Apple & IBM: Friends with Benefits | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

Josh Spencer Market Information

Keep your friends close and your enemies closer. Apple and IBM are known rivals, so it was a huge shock when the two companies recently announced that they would be partnering together to sell more of Apple’s iphones and ipods to corporate customers and government agencies.

As two of the largest companies, there has previously been a lot of tension and competition between the two, however Apple’s Tim Cook and IBM’s Ginny Rometty say that the hard feelings have faded away as technology has evolved and the companies have moved in new directions. IBM moved on from the PC business when they sold their division to Lenovo ten years ago, and Apple currently makes far more revenue from its iphones than they do from their Mac computers. Cook acknowledged the lack of competition and said that the product of this is, “…something better than either of you could produce yourself.”

So what are Apple and IBM benefiting from their new friendship? Although the two competitors have partnered together in the past, this time, its big. To most, it would look like Apple is getting the better end of the deal. IBM will be providing cloud functionality and services for business use on iOS based mobile platforms which would help bring AppleCare service to the business realm. However, we will also see IBM help sell Apple’s iOS devices containing versions of their own data analytics software to their clients; a mutually beneficial relationship.

Another win-win to this deal: Apple gets a huge partner without having to build and market to other companies solo. In return, IBM gets Apple’s “cool” factor, and loyal following. Companies such as Beats by Dr. Dre and Apple themselves have a certain something that IBM just has never been able to tap into throughout the years; Can you say popularity by association?

The new collaboration between Apple and IBM should worry many companies but Dell and Blackberry are letting it be known that they are not anxious at all. They argue that the bond between the two companies is not going to derail the efforts of their own companies to reinvent themselves.  John Swainson, Dell’s global software business head, said in an interview with Reuters, “I do not think we take the Apple-IBM tie up seriously.  I think it just made a good press release.”  Companies like Microsoft however, might be a little more on edge because of their new emphasis on a cloud first, mobile first structure.  What do you think?  Should the teaming of these two giants be worrying for the rest of the tech companies?

 

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

An Intern’s Summer Experience | Velocity Agency | New Orleans, LA

Josh Spencer Velocity News

Upon receiving the news that I would be spending my hot summer days in an advertising agency in New Orleans, my mind began racing what my first day at Velocity would be like. I have to admit I did my fair share of web stalking and even going as far to check out the clients that were scattered all around Velocity’s website. I was impressed but unsure of what the next few months would hold.

As an intern you aren’t exactly in a position to request a job in an office, however this company was smart enough to highlight the strengths of its employees (even down to the lowly interns) and after mentioning my journalism degree and interest in writing I was immediately suggested to write blogs for Velocity Agency and a few clients. This was exciting, but also very nerve racking due to the high intensity and fast-paced rate at which my co workers completed sometimes (what seemed to me) as impossible tasks. These people worked their tails off everyday and always took pride in finished products for multiple clients as if they were for their own personal company.

My love for the series Mad Men gave me preconceived notions that my new internship would be full of cigarette smoking creatives on one side of the building and bossy account managers on the other. However, during my time at Velocity I saw that even the creatives were business-minded, and the money managers were constantly thinking outside the box. I learned a little from every angle within the agency, from graphic design to SEO, and while working side-by-side yet in different departments they blended beautifully.

Although usually in great spirits, like every great business, things weren’t always peachy around here. Many times I would come in to work only to find my group frustrated with a client’s constant need to change a detail they spent countless hours on or upset with the way a project turned out. Usually these stressful moments were cooled down and fixed within the hour and the agency always seemed to pull-off practically anything that was asked of them.

My glimpse into the advertising world, thanks to Velocity, has been more than anything I could ask for. I had bosses who did nothing but encourage, co workers that genuinely had me excited to come to the office everyday and an agency that continues to do amazing work for their clients any chance they get.

 

-Kara Campbell

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

 

Billboards the Prize in CBS’ Acquisition of Van Wagner

Josh Spencer Market Information

It seems that every week we hear news about leading tech companies undergoing mergers and acquisitions, whether it is Facebook buying WhatsApp or Apple taking over Beats Electronics. While tech M&A’s practically happen every day, the advertising world rarely sees as big a merger as what occurred on Monday when CBS Outdoor Americas acquired Van Wagner Communications for more than 1,000 billboard displays. Today, billboard ads are an excellent way to strengthen your brand. Learn more about billboard advertising and how you can expand your brand.

