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FAQ

Q. Podcasting: what's 'holding up the delay'?

Okay, we've got to stop meeting like this.

Time, she passes, yet the legals surrounding podcasting are yet to be settled. Meanwhile, our finely honed spider-sense (and a steady stream of daily emails) tells us many of you are wondering when an AOP podcast will happen.

Alas, for the moment, we are bound not to release Age of Persuasion episodes for podcast. (No, we don't like it either.)

Hey, the cupboard isn't entirely bare: we are happy to be able to offer online streaming here on our site, with the latest show added early in the week following its broadcast. Meanwhile, there are five chances each Saturday to listen to the Age of Persuasion live feed online. Click on the "Listen to CBC Radio" link on the right side of our page and find the CBC station in the appropriate time zone. As we're fond of noting: you've gotta love a country where 11:30 a.m. happens five times a day.

As we've mentioned in the past, podcasting is new enough that the law, and lawyers, haven't caught up with it yet. Broadcast has laws and agreements that govern the use of copyright materials, podcasting doesn't- yet. And our episodes tend to be loaded with copyright elements.

Please don't picture us sequestered in some dingy hotel meeting room with sleeves rolled up, negotiating over plates-full of little egg salad sandwiches with the crusts cut off, and cold half-filled cups of coffee.

We aren't involved in any negotiations; like you, we're simply waiting by the phone. When we hear something, you'll be the first to know.

And when agreements are reached that allow us to podcast, we'll be all over it.

Promise.

Q. Is Mike Tennant leaving the Age of Persuasion?

A. This past March, Mike Tennant announced that he was leaving The Age of Persuasion when its fourth season concludes (in June). Visit Mike's website for more on why he's leaving.

Q. Will there be an Age of Persuasion book?

A. We're so glad you asked. The best-selling "The Age of Persuasion: How Marketing Ate Our Culture" was published by Knopf in Canada and by Counterpoint Press in Berkeley California.

Q. What's the name of the A of P theme music?

A. We asked co-composer Ari Posner that very question, and he told us the title is- wait for it- "The A of P theme". Ari must be one of those "save it for the game" guys. With co-composer Ian Lefeuvre, Ari created the theme for "O'Reilly on Advertising" a few years back. For The Age of Persuasion they created a "son of" composition, and have modified it for each successive season.

Q. I want to use The Age of Persuasion in my Media class. Are there plans for an AOP curriculum?

A. We love, love, love hearing from teachers. And yes, we're looking into curriculum possibilities for The Age of Persuasion. For the moment, though, the book is our priority.

Q. Is it okay to stream episodes of AOP in my classroom?

A. Absolutely. Please do.

Q. I have an idea for an AOP episode. Okay, wait, that wasn't a question.

A. We'd love to hear it. You can either respond here, or pop over to our Age of Persuasion Facebook page and we'll discuss it.

Q. Technical question: how come the episode streaming cuts out, or stops completely?

A. Okay, welcome to the depths of our ignorance. Our friends at CBC are good enough to handle website matters for us, and offer this:

It's possible some will have trouble because they don't have the most recent version of Flash installed.  You can find out which version of Flash you have by visiting this page:

http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=tn_15507

If you don't have the most recent version, it'll probably tell you to download it.

Q. How can I find the text of the famous 'Do This or Die' ad you mentioned in the show?

A. The ad cited in our episode Do This or Die, was written by the wonderful Bob Levenson of the legendary 60's agency Doyle Dane Bernbach. Under an imposing all-caps headline "DO THIS OR DIE", the copy reads:

Is this ad some kind of trick? No. But it could have been. And at exactly that point rests a do or die decision for American business.

We in advertising, together with our clients, have all the power and skill to trick people. Or so we think. But we're wrong. We can't fool any of the people any of the time. There is indeed a twelve-year-old mentality in this country; every six-year-old has one. We are a nation of smart people. And most smart people ignore most advertising because most advertising ignores smart people. Instead we talk to each other. We debate endlessly about the medium and the message. Nonsense. In advertising, the message itself is the message. A blank page and a blank must be the truth. For if we play tricks with the truth, we die.

Now. The other side of the coin. Telling the truth about a product demands a produce that's worth telling the truth about. Sadly, so many products aren't. So many products don't do anything better. Or anything different. So many don't work quite right. Or don't last. Or simply don't matter. If we also play this trick, we also die. Because advertising only helps a bad product fail faster. No donkey chases the carrot forever. He catches on. And quits. That's the lesson to remember. Unless we do, we die. Unless we change, the tidal wave of consumer indifference will wallop into the mountain of advertising and manufacturing drivel. That day we die. We'll die in our marketplace. On our shelves. In our gleaming packages of empty promises. Not with a bang. Not with a whimper. But by our own skilled hands.

-Doyle Dane Bernbach Incorporated

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