Since its release in mid-November, Quantum of Solace has had mixed reviews and we have been a bit sniffy about some of the product placement around it. But the film itself is brilliant. It follows on from Casino Royale in both storyline (it starts where the last one left off) and direction - fast-paced edits, a darkly believable Bond (with a great body) and sinister unknown global enemies, giving it a contemporary feel. In fact, we'll even concede that some of the product placement is well done - the phones actually add to the coolness at times.
Men's Health January issue
Men's Health, published by NatMag Rodale, is banking on a lot of male guilt to follow the party season and has gone covermount crazy with its January/February double issue. The magazine launches the first in the series of the "Men's Health Playlist", a compilation of tracks in conjunction with iTunes to accompany an aerobic workout. And it's also giving away copies of the Food Doctor Diet by Dr Ian Marber for even more ammo against that post-Christmas flab. We think we'll be needing it.
The Elizabeth Arden calendar
Advent calendars are all very well, but they don't quite bring in the revenues. So how about an "advert calendar" instead? IPC's womanandhome.com is currently featuring an online advent calendar sponsored by Elizabeth Arden. Visitors who click on a day in the calendar see an Elizabeth Arden advertorial and can enter the draw to win a daily prize from the cosmetics group's most popular beauty products. Almost as good as one with chocolates in it.
Metro's new look
It's not exactly radical, but we're enjoying the redesigned Metro newspaper. It's good that Associated Newspapers still has the budget for this sort of thing as the front page especially now looks both more modern and more serious. The introduction of a side-bar of news briefs alongside the main story makes it feel less downmarket and a cleaner look with "colour coded" sections makes for an easier read. The sort of good news advertisers need when times are hard.
AND ONE THING WE DON'T ...
Time magazine's 'The Luxury Index'
We're all for a bit of colour and glamour during the downturn but Time magazine's Style and Design supplement, coverlined "The Luxury Index" and complete with a garish yellow and pink cover, seems to touch the boundaries of bad taste. Time's high-net-worth readers and its big-spending advertisers might not know that there is a recession in full swing and doubtless enjoy looking at page after page of diamonds and python-skin handbags, but surely a little bit of restraint wouldn't go amiss?