But what are these mergers really about? In the case of massive social media networks (or media companies in general) is all about eyeballs. The way most media companies generate revenue is through advertising, and to be successful they need the right balance between content and user base. CBS Outdoor Americas announced on Monday that it had reached an agreement to acquire Van Wagner Communications for $690 million in cash. This move comes only four months after the company was spun out of CBS in the networks attempt to increase viewership and promote in new markets. The deal will consist of more than 1,000 advertising billboard displays in 11 large US markets. The expense seems to capitalize on new market opportunities over the summer by promoting shows that will premiere in the Fall. You may remember Facebook bought out WhatsApp for the paltry sum of $19B back in February. While there was tons of criticism of CEO Mark Zuckerburg, the move was seen as a worthwhile strategic risk that would expand Facebook’s user base by more than 500 million people.  Although the CBS deal was nowhere near the scale of the WhatsApp buyout, the media company hopes to accomplish a similar goal: expand its consumer base to as wide an area as possible.

What does CBS hope to gain by plastering its programs all over?

Money (obviously), but in order to achieve revenue from ads they must drive a consumer to action. Most ordinary consumers doubt the effectiveness of billboards to do that. They tend to think that messages on billboard ads are just too short to be persuasive and that there are more effective, more measurable, ways to advertise. Let’s take a look at some stats that delve into this argument.

According to the 2009 Arbitron National In-Car Study, “that 71 percent of Americans ‘often look at the messages on advertising billboards’.” Additionally, the study found that 56 percent of Americans reported talking about a funny billboard ad they saw while in the car at a later time. Consumers may argue that there is a big difference between noticing a billboard and deciding to purchase something as a result (they are completely right), but the study revealed information that is critically important to advertisers; 72 percent of viewers shop on their way home, 68 percent make shopping decisions in the car, and 32 percent reported that they visited a business or bought a product advertised on a billboard they saw within one week of seeing it.

People miss the mark when thinking about the benefits of advertising billboards. They aren’t plastered everywhere to persuade you to buy something, not overtly anyway. Instead, they strengthen brand recall and reinforce images. People might not look at ads for longer than a couple of seconds, but they do look. For companies like CBS that want their name and image everywhere (check out how much CBS owns), the opportunity to buy prime real estate billboards is something they can’t risk passing up.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

 

World Cup Overview #RiskEverything | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

Josh Spencer Market Information, Sports

And it’s another goal! Watching a World Cup game is unlike any other. Every four years, the deafening roar of diehard fans rooting for their home team fills the stadium, and this year’s World Cup in Brazil does not disappoint. The World Cup is an exciting time for everyone, whether you are an avid soccer fan or not. It is unique in the sense that there are no boundaries universally and everyone comes together to cheer their country to the finals. Millions of viewers from around the world tune in everyday to watch their team play and along with the game, there’s another important factor to be seen; the advertisements.

Velocity Agency New Orleans Nike

The World Cup is a great opportunity for its sponsors and companies to reach out to a mass audience in fun, innovative ways. One of these companies whose new campaign has risen to the top is Nike. Nike recently came out with a new “Risk Everything” campaign for World Cup 2014 in Brazil and has been shared, liked, and tweeted so much that it is now the third most watched video on YouTube. Their ad video shows popular soccer players in battle with clones for the World Cup title in “the Last Game.” The scientist and the clones want to prove that riskless football is more effective, and they are successful until Ronaldo Fenomeno (one of the popular soccer players) proves them wrong. He gathers the original players and motivates them to “Risk Everything” to fight for the title.

Nike understands that the World Cup is not just about the soccer; it’s about being brave and risking everything for your goals. They recently released a statement saying, “There’s no greater risk than playing it safe.” This is as true in advertising as in sport. The main thing about the “Risk Everything” campaign is that it is a sentiment that goes beyond sport. Human emotion is sold in nearly all unforgettable World Cup campaigns. Coca-Cola sells happiness, McDonald’s sells fun, and Nike sells personal achievement. For four years, people wait to cheer on their country with unbelievable pride and joy. Every yard the ball is moved and every goal is celebrated with outstanding support.

