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Claire Daniel

Thailand Prime Minister’s PSA: Country ‘Not Always Safe for Tourists’ After Murder

Ao_Thong_Nai_Pan,_Koh_Phangan,_Thailand_02-2003Yesterday our friends at Skift revealed that media coverage doesn’t necessarily inspire tourists to pick certain travel destinations. On the other hand, extremely negative coverage would definitely influence our decision not to visit certain locales.

Times have been tough for Thailand’s tourist industry ever since its May 22 coup. Turns out that martial law makes it hard for tourists to purchase travel insurance — so the number of visitors to Thailand dropped more than 10 percent during the first eight months of 2014.

That’s quite a drop a country whose tourist industry makes up about 10 percent of its economy, but it wasn’t a lethal drop. After all, adventure-seeking tourists were still free to travel sans insurance, and plans were in the works to lift martial law in the country’s more leisure-inclined, less revolutionary areas.

However, following news of the murder of two British tourists earlier this week, Prime Minister General Prayuth Chan-ocha is accurately acknowledging “all sorts of consequences” for Thailand in the future. Read more

#GoodellMustGo: NFL Sponsor CoverGirl Caught Up in Bad Press Tsunami

This weekend brought another wave of bad PR for the NFL in the former of #Goodellmustgo—and it’s threatening to take down one of its key sponsors.

The photoshopped image below was taken and modified from CoverGirl’s “Get Your Game Face On” campaign, which sought to create a series of “official team makeup looks,” and paired with the trending hashtag #Goodellmustgo.

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As documented by Jezebel

The company pimped it on its Facebook page, on Instagram, on Twitter, and even made an entire board of NFL makeup looks on Pinterest. Every team. Including Ray Rice’s team, the Baltimore Ravens. Fans excited about Girling the hell out while cheering on their team could find all of the looks on Cover Girl’s special NFL Game Face website.

But today the website is gone and we’re left to wonder: is CoverGirl’s NFL partnership gone as well?

Almost certainly not.

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Flushable Wipes’ Public Image Is in the Sh*tter

The London Fatberg is growingFlushable wipes are fighting a PR campaign in the sewers, where they contribute about a third of the debris choking screens and pumps in U.S. treatment plants.

Over the last five years in New York City alone, more than $18 million has been spent repairing and replacing damage that the anal retentive among us hath wrought:

The globs aren’t unique to New York…in London, a 15-ton wad of wet wipes and cooking grease last year accumulated to the size of a yellow school bus inside a sewer line, preventing neighborhood toilets from flushing. It took more than three weeks for Thames Water Utilities Ltd. to break up the “fatberg.”

Similar blockages have been experienced in Orange County, California; Columbus, Georgia; and Vancouver, Washington. PortlandMaine’s Water District is still paying for the $4.3 million it borrowed in 2009, an amount almost equal to half its annual operating costs, for screens to catch wipes before they ruin pumps. [Bloomberg]

Oh, and there’s more! So very much more.

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A Day in the Life of a Marketer: Long Hours, No Lunch, Dashed Dreams of Being an ‘Artist’

Oh good, it’s not just me.

According to a new survey conducted by AtTask in partnership with MarketingProfs, life is hard for modern day marketers and public relations professionals.

Here’s the breakdown: we work long hours (the survey found that nearly one in four of us works 10 or more on an average day); we’re slaves to our inbox (3 to 4 hours each day on email); we routinely skip lunch breaks (56 percent of us eat at our desks).

Despite all this, we still feel like we can’t get anything done. Case in point:

“An astounding 40 percent of marketers blame manual tasks, unexpected projects and rework as primary sources of lost productivity.”

Sadder still, one in three of us still dreams of a career in the arts while another 16 percent are scheming to transition into a more left-brained field like business, law or engineering.

Does this all sound like the conversation you just had with your next-door office mate?

It’s deja vu all over again.

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On the #HeadlessDay PR Blunder Apology

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On the same day that news of of U.S. journalist’s Steven Sotloff’s death at the hands of ISIS terrorists broke, ThinkJam in collaboration with Fox Home Entertainment rolled out a Headless Horseman-themed campaign to promote Sleepy Hollow:

“Heads will roll as sleepyheads celebrate Headless Day today, September 2. On this National Beheading Day, viewers everywhere can share in the fun as fans prepare for the release of Sleepy Hollow: Season One on Digital HD now and arriving on Blu-ray and DVD September 16.

