January 21, 2014 Science fiction is littered with warnings of a consumerist future ruled by all-powerful corporations. Commentator and science-fiction fan Adam Frank offers up a clever song he saw on YouTube as one small defense against falling into that trap.
This controversial ad riffing off the legendary "got milk?" campaign is one of several marketing health insurance to young people in Colorado.
Thanks Obamacare campaign
November 24, 2013 Young healthy people are critical to making the new insurance marketplaces work. A Colorado advertising campaign pushes the boundaries of taste as it tries to persuade young people to click on a link for the decidedly unsexy topic of health insurance.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/246590664/247006305" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
The FDA is expected to determine whether e-cigarettes should be regulated like tobacco products later this month.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
October 21, 2013 The federal government does not currently regulate the sales and marketing of electronic cigarettes. That may change soon, but in the meantime, the lack of regulation means manufacturers have tremendous leeway over how they advertise their products.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/239275016/239269428" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
"We just thought we were telling this endearing story women could relate to," says HelloFlo founder Naama Bloom.
Courtesy of HelloFlo
July 31, 2013 An online video spot for HelloFlo breaks the familiar mold of cheesy tampon commercials in a clever way. Ad watchers say it's a reflection of the open, transparent conversations spurred by social media.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/207392165/208167211" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
June 1, 2013 When an advertiser seems to do everything right and still draws complaints, it makes you wonder: Is there any way to market to diverse communities without stepping on toes?
Drinks columnist David Wondrich is seen on Esquire's new Talk to Esquire app, which allows users to interact with several of the magazine's columnists through voice recognition.
Screengrab via YouTube
April 15, 2013 Advertisers want to hear what you have to say, and many are about to roll out new kinds of ads you can actually have a conversation with. Marketers are hoping to leverage the power of voice and the kinds of technologies that power Apple's Siri to start selling us all sorts of things.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/177345718/177371308" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
April 7, 2013 Broadcasters will convene in Las Vegas this week to discuss the rapidly-growing demographic of people who don't subscribe to cable or satellite TV services. Instead, more people are watching shows and movies online.
The Volkswagen Super Bowl 2013 commercial is among the ads that already surfaced on social media. Some critics say its racial tone is demeaning.
Volkswagen via Youtube
February 1, 2013 Spoiler alert: A few Super Bowl commercials have launched on social media well before Sunday's big game. Ad industry watchers say the multi-million-dollar spots are meant to be entertaining, but a few of the ads are already controversial.
November 13, 2012 The answer includes a half a million vending machines, a 7.5 cent coin, and a company president who just wanted to get a couple lawyers out of his office.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/165046113/165073040" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
January 24, 2012 People around the globe know they should be exercising more and eating better. But food manufacturers aren't helping, with dubious health claims and confusing nutrition labels. That's the word from a global survey on nutrition information.
August 24, 2011 Search giant Google has agreed to settle a federal probe into ads it ran for online Canadian pharmacies by forfeiting $500 million. The settlement assures the company will not face criminal charges.
Joe Bey enjoys a cigarette in Conner's Pub in Indianapolis.
June 21, 2011 Starting next year, cigarette makers will have to give up the top half on their packages to display nine anti-smoking images in rotation. In ads, 20 percent of the real estate at the top of the ads will have to be devoted to a graphic warning.
June 5, 2011 Jack Daniel's is tightening up the text-heavy label for its Old No. 7 whiskey. The company is nixing some half-truths and exaggerations that have been on display for decades. The changes have prompted some controversy among the faithful.
May 27, 2011 The value of a moratorium on consumer ads for new drugs would hinge on whether a reduction in unexpected side effects outweighed lost health benefits from reduced use of effective medicines, a Congressional Budget Office report says.
December 8, 2010 Microsoft hopes that by allowing users to have some kind of greater control over who can collect consumer data that congress won't legislate and the federal trade commission won't regulate.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/131914019/131913399" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor