03/12/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Week That Was

It's cold in this country. You can't blame George W. Bush either.

Super Bowl did a good job of brightening at least one depressing, frigid, winter Sunday. As a game it's pretty much over, except for the naysayers who are still in shock; but the ads are still fun to talk about.

Super Bowl stalwart Anheuser-Busch had already told or warned us its ads would be less funny in favor of something featuring Clydesdale horses in honor of its neo-American offering -- namely Budweiser.

So a beer-pony is playing fetch with another. Anheuser's ad guys told the Wall Street Journal the horses' image "reinforces our brand values and...that we are not changing, and we are the same company."

Gee how romantic. I have no idea how you can be both, but then again nothing says "Beer me again, Budweiser," like watching a behemoth-horse play fetch.

I get that your beer is an icon and all, but once upon a time Schaeffer was "the one beer to have" and it's not having too much fun now. So my pro advice -- I do run a PR firm, kids -- for this newly Eurofied Anheuser is simple: Announce your beer will taste better. You'll get more attention. These days a little honesty goes a long way; at least on HuffPo.

With that, I bring you The Bleak Economic Report: Surprisingly un-spared by effects of the recession is, tada!, The Porn Industry. It appears the only thing that has hurt porn is the sexually transmitted disease that most Americans suffer from, better known as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

Recently adult entertainment guys Larry Flynt of "Hustler" fame and young protégé Joe Francis of "Girls Gone Wild" infamy asked in a joint press release for $5 billion from the Government because, in predicable words of press-whore Flynt: "People are simply too depressed to be sexually active."

Yeah right. Ask anything with a penis if it's plausible to be too depressed to get it up.

People are never too poor for porn -- please. Now say that five times. A virtual cornucopia of hedonism and prurience exists free on our friend the Internets! Anybody with a keyboard and an AOL account can tap "naughty Amish milkmaids" into Google and get way more hits than expected, necessary, or spoken about in post-Spitzer America.

The lesson here is... Well, there is no lesson here. Just remember when Larry Flynt talks, we should all be showering. Use a lot of soap too.

In a related story, citing the ever-apparent correlation between pocket money and libido, Trojan Condoms announced plans to expand production the very second our molasses-paced Congress approves President O's wildly anticipated stimulus package.

Trojan CEO James R. Craigie told us his company was, you guessed it, confident "the stimulus package will lead to package stimulus." Thanks, I'll be here all week. Tip your waitress! Try the veal! And you know the rest of this joke.

Now onto Letters. What? You're surprised I get letters?


I heard from a fan who wanted to know, "Richard, what will this decade will be called -- you know, how do we name something that hasn't stood for shit?" Good question, Mom. You know, I've been on earth 40-plus years and I really can't remember when a decade got all the way to The Number Nine without a moniker. Can you!?

Think about the 90s -- tech, tech and more tech; the 80's was naturally the me-me decade; the 70's was mood rings, bad politics, shag rugs, mood rings, and a decade of Chevy Chase Doing Gerald Ford (and behind Betty's back -- no less)!

First I thought maybe we'll call this the Media Decade, since how we cover our world is all anyone blathers on about. But then I thought Medi(oh), for our ability to turn anything mediocre into news of a day. Nah, too cheap.

So, since I have to be earnest for at least a couple of seconds each post, I offer the following: let's dub this fekoktah decade "Truth of Consequences." Let me count the ways: From 9-11, to the reality of global warming, to a string of federal wrongdoings gigantic even by DC standards, to gas going up, down and sideways, to an unfathomable financial crisis, obesity in unstoppable mode, devalued dollar.... gee, Beav, we're seeing our fat chickens waddle home to roost.

So there you have it. An answer. You, too, can ask me anything related to media or marketing or a mixed-tape of the two. Write me on twitter@laermer

In The Media Now: There's an ad running on TV for a completely forgettable movie, Punisher War Zone. (Don't ask. It's the third Punisher movie, and we can't be responsible for titles to bad movies, though I'd like to think I named My Bloody Valentine in 3-D). The ad contains quotes from four distinctly unimpressive sources about how great this latest Dolph Lundgren adventure is.

Wait -- that's right. Even Dolph's opted out.

Even though the movie has generally been panned for being ridiculously low-brow even for the Punisher series, four sources are named in the ads:

...a weekly magazineNewsweek -- that just announced it will likely shrink to monthly;

..a newspaperSeattle Post Intelligencer -- that is in the news for saying it will be closing down if a buyer cannot be found to save its hiney;

..a so-so review from the Village Voice, the weekly which, while famous, just canned the two folks that have been with it since inception in the 60's -- and has received a lot of crap from media for letting two boldfaced names, namely Nat Hentoff and Julius Feiffer, go.

...and something called -- which according to Technorati, is ranked at number 2 million in its class of flick reviewers.

Questions about the practice of using such sources are countless. Let's try!

1. Why am I going to go to a movie that a minor newspaper tells me to see?
2. Haven't the studios after 100 years found a better way to advertise than this?
3. Can't they just say "If you love slasher movies that are gratuitously violent, this one's for you, dude"?
4. Leave quotes out from newspapers that are dying, particularly those that are being criticized by newspapers that are in fact on their last gasp.

See a movie because your friend liked it, period. When you have to ask "who?," you know that the drivel is not EVEN a renter. And a shout-out to airlines and premium cable channels for keeping us from looking stupid at parties.

And this just in: a guy on HuffPo is telling you that Punisher War Zone is crap and he hasn't even seen it!

Meanwhile, Lionsgate quickly ran out of hype steam about this punishing flick. I walked by one of the many Punisher posters on a Manhattan street and I took a neck-hurting quadruple take. Because, right there on the bottom of that violent image, right next to the credits and its nonsensical taglines, was the corporate ticker symbol LGF. Punisher pushers play the market too?

LGF, trading at 5.47; down from the year high of 11. Yep. They're high all right.

I leave you to make a few comments below. You know I approved these messages.

I'm Laermer, host of Unspun TV and the blog and the author of the books Punk Marketing, Full Frontal PR and 2011....