t be allowed to get bigger, especially as it faces a “performance improvement plan,” — a spending audit from a state health care watchdog agency for excessive spending. MGB is the first system ever to be held to such an audit.

Beyond that, not everyone is buying the ad campaign’s claims of lower costs for consumers, Bartlett also reported: “The watchdog Health Policy Commission . . . said in its review the expansion would raise annual health care spending by $46 million to $90.1 million by drawing patients to higher-cost facilities and creating a new referral pathway to the system’s downtown hospitals.”

The problem, as always, with fact-checks is that they tend to run once, while ad campaigns just keep rolling. (To be fair, the Globe did publish a follow-up piece last week that featured much of the same material as the earlier one.)

Regardless, in the end Mass General Brigham gets to dictate which “facts” dominate the public discourse. That’s just a fact of life.

Has Bryan Cranston’s TV Spot Turned Mountain Dew Into Mountain Don’t?

Well the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

There are tons of A-list celebrities touting products in television commercials these days, as Boston Globe critic Don Aucoin noted yesterday.

Among those singled out by Aucoin is Bryan Cranston.

Bryan Cranston is indisputably one of the greatest dramatic actors of our time. But if Cranston was going to do a Mountain Dew commercial spoofing Jack Nicholson’s ax-wielding “Heeeere’s Johnny!’’ scene from “The Shining,” couldn’t he have at least insisted the writers come up with a better punchline than “Heeere’s Mountain Dew Zero!’’

What do you think, Doc? Bryan Cranston – drama hero to Mountain Dew zero?

– Mountain Doh!

Dear Doh!,

Let’s start by looking at the TV spot in question.

 

 

No doubt the whole thing is an example of Buckraking Bad. But has it been good for Mountain Dew sales? Not so much, according to Statista’s M. Ridder.

Market share of the Mountain Dew brand in the U.S. 2004-2020

In 2020, the market share of the Mountain Dew brand in the U.S. amounted to just under seven percent. Over the past decade and a half, the brand’s share has remained between six and seven percent.

So Heeeere’s Bryan! has not exactly broken down the doors at retail.

Glad you axed, though.

Here’s Why Fr. Roy Bourgeois Ran That Boston Globe Ad

DrAdsforProfileSo the Doc asked the other day, Who Is Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Why Did He Run an Ad in the Boston Globe?

The ad (in part):

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 12.36.25 AM

 

And etc. (including a call for people to contact Pope Francis to “request that our Catholic Church ordain women, accept LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) people as equals, and recognize gay marriage”).

As for our question, we answered the who in our original post.

And we can now answer the why, having just talked to Fr. Bourgeois on the phone. (Tip o’ the pixel to his editor, Margaret Knapke, who made the phone call happen.)

Why the Boston Globe?

“I just wanted to poke the beehive,” Fr. Bourgeois told the Doc, “and I have some friends there who wanted to contribute to a good cause.”

He has friends here because he attended seminary in Hingham and has given talks in this area numerous times.

The response has been good, Fr. Bourgeois says, and he has no intention of recanting his support for women’s ordination, even though it could return him to the priesthood.

“Asking me to do that would violate my conscience,” he says.

Fr. Bourgeois has himself contacted Pope Francis, but has yet to receive a reply. Meanwhile, he says, it’s “just a matter of time” until women (and other disenfranchised groups) are justified by the Catholic Church.

God bless him.

Yo.

 

Who Is Fr. Roy Bourgeois and Why Did He Run an Ad in the Boston Globe?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

So I’m minding my own business reading the Boston Sunday Globe when I come across this ad on page A6. (Blurry visuals compliments of the Globe.)

 

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Really? Some Catholic priest in Columbus, GA has enough dough to buy a quarter-page ad in the Sunday (week’s most expensive) Globe? What’s the deal here, Doc?

– Cathaholic

Dear Cathaholic,

Excellent question.

First, some background.

From November, 2012 via Tom Roberts of the National Catholic Reporter:

Roy Bourgeois: They finally got him

Ah, they finally got him, as we all knew they probably would. Eventually. And with a press release it was done: Fr. Roy Bourgeois, a Maryknoll priest for 45 years, was told that the Vatican “dispenses” him “from his sacred bonds.”

And the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, caught in the culture that finds advocating for women’s ordination such a grievous and unpardonable offense, “warmly thanks” Roy “for his service to mission and all members wish him well in his personal life.”

And so it goes, as Vonnegut would say. So it goes.

Bourgeois’ case is a prime illustration of what, today, the institution can and can’t tolerate. Bourgeois’ major offense, the sin that is unforgiveable in the eyes of the church, for which penalty is removal from the order which he has served for nearly half a century and dismissal from the community, was advocating for women’s ordination.

And from a year ago, here’s the padre himself in a New York Times op-ed:

My Prayer: Let Women Be Priests

AFTER serving as a Roman Catholic priest for 40 years, I was expelled from the priesthood last November because of my public support for the ordination of women.