As the clock ticks down, the fans and players both experience what Nike embodies of personal achievement; weather they win or not. This campaign is so universally accepted and resonates with people from all around the world because “Risk Everything” is understood without explanation. They took a concept relevant to everyone from around the world and made it charming to targeted audiences.

Campaigns like this one from Nike force the viewers to ask themselves questions about their own lives. Am I playing a safe and perfect game in my own life? What are the rules that make it safe to risk everything? What are the benefits to going past my own personal boundaries? What are the risks? What would I do for a Klondike bar? Taking more risks is something we can all do, whether it is in the World Cup, advertisements, or our daily lives.

Enough with playing it safe. #fearnothing

 

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

#Pantene #SorryNotSorry | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

Josh Spencer Market Information

Pantene is sorry, they aren’t sorry.

Stepping forward with a sequel to last year’s “Shine Strong” campaign, the product line recently produced another attention-grabbing advertisement that leaves its target audience in a standing ovation.

In case you haven’t seen it, Pantene’s new commercial features a variety of women in multiple scenarios constantly apologizing for situations that should otherwise be void of a “I’m sorry.”

“I’m sorry, this is a stupid question..” a woman says to a group of male co-workers, and a whispered “sorry” as a woman hands a baby to a man as she cooks dinner, are just a few of the scenes shown in Pantene’s ad. It seems as though the commercial hits home for many women who want detachment from the needy and nagging stereotype often bestowed upon them.

However, Pantene’s marketing research team suggests this apologetic behavior actually has a reverse effect. Instead of allowing women to follow through with their desired intentions, they are subtly portrayed as weak and unfit for the task by asking forgiveness where it is unneeded.

“We used marketing research to look at what gender norms were holding women back and tried to tap into the most relevant and insightful area. This problem of saying sorry wasn’t just something women in the U.S. were facing, but globally,” Kevin Crociata, marketing director of Procter and Gamble North America, told AdWeek. “After the success of the first campaign ‘Shine Strong’ is something we’re committed to as a brand.”

Pantene’s “Shine Strong” campaign has been in progress since it launched at the end of 2013 with a commercial out of Pantene Philippines “Labels Against Women.” It was also the beginning of the Pantene Shine Strong Fund, the goal being to enable and educate women to overcome bias, in collaboration with the American Association of University Women, underwriting monetary grants and allowing access to influential leaders.

“Pantene’s commitment to raising awareness about unconscious bias and stereotypes is a perfect link with AAUW’s core mission,” said AAUW Executive Director and CEO Linda Hallman, CAE told MarketWatch. “We look forward to further exploring these important topics and seeing how our student members bring the conversations to life within campuses and communities across the country.”

While the ad received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback, there were, of course, some opposing views. Some viewers commented online that the commercial loses sight of goal, which is to sell hair products. Many of those commenting argued the campaign itself is sexist, claiming men do the same but aren’t targeted for the ad, and a few disagreed with Pantene stating there is nothing wrong with saying you’re sorry to be polite.

So what do you think of Pantene’s new advertising approach? Will this be breaking grounds for the brand’s image, or just another beauty line pushing women’s stigma barriers to generate sales?

For the time being, Pantene’s “Shine Strong” campaign will (at the least) promote a healthy self-image for the women it targets. It seems that companies are constantly making strides to blend the gender, race and sexuality boundaries more each day within their own form of advertising. Through research lead strategy, marketers appear determined to focus on the confidence and happiness of their consumers.

Sorry, we have to agree.

 

McDonalds Mascot For Happy Meal: Happy | Velocity Agency

Josh Spencer Market Information, Social Media

McDonald’s let Twitter followers in on a happy little addition last week when they released a photo of their new mascot. Bulging eyeballs and big smiling teeth, a Happy Meal box appropriately named “Happy” made his debut to the internet. This fictional character was created as “an ambassador for balanced and wholesome eating” pushing the idea that kids will be happy to choose healthier options like apples and yogurt in place of french fries in their McDonald’s boxes. These good intentions that began in France in 2009 have sparked mainly negative jokes about the new face of the fast-food chain in the United States, targeting the red box and making him the laughing stock of social media.

