TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Elizabeth S. Mitchell

Follow Elizabeth Mitchell on Twitter

Roll Call: W2O Group, Starcom MediaVest Group and D S Simon and More

W2O Group announced the opening of a San Diego office to serve a growing client base and strengthen its presence in key markets for the growth of its health and technology businesses. The Company has hired David Walsey as managing director of BrewLife, a W2O Group company, to run and grow this office, particularly in the areas of biotechnology, life sciences, medical device, healthcare delivery, digital health and consumer and B2B technology. Walsey joins W2O Group from Optimer Pharmaceuticals, where he served as vice president of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, delivering business solutions for corporate objectives spanning corporate communications, investor and media relations, business development and crisis communications. In his new role, he will provide senior communications and investor relations counsel to clients. He has more than 15 years of experience leading communications functions for biopharmaceutical companies and 10 years as an attorney in private practice. (Release)

Starcom MediaVest Group has appointed Sue Frogley to its team as global commercial director, where she will be responsible for building commercial relationships. Joining the team from Dentsu Aegis Media, Frogley will work across all of SMG’s global network clients and will drive client revenue in the newly created role. (Release)

Bev Yehuda has joined the digital, social, video communications firm D S Simon as SVP, operations and digital media. She will lead the firm’s rapidly growing digital business, expand on client offerings while providing senior level counsel to the firm’s roster of Fortune 500 clients and leading non-profits. Prior to joining D S Simon, Yehuda was VP, web engagement at PR Newswire, a division of global media giant UBM and VP, New Products at MultiVu a PR Newswire company. (Release)

Volkswagen has elevated international communications head Mario Guerreiro to its top American PR slot. Guerreiro has been stationed in VW’s home country of Germany as head of international communications, and will move to Volkswagen Group of America in Herndon, Va., Oct. 1 as executive VP to head communications for the group and brand stateside, including PR, corporate media relations and internal comms. (O’Dwyer’s)

Bryan Cranston Promotes MLB Postseason with Hilariously Fake One-Man Show

So, what’s Bryan Cranston doing with himself after the glory that was “Breaking Bad,” you ask? Why, he’s tackling a one-man show, of course — why steal a show by outshining everyone around you when you can just play all the roles yourself? And what better subject matter than postseason baseball to encompass all the intense highs and lows of human emotion?

In perhaps our favorite promo for post season athletics to date, Cranston gives an in-depth behind-the-scenes look at a one-man masterpiece that, sadly, doesn’t actually exist. The spoof features the award-winning actor portraying baseball players for multiple different teams, among other roles, while the “backstage” collaborations include dance lessons from a prima ballerina and a tutorial on trophy accepting from a baseball great.

Cranston also flawlessly delivers ridiculous lines like, “Any actor who tells you that he is not inspired by Bugs Bunny is a liar, frankly, or just a hack,” with unflinching seriousness.

Oh, and the lyrics to ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame” have never, ever sounded so epically dramatic.

Roll Call: Edelman, Ruder Finn and The Digital Consultancy

Edelman has named Stephanie Lvovich global chair of its Public Affairs practice, effective October 13, 2014. Lvovich, formerly executive director and global chair of the food and consumer products practice at APCO Worldwide, will lead the firm’s global Public Affairs practice, which encompasses over 275 professionals worldwide. She will be based in the firm’s London office. At APCO Worldwide, Lvovich led the creation of and managed APCO’s global food and consumer products practice. She also oversaw international accounts for major food and consumer products companies including the Coca-Cola Company, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Mars Incorporated, SABMiller and many others. Lvovich also built and managed APCO’s business development function for Europe, India and the Middle East and helped support business and client expansion, particularly in the Gulf region. (Release)

Ruder Finn, Inc. announced that it has hired Peggy Walsh as its global chief financial officer. With 20 years of experience in business operations and finance, Peggy will oversee finance for Ruder Finn’s 12 offices across the U.S., Asia and the U.K. Peggy is coming to Ruder Finn from Ketchum, where she spent 15 years, most recently serving as Senior Vice President and Director of Finance and Operations. Walsh’s hire comes in light of Ruder Finn’s ongoing growth surge, with the agency’s key focus areas – Health & Wellness, Corporate & Public Trust, Technology & Innovation, and Consumer Connections – all growing. (Release)

The Digital Consultancy announced that Greg Verdino will launch and lead its North American office. In his role as managing director, Verdino will build upon The Digital Consultancy’s client-proven methodologies to deliver the comprehensive, impartial strategies that global organizations need in order to thrive in a constantly evolving digital economy. Verdino joins The Digital Consultancy after nearly 25 years working at the forefront of marketing, media and technology change. His career has included time as executive vice president of strategy at social business firm Dachis Group, chief strategy officer at pioneering social media consultancy crayon, and vice president of emerging channels at Digitas. His experience also includes seven years in senior marketing, sales and general management roles at a variety of technology startups, as well as agency stints at Blau Marketing Technologies, Wunderman and Saatchi & Saatchi. He most recently ran his own consulting practice, advising organizations in the media, healthcare, retail and public sectors on digital strategy, marketing, and transformation. (Release)

Urban Outfitters Semi