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Walmart Blames Tracy Morgan for His Own Injuries

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Walmart communications is apparently unfamiliar with the phrase “Don’t kick a man when he’s down.”

Tracy Morgan was not only down — he was almost out. ICYMI: In June, Morgan suffered nearly fatal injuries when Walmart truck crashed into his tour bus on the New Jersey Turnpike. His representatives at PMK*BNC had to tell the public that he would be OK and that he would eventually leave the hospital for an extended stay in physical rehab.

The crash killed the star’s longtime friend, comedian James McNair, and injured the other passengers. Morgan was hospitalized with broken ribs, a broken nose and a broken leg. Of course, Morgan is suing Walmart for negligence and a boat load of cash.

Now, Walmart has chosen to blame the star for the accident.

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The Ticker: eBay Spins Off PayPal; Magazine Industry Plays Defense; Apple Sues Somebody; And More

Golin Appoints Edelman, Clinton Vet to Manage D.C.-Area Offices

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Golin hired Neal Flieger, veteran of Edelman and various high-profile political campaigns, to manage its three Washington, D.C. area offices: Richmond, Baltimore and our nation’s capital.

Flieger spent a rare, unbroken 20-year stint at Edelman before making the move; one of his key roles at the firm involved leading its research firm StrategyOne while serving as Chair of Edelman Berland.

The list of clients for which he directed corporate reputation work, investor relations, anti-trust efforts(!) and more is as long as varied as you’d expect: it includes Samsung, Starbucks, Monsanto, Walmart, Pepsi, Yum Brands and many more.

Before he entered the agency world, however, Flieger was best known for helping to run the successive presidential campaigns of Paul Tsongas, Michael Dukakis and Bill Clinton. During the Clinton administration, he ran communications for the House Select Committee on Hunger and served as deputy administrator of the USDA’s Food and Consumer Service agency.

Flieger will report to Gary Rudnick, president of Golin Americas.

Beverage Companies Say They’ll Reduce The Number of Calories Consumed By 2025

drinking sodaCoca-Cola, PepsiCo and Dr Pepper Snapple Group have resolved to reduce the number of “beverage calories” consumers drink by 20 percent by 2025. The announcement was made during the Clinton Global Initiative, and the actions they plan to take include “selling smaller portion sizes and increasing promotion of products such as bottled water.” The size of a regular can of soda will remain 12 ounces and the calorie count will stay at 150.

“The companies jointly pledged to provide calorie counts and promote calorie awareness on the vending machines, fountain dispensers and retail coolers that they control nationwide,” reports USA TodayAnd the CEO of the American Beverage Association Susan Neeley is crowing how huge this is and how it’s going to fight obesity.

But actually this is kind of a preemptive strike, before legislators jump in with their own version of what calorie reduction and beverage taxes should look like. Also, sales of soft drinks have been declining anyway, so it’s not really such a huge sacrifice if you take a closer look.

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18 Brands That Got Buzzed for #NationalCoffeeDay

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Coffee: its effect on human productivity may be up for debate, but thanks to the (good/bad) habits of PRs and our friends across the aisle in media, it will remain the hottest beverage on the planet for the foreseeable future.

Today is National Coffee Day, which means “every day” to those who, like us, drink about four cups every 24 hours.

For social media managers, however, it’s another opportunity to promote the buzz around their brands.

Here are a few that we noticed.

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Bill Simmons Proves That ESPN Protects Its Image, Not Its Journalism

bill simmons podcastBill Simmons, aka “The Sports Guy,” who is easily one of the most popular people at ESPN now faces a three-week suspension for criticizing his bosses.

In case you haven’t already read it three times, here’s the statement that earned him all that time off:

“I really hope someone calls me or emails me and says I’m in trouble for anything I said about Roger Goodell because if one person says that to me, I’m going public,” Simmons warned. “You leave me alone. The Commissioner is a liar and I get to say that on my podcast.”

The less-responsible Stephen A. Smith got one week for saying Janay Rice had provoked her own beating. Simmons made a stand, pointed a finger in his bosses’ direction, and got three weeks.

Fair? Nope. Retribution? Yup. Outcry? Definitely.

But what does this say about the ESPN organization?

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Reporter Interviews Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig Without Seeing Their Movie, Pays the Price

A Denver reporter showed up on set without first doing his research and ended up slinking off camera in embarrassment.

Kristen Wiig and Bill HaderSNL alums and co-stars of the new movie The Skeleton Twins, appeared on a local station to be interviewed by Chris Parente.

Clearly Parente never got away with not doing his homework in school because he gives away almost immediately that he has no clue what he’s talking about. The long-winded opening question literally ends with, “What is it?” But the dead giveaway was the question about Wiig being naked. Neither star is naked in The Skeleton Twins.

Besides the fact that both sides should always be well-versed in the topic that they’re going to be talking about during an interview, it’s particularly critical when you’re going to be talking with someone who’s good at an ad lib.

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Burson-Marsteller Suffers Backlash Over Tunisian Government Contract

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Someone who was employed by Burson-Marsteller in 2011 made a very ill-advised statement.

That was the primary conclusion drawn from 5W PR founder Ronn Torossian’s Friday New York Observer op-ed, which ran under the URL “the Muslim Brotherhood’s new PR agency rejects Israel” and led to inflammatory headlines like this one from Arutz Sheva:

boycoot

To clarify, the word “boycott” means “a punitive ban that forbids relations with certain groups, cooperation with a policy, or the handling of goods [produced by that group].” On its website, the publication ran with the more accurate “U.S. PR Giant Refuses Israel as a Client, Works for Brotherhood.

Damage done, though.

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Some Woman Sues Disney Because Frozen Was Her ‘Life Story’

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Art imitates life?

Meet Isabella Tanikumi.

She’s a New Jersey-based author who also goes by L. Amy Gonzalez. Still not ringing a bell? What about her 2010 autobiography Living My Truth? We didn’t read it either — and that fact may explain the pending litigation behind this story.

According to CNN Money, Tanikumi has filed a $250 million lawsuit claiming that Disney’s animated film about Princess Anna, her magical sister Elsa and their talking snowman Olaf took elements from her aforementioned 2010 collection of words on paper.

Yes, Frozen was her life story.

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The Ticker: Mack Joins Levick; Systrom Joins Walmart; Magazines Are Back; And More

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