“We hope you like them and are able to share them with your readers! If you share via your social media platforms, please tag them with #HeadlessDay!”

This isn’t just a case of bad timing—it’s a case of bad thinking… of surrendering to the laws of inertia when good sense would suggest giving up. After all, last Tuesday marked the two-week anniversary of journalist James Foley’s grisly beheading.

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CVS Health Changes Name, Kicks Tobacco for More Than #OneGoodReason

Go big or go home!

Cigarettes are notably absent on the shelves of 7,600 CVS/pharmacy stores today — a month earlier than expected. In their stead comes a new name (CVS Health), a new tagline (“Health is Everything”) and a new raison d’être: changing the future health of Americans for the better. (And of course a new social media campaign, #OneGoodReason.)

And yes, smoking is still a problem: 18 percent of American adults do it, and 480,000 deaths a year may be directly attributed to the nasty habit.

For Larry Merlo, president and CEO, the sale of tobacco products became inconsistent with the purpose of the company, which now boasts 900 walk-in clinics and a large pharmacy benefit management company, known as CVS/Caremark.

“Changing the name catches up with what we have been doing,” Merlo told Forbes.

It also changes the bottom line. Read more

Bad PR: Malaysia Airlines ‘Ultimate Bucket List’ Competition

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Straight from the files of What Were You Thinking? comes a “Bucket List”-themed contest from Malaysia Airlines that ranks as the second worst decision recently made by the beleaguered travel brand (the first was to retain its name in the “rebranding” campaign that started Friday with the elimination of 6,000 jobs).

As reported by Time, potential customers in Australia and New Zealand were recently invited to share their “bucket lists” (i.e., lists of things that one has not done before but wants to do before dying) for a chance to win a free ticket.

We don’t even need to tell you why this idea was one of the worst possible choices for the company.

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Bingeing on…Radio? WNYC Makes #SmartBinge Happen


Want to be extremely knowledgeable at your next dinner party? Comedian Eugene Mirman has just the thing for you: #SmartBinge—it’s somehow both “the new black” and the driving force behind WNYC’s new hashtag-centric, digital, social and mobile advertising campaign that launched earlier this summer.

This campaign positions WNYC’s library of audio podcasts as content to be similarly consumed to the videos you would find on Netflix, Amazon Prime and Hulu: in binges.

Read more

Good PR Averts the Sriracha Apocalypse

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For L.A. cool kids, the hottest ticket in town this weekend was a tour of the Sriracha hot sauce factory in Irwindale, California, which kicked off its grinding season with an open house (and much fanfare).

There, the company’s once-reclusive and sometimes-combative CEO David Tran greeted guests amongst red, green and white balloons next to an Instagram-ready cardboard cutout of himself.

Tran didn’t just set up a party to combat his company’s recent problems stemming from a bad reputation and an insurmountable odor: he opened the doors and let the world smell his spices.

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Anthropologie Brings Us ‘Nipplegate’

breastfeedingAnthropologie shopper Ingrid Wiese Hesson recently spoke to CBS news about an unfortunate (and illegal, according to California state law) incident she experienced at the chain’s Beverly Hill’s store, which she is calling “nipplegate.”

Here’s the story:

After spending $700 dollars on “breastfeeding friendly” clothes, Hesson sat down to breastfeed on one of the stores plush vintage chairs. Before long, she was approached by a manager, who said “I’m here to escort you to the ladies’ room so you can finish breastfeeding…”

When the manager opened the door to the restroom, she apologized for the lack of a chair. “Of course the only thing in the bathroom is the toilet seat,” Hesson noted.

Hesson said she contacted the store manager later to find out more about what had happened. The manager “said there are other customers in the store, and she thought they would be more comfortable and you would be more comfortable,” she recalled.

The manager’s actions “won’t stop me from doing what’s best for my baby, but it could stop me from shopping at stores that aren’t tolerant,” Hessen said.

Frankly, this one shocks me because I swear I’ve come across an Anthro catalogue featuring a breastfeeding model in some tribal maxi skirt pedaling optional $100 nipple tassels to plug up leakage when not in use.

It just all seems to go against the brand’s bourgeoise bohemian ethos, amirite? Read more

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