Catholic priests say that the call to be a priest comes from God. As a young priest, I began to ask myself and my fellow priests: “Who are we, as men, to say that our call from God is authentic, but God’s call to women is not?” Isn’t our all-powerful God, who created the cosmos, capable of empowering a woman to be a priest?

Let’s face it. The problem is not with God, but with an all-male clerical culture that views women as lesser than men. Though I am not optimistic, I pray that the newly elected Pope Francis will rethink this antiquated and unholy doctrine.

He’s also decided to pay, in the form of the Globe ad.

Why here? Why now?

The old Doc will try to find out. We didn’t find a way to contact him at his website, but we’ll track him down eventually and get back to you.

Yo.

 

What’s Up with the ‘Bees Can’t Wait’ Ads?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

I saw this ad in the New York Times (and the Boston Globe) the other day and I just don’t get it.

 

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Here’s the sting:

 

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Save Bees?

Do you understand what they’re talking about, Doc?

– Honey Trap

Dear Honey Trap:

Not really.

The Save-Bees.org home page reprints the newspaper ad, whose body copy says this:

Honey bees, native bees and other pollinators are responsible for 1 out of every 3 bites of food we eat. Bees pollinate 71 of the 100 crops that make up 90% of the world’s food supply. Many fruits and vegetables, including apples, blueberries, strawberries, carrots and broccoli, as well as almonds and coffee, rely on bees. These beneficial insects are critical in maintaining our diverse food supply.

Honey bee populations have been in alarming decline since 2006. Widespread use of a new class of toxic pesticides, neonicotinoids, is a significant contributing factor. In addition to killing bees outright, research has shown that even low levels of these dangerous Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 1.21.08 AMpesticides impair bees’ ability to learn, to find their way back to the hive, to collect food, to produce new queens, and to mount an effective immune response.

This week, 15 countries are imposing a two-year restriction on the use of several of these chemicals. As you know, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates it will be 2018, 5 years from now, before it makes a decision on this deadly class of pesticides.

We request an immediate moratorium on the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.

Bees can’t wait 5 more years – they are dying now. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has the power and responsibility to protect our pollinators. Our nation’s food system depends on it.

Almonds. Who knew?

And then there’s this:

 

Picture 1

 

Just for the record, here are the goo-goos who want to Save the Bees:

 

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The Saving America’s Pollinators Act, eh?

That’ll become law right about the time Dr. Ads becomes Surgeon General.

Yo.

What’s Up with the Starbucks Shutdown Ad?

DrAdsforProfileWell the Doc opened up the old mailbag today and here’s what poured out.

Dear Dr. Ads,

I was enjoying a latte at the Coolidge Corner Starbucks and reading the New York Times yesterday when I came across this ad:

Screen Shot 2013-10-12 at 1.37.32 AM

You can imagine my surprise – why is a coffee chain jumping into the chain-gang affairs of Congress? Shouldn’t Starbucks just concentrate on getting my order right?

– Foaming in Beantown

Dear Foaming:

Depends. The more complicated your order is, the less sympathy I have for you.

As for the shutdown ad, the jury’s still out on exactly what the hell Starbucks is doing. An Associated Press report (via the Boston Globe) noted this:

The move is unusual for a company like Starbucks Corp. While big brands generally steer clear of politics to avoid alienating customers, Starbucks and its outspoken chief executive, Howard Schultz, have run toward the spotlight by trying to gain a voice in national political issues.2013-10-10T191143Z_1759122890_TM4E9AA11ZK01_RTRMADP_3_STARBUCKS-SHUTDOWN

But because the company’s efforts are generally nonpartisan and unlikely to cause controversy, marketing and corporate image experts say they burnish Starbucks’ reputation as a socially conscious company.

‘‘It’s always risky when brands mix politics and business,’’ said Allen Adamson, managing director of the New York-based branding firm Landor Associates. ‘‘But the benefit for Starbucks likely outweighs the risk.’’

Not according to The Daily Beast’s Daniel Gross, though.

The Starbucks Shutdown Petition Is Baloney

For the record, I love Starbucks. I’ve got a Starbucks card in my wallet. I regularly wow bystanders by brandishing the Starbucks mobile payment app on my iPhone. At home, I start the day by scooping out a couple of heaping tablespoons of Starbucks espresso roast into my Breville machine.1381508632454.cached

But I was a bit dismayed by this morning’s news that Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is spearheading a  nonpartisan drive to jolt Washington into action. On the company’s home page there’s a plea to “our leaders in Washington, D.C.” to come together to  reopen the government, pay our debts, and “pass a bipartisan and comprehensive long-term budget deal by the end of the year.”

That isn’t doppio. It’s dopey-yo.

Whatever that means. But here’s Gross’s point, doppio or not:

Why is this annoying? Look, it isn’t D.C. leaders who have shut down the government and refuse to open it. It isn’t Washington that is blithely threatening not to meet our collective financial obligations. And it isn’t D.C. leaders who are refusing to enter negotiations about a longer-term budget deal. Rather, it’s Republicans behind all three.

So, presumably, all the barista-beholden should be steaming about the GOP, not the Democrats.

Time for a coffee break, yeah?

Yo.