– Rich Gorman, Direct Response Marketing, serial entrepreneur and innovator

On one level, the field of online reputation management is easy to explain. As Cliff Stein, Reputation Changer CEO, likes to say, it’s all about giving companies and individuals some control over how they are portrayed on the Internet. Are you a young

Unable to resist a good trademark story, I snapped this photo in one of the countless gift shops along Hollywood Boulevard, as my family searched for various stars and did the "Walk of Fame," a week or so ago. What drew us into this particular shop was a striking wall full of shelves displaying what appeared to be rows upon rows of mini-Oscar gift statuettes.

Unlikely, however, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences "has carefully limited reproductions of the Oscar statuette . . . ." In fact, the Academy has a pretty controlled press-kit full of legal regulations, and the only trinkets that the Oscar trademark is federally registered for appears to be clothing, books and pamphlets; and the non-verbal two-dimensional depiction of the Oscar statuette is federally registered as a trademark for only clothing, pre-recorded videotapes, and books and pamphlets, no trophies or other gift items, it appears.

Indeed, upon closer inspection, the shop’s sign appropriately reads: "Small Trophy $8.99." It struck me that this is literally the sign of an effective trademark enforcement program. Left to their own devices, it wouldn’t be surprising to see shopkeeper’s signage reading "take home your very own Oscar style trophy," or "Oscar style trophies for sale," but the well-trained sign makes no such mentions and it does not utter the words "Oscar" or "Academy Awards," presumably because the Academy’s Oscar trademark police frequently patrol these parts. Or, perhaps when you’re positioned on Hollywood Boulevard, tourists get the picture, so to speak, without the use of another’s probably famous trademark.

What about when your gift or trophy shop is not on Hollywood Boulevard, but instead, somewhere along the Information Superhighway or beyond?


Continue Reading The Sign of a Successful Trademark Enforcement Program

Rapala, the world’s largest manufacturer of fishing lures has pleasured us with some pretty clever and creative advertisements over the years, a lot of them award-winning ads too. For example, Carmichael Lynch created the above billboard ad that over time gradually “attracted cats” to the billboard featuring a super-sized Rapala minnow fishing lure. Lots of cats, in fact, many more than you can shake a stick at, you might say, if you fancy idioms and don’t happen to be fond of those feline types. Carmichael Lynch notes: “With simplicity and humor, we’ve helped the [Rapala] brand connect with its enthusiast audience and grow to be the undisputed market leader for fishing lures.” This is simply delicious creativity.

More recently, however, the undisputed market leader for fishing lures is now using the brand name of the undisputed market leader for Internet search engines in Rapala billboard advertising, apparently to continue growing Rapala’s fishing lure business. Although there are Twitter tweets and other mentions on the web referring to this new Rapala billboard ad, I haven’t been able to locate an online image yet, so I’ll have to take a picture of the one I have seen myself and post it here when I can. In the meantime, just picture the above billboard minus the cats (and minnow lure) and with this slogan in large prominent black type above the red Rapala logo: “More Hits Than Google“. Is this new Rapala billboard ad one of the award-winning variety?


Continue Reading Rapala Fishing Lures: More Hits Than Google? Or, More Cats Than You Can Shake a Stick At?

Moore’s Law holds that the power of an integrated circuit will double every two years. That prediction, made in 1965 by Intel co-founder Gordon Moore, has proved remarkably durable.

The continued application of Moore’s Law has taken us in a few decades from crude transistor radios to handheld information devices packing more power than entire rooms of mainframe computers that sent the first spaceships to the moon.

And it’s unleashed an unprecedented burst of creativity, as the reach of the Internet allows people from around the globe to exchange information and build on each other’s ideas at dizzying speed.


Continue Reading Thriving In A Speeded-Up World