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Abercrombie Drops Logo from Clothing, Deprives Bros Everywhere of Identities

abercrombie-and-fitch-clothes-for-womenThanks to changing tastes of the teen demographic and the landslide of bad press the company has received over the past year, the Abercrombie & Fitch brand no longer wields the same power it once did. With sales continuing to flounder, the clothing retailer has decided to abandon its time-honored tradition of plastering its name and logo on virtually every piece of attire it sells, effectively robbing rich frat boy types of their identities.

“In the spring season, we are looking to take the North American logo business to practically nothing,” Mark Jeffries, CEO of A&F told investors on a conference call.  And in a note to investors Thursday, Richard Jaffe, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus, noted that “it’s taking time to win back customers.” But he believes that the merchandise changes are “gaining traction.”

While much of the brand’s weakening can likely be attributed to the recent Abercrombie-only-wants-pretty-and-cool-kids-wearing-their-clothes controversy, this branding shift is also about keeping up with the changing preferences of teens, who are more interested in standing out as individuals (while all wearing the same trendy top from H&M or Forever 21) than fitting in under a universally-recognized logo. Read more

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Newspaper Publishers’ Arch-Nemesis Is Maine’s Gov. Paul LePage

MaineQuit blaming the economy, newspaper publishers. Stop accusing the Internet, National Newspapers Publishers of America (NNPA). Hey, International News Media Association (INMA), slow down on your blog hate.

Your vitriol should be aimed in one clear direction — Augusta, Maine and the office of Gov. Paul LePage.

He was at a recent GOP rally celebrating the new RNC headquarters in Androscoggin County. Sounds like a happening place, right? I suppose the sauce was flowing as he got a little randy from the lectern and shared that he hates your wretched, ink-stained guts.

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Roll Call: MWW and Grayson Emmett Partners

MWW  announced that Nicole Bott has joined the firm’s corporate communications practice as vice president. Bott, who will be based in the New York office, brings more than a decade of experience leading integrated account teams across media relations, content development, creative and digital disciplines for a variety of financial services and corporate communications clients. In her role at MWW, Bott will use her integrated project management and strategic media relations skills to help clients implement strategic communications campaigns.

Prior to joining MWW, Bott served as a senior manager, client relationships at Peppercomm, where she was responsible for providing strategic counsel and leading integrated account teams across the agency’s various service offerings. Her client work focused on leading the account teams for one of the Big Four, with a particular focus on the firm’s financial services practice and strategic growth markets business. While at Peppercomm, Bott also worked on a variety of corporate communications and crisis programs across a variety of industries, including professional services, financial services, technology, consumer and sports. Previously, she served as vice president at Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, Inc., where she specialized in generating high-profile media coverage in targeted national outlets for clients in professional services, transportation and real estate, among others. During her tenure at Linden Alschuler & Kaplan, Inc., Bott also served as a key member of the public relations team that advised on two acquisition announcements. (Release)

Keith Burton, who left his role at Golin to become a partner at Brunswick New York last year, announced that he will leave his position to start his own firm to be known as Grayson Emmett Partners. Burton officially left Brunswick in May but just announced the formation of his new firm to PR Week yesterday. GEP will focus on employee engagement for clients in the “banking and finance, manufacturing, and consumer products” industries. Burton told the magazine that he plans to continue consulting with Brunswick in the employee engagement space. (PR Week)

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Spin the Agencies of Record

red lobster1

  • MWW will handle PR duties for Red Lobster, winning the account following the chain’s separation from parent company Darden. The company chose Publicis Kaplan Thaler as its new ad agency after announcing that split in July and picked MWW after a review (Edelman previously served as AOR). While the firm won’t handle social media, it will be responsible for corporate communications, executive visibility, issues management and brand positioning. As for why the company announced its new ad agency nearly two months before its new PR despite signing them at the same time, ask the guy above.

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NFL Promises to Crack Down on Domestic Violence

This afternoon the NFL attempted to fight back against one of its biggest reputation challenges by issuing stricter punishments for domestic violence among players.

Will this move pay off? Some details from commissioner Roger Goodell‘s letter to team owners after the jump.

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Is Sponsored Content Really More ‘Transparent’ Than PR?

To be honest with you, readers, many conversations about “content” alternately lull us to sleep and make us want to tear our hair out. Like most in the media, we have mixed feelings about the move toward a universal adoption of sponsored stories as a source of revenue for news outlets.

We have friends in the journalistic community who now write such stories for clients. They tell us that they see their role as supporting the work performed by their employer’s editorial team while managing to create content aligned with causes they support. (This is an ideal scenario, really.)

Still, we’ve noticed several people this week debating whether sponsored material is somehow preferable to “traditional” stories that involve a bigger role for PR. One anonymous “native” journalist interview by Digiday even went so far as to ask how PR-driven stories are “any different from native advertising, at the end of the day.”

The question begs for an answer.

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ESPN Gets the Memo on America’s Disinterest in Michael Sam’s Showering Habits

ESPN Michael Sam

We wanted to look the other way too.

ICYMI: The St. Louis Rams drafted a gay guy in the NFL draft this year. Many have discussed this fact. We blogged about it. Everyone is watching it.

However, most of us are also over it.

Michael Sam showed true courage, walked over a line, and took a stand for the LGBT community. And while everyone with a pulse and a non-blackened heart applauded him for that move then, we have all stopped clapping.

Why? It’s old news. ESPN, however, thought a story about Sam’s showering habits in the Rams’ locker room was necessary. A day later, they apologized because social media blew up.

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‘BarbieStyle’ Joins Instagram; Let the Product Placements Begin

Barbie

Today, fashion’s top title alerted us to some completely unsurprising news. Everyone’s favorite fake blonde has created a new Instagram account to help her better embody the role she was born to play: fashion critic.

Yes, we occasionally read Vogue. Shut up!

Anyway, she’s sharing her style pics with the world now — and she brought some of her favorite brands along.

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GOP Creates Video Game to Round up Supporters

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 2.50.14 PM.preview

Well, if you ever wanted to assume the role of a conservative elephant (trunk and all) and use your massive feet to stomp out job-killing taxes and misguided liberal “mudslingers,” the GOP has just the thing for you!

The National Republican Senatorial Campaign has developed a multi-level online computer game called “Mission Majority,” which is made to look like a retro 8-bit video game (Millennials love nostalgia). Players can take on the persona of an elephant named Giopi (which sounds suspiciously like “GOP’), and spend their valuable time defeating enemy “taxers” and “mudslingers,” who, when vanquished, recite particularly unfortunate audio-clips from Democrats like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Mark Pryor.

The point, of course, isn’t just to entertain the constituency, but to rack up contact information of like-minded individuals — in other words, potential voters, volunteers and donors. Hence the game requiring players to log in using an email address, Facebook or Google Plus. Read more

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