This is not the first time McDonald’s mascot has gotten a makeover, though. Lately, the golden arches have began to push their brand as more of an “upscale dining experience” rather than the grab-and-go greasy meals known since the restaurant opened in 1940.

While we appreciate the effort, there is one tiny detail McDonald’s Happy Meal marketing strategists just aren’t getting when it comes down to changing their brand: nobody’s loving it.

The reason big brands become big brands is because of an early well-established mission for the company.

While many newer brands spend years playing around with multiple logos, taglines and purpose, brands like McDonald’s may be better off just sticking to what they know.

Not to say they haven’t tried multiple marketing outlets for switching it up a little, but when your restaurant feeds over 68 million people per day, why bother?

Other fast-food corporations have tried to match the efforts of McDonald’s but aren’t even close when it comes to the the global takeover of the golden arches. Brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s do well in their classic familiar bubbles but modern chains may need to switch-up their image to keep up with society.

Several years ago after multiple strings of bad press and negative reviews, the pizza chain Domino’s decided to give their brand a facelift. Commercial after commercials were made since the change in 2009 regarding Domino’s “new and inspired pizza recipe” to help boost sales. In the ads, Domino’s blames itself for the less-than-average tasting pizza and costly delivery fees and announces its new upgrades through offers and giving an overall sense of “personal care” to the customer. Changing the entire marketing approach benefited Domino’s so much, the company saw a 14.3 percent in same-store sales within the first quarter.

So what does this mean for older brands trying to boost their image? Is it a gamble for classic companies but not new ones? Only time will tell if McDonald’s attempted image will truly take-off the way they would like and if “Happy” the mascot will stay around for generations of consumers.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

 

Coca-Cola Targets Brazil For The World Cup | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

Josh Spencer Advertising, Sports

Coca-Cola is on the brink of changing their advertising strategy for the World Cup 2014. The classic brand, known for its traditionally wholesome and soft image, may soon be plunging into much deeper waters as it explores a more realistic approach relating to Brazil’s current political situation.

While it is isn’t picturesque to imagine anything but sports fans across the globe uniting over goals and jerseys, the truth is that life in Brazil at the moment is pretty unglamorous. The lack of health care, poor public services and extremely high poverty rates are masked by the extensive spending on advertising and commodities during the World Cup 2014. Sadly, Brazil’s somber inequality as a country is being overshadowed by an $11 billion dollar budget for the series of games.

Activists are intent on protesting Brazil’s distorted representation through rallies and marches that seemed to have even become severely violent even before the World Cup began. At one point, even massive plastic sheets were used by protesters to hide a giant Coke bottle in front of Rio’s Maracana Stadium. Brazilian police have been using tear gas and rubber bullets to fend off the rioters that are targeting stadiums in all six countries of the games. In the city of Belo Horizonte, demonstrators set fire to a dealership selling cars produced by Kia Motors (partly owned by World Cup sponsor, Hyundai) and officials say there is likely more violence to come.

Coca-Cola’s executive vice-president, Joe Tripodi told the Associated Press, “That [World Cup] spotlight can act as an opportunity to tell a story of happiness but it can also be a spotlight to tell a story of grievances and concerns that they [the public] have about the direction of the country.”

Although it leaves the question, is Coke’s goal to use Brazil’s corrupted government in ads a genuine effort or is it merely a strategic business plan to take a touchy social problem and financially profit from it?

It isn’t unlike Coca-Cola’s advertisers to stand firm on a political front when it comes to their brand. Only a few years ago did Coca-Cola’s U.K Branch sign the Public Health Responsibility Deal promoting healthy living. As part of their pledge, Coke fought off critics that bashed their sugar-filled cola by distributing soccer balls for each Coke sold during their World Cup Trophy tour. Thus, encouraging kids to get out and play, while still selling soda.

Yet, Coca-Cola does seem to be contradicting their original World Cup 2014 campaign slogan “One World, One Game” by now considering to address Brazil’s depressing situation. It is a slippery slope when projecting political views into a marketing campaign, especially one during events as large as the World Cup.

“Sponsors have got to be locking themselves in their sports marketing war rooms right now to figure out exactly how to respond,” says David Carter, a management professor who runs the Sports Business Institute at the USC Marshall School of Business in Los Angeles told Business Week. “Not only do they need to be concerned with activating their sponsorship, but they’ve got to be really concerned with a rapid response to anything that might go sideways.”

If Coca-Cola does in fact plan to push forward with the plan to support Brazil’s efforts, it will be interesting to see what progress, if any, will result for their residents, government and the Coca-Cola brand in general.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

#HashFlag #Twitter #WorldCup | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

Josh Spencer Social Media, Sports

Twitter scores, again.

Creative and colorful, the network is bringing back the ever popular #hashflags to utilize hashtags for World Cup series in 2014.

This promoted bit allows Twitter users to hashtag the national three-letter code (e.g. GER, FRA, USA) with the flag emoji of that particular country appearing along side of the tweet. A patriotic element just added to Twitter for the World Cup 2014, this item is a fun way for World Cup game watchers and Twitter users to show support to their favorite teams throughout the series.

Although the feature hasn’t been around in a while, it isn’t exactly brand new, either. The #hashflag became popular when introduced four years ago at the 2010 World Cup. Sadly, the #hashflag component hasn’t made it to the Twitter Application for iPhone, yet. But it was frequently used by the voice of the World Cup, pop-superstar Shakira (one of the first to use the element in 2014 for the series) and has already gained back an audience as tweets of the anticipated global sporting event commence.

Even though the network usually holds a firm second-place to Facebook, the quick, live-action content makes Twitter the better option when it comes to World Cup. This year, Twitter has created a special page with anything and everything World Cup related under just about any topic one could wish. Clicking on the trending hashtag #WorldCup or #WorldCup2014 will transport the user to a feed that includes a continuous stream of real-time score updates, highlights from matches, press comments and player/coach tweets.

Not only is Twitter giving their audience extensive information for the World Cup, they’re also changing up it’s delivery. By allowing non-Twitter users to view their feed with their own sign-in made specifically for the run of the series, they are catering to a whole new crowd of sports fans. Twitter is asking those who register to list what matches and teams they are most interested in, then applying that information to an account tailored for what they need for games.

From a marketing point-of-view, this isn’t a bad idea.

If you consider the increase in web activity social media receives within the duration of a globally televised event, the idea of a temporary account makes sense. Keeping in mind that these events are usually athletic affairs, it is a fantastic strategy to attract new users and keep them entertained with the idea that the account doesn’t have to last forever. The genius is realizing that the new user will eventually rely on Twitter for all sports news updates (not just the World Cup), and come to the conclusion Twitter is the right network for them. Facebook has tried a similar approach with a main page for the soccer series, but it seems doubtful they will see as much success.

Many advertisers say hashtags during events like the World Cup are becoming more valuable than 30 second commercials. It seems that social media traffic peaks during the breaks between airtime and advertisers are finally picking up on this concept. Brands like Kia, Volkswagen, Marriott and Johnson & Johnson have been involved in online promotions during large sporting events and with the World Cup 2014’s popularity on the rise this year we will be seeing even more big names participating in this form of advertising.

With this incredible global show of athleticism in our midst, it is an exciting time to be present as a consumer and advertiser in social media. Whether you support your team in the stands at Brazil, or in 140 characters behind a screen, there is no doubt the world will be buzzing about the excitement that is #WorldCup2014.

Velocity Agency is a digital marketing and advertising firm specializing in digital and internet marketing & advertising, print, web design, graphic design, film, and HD video promotion and post-production. Velocity serves clients all over the United States from our Metairie, LA office just outside of New Orleans by strategically implementing proprietary tools and techniques to get you the most conversions for your business through lead generation, cost-per-acquisition, and top line revenue.

Facebook provides marketers with web browsing history for better targeting

Josh Spencer Advertising, Social Media

Facebook announced earlier today that it would allow advertisers to utilize the information that was once only privy to Facebook, to other advertisers working to reach specific audiences.

The multi-billion dollar company has access to this information by placing code on Facebook user’s desktops and laptops that collect the websites the user visits. On Facebook mobile, the app collects the same sort of information by determining which apps have been downloaded on the user’s phone.

Facebook once kept this information private for security reasons, but in spite of resistance from some Facebook users, the company proceeded with the new feature regardless.

This change will allow consumers to better control the way they are marketed to, and allows them to give feedback in the moment; the ads will now offer a right hand click down menu that will allow Facebook users to respond to the ad, suggesting if the ad was useful or not.

Although this is a new leap in social media advertising, Facebook did not just re-invent the wheel, and Facebook users should not worry. The social media network already allowed marketers to target users based off of their networks, geographic locations, interests, ages and genders. Although these filters allowed advertisers to better reach certain demographics, it was only allowed to target information based off of what was “liked” on Facebook, which can be rather limited, depending on the campaign.

Now, marketers are able to directly appeal to specific audiences based off of what they know the users will like to see, and consumers will have less time wasted viewing adds they are not interested in.

Velocity Agency will be using this new feature in their social media marketing, in order to better serve our clients.

Google Grants some Users the Right to be Forgotten | Velocity Agency | New Orleans

Josh Spencer Digital Innovation, Market Information

For their next trick, Google will now make you disappear…

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 11.55.40 AM

About a week ago, Google out of Europe created a request form regarding outdated, inaccurate or inappropriate search results to be removed by the “Right to be Forgotten.” More than 50 million people live in the area affected by Google’s potential purge, and so far Google has received over 41,000 requests to have content removed (and counting).Within the first 24 hours the site posted the form’s publication, over 12,000 requests were sent to Google seeking to remove personal content. Google supervisors estimated 7 requests per-minute since the form’s availability on the site. With numbers such as these, it seems everyone is for the request application, but some specialists believe this isn’t Google’s duty.

Secretary general of the Internet Service Provider’s Association, Nicholas Lansman, stated in an interview, “ISPA has consistently argued that companies are ill-placed to make such decisions which should be made by a competent authority such as the Information Commissioners Office and it’s European counterparts.” Meaning this removal should be laser-focused on the individual requests by government authority, not a company like Google.

This makes sense, due to the fact many of these requests (sent in primarily from Germany and the U.K) tend to be more personal and require an in-depth examination to approve request. Noting that there is a fine line between individual privacy and serving the public interest. For example, a man in Germany sent in a removal request to Google only a few hours after the form was available just so happened to also pop up on dozens of search engines after attempting to murder his entire family- no word if he ever managed to fulfill his proposal, but information like this may be best left for public viewing.

The idea behind the “Right to be Forgotten” began with the European Court of Justice reaching out to improve the reputations of the Europeans Union by petitioning Google and other search engines to remove potentially damaging links from search results. Other search sites like Yahoo have also began making small strides trying to find a balance between public domain and user privacy. But how do you know which is which? The subject is tricky and there is a large gray area that needs to be considered before completely stripping all requested names from the web.

Thankfully, Google is taking some identity precautions before granting all internet-escapees a right of passage. Along with a series of questions, a copy of your drivers licenses or other photo identification, you must select the country you would like the information deleted from followed by this statement, from Google’s ‘Right to be Forgotten’ form:

“In implementing this decision, we will assess each individual request and attempt to balance the privacy rights of the individual with the public’s right to know and distribute information. When evaluating your request, we will look at whether the results include outdated information about you, as well as whether there’s a public interest in the information—for example, information about financial scams, professional malpractice, criminal convictions, or public conduct of government officials.”

However, if you are an American looking for a way to get rid of your online presence, you’ll be waiting quite some time. The Google headquarters of the United States show no signs of making a take-down option such as our neighbors across the pond, and even state on their site that anything you put on the web, belongs to the public.

Beyond the in-depth questionnaire and proof of identification, Google also wants to reiterate the fact that just because your information is removed from the search engine doesn’t necessarily mean it is erased from the internet. Meaning, in a nutshell, you can run but you can’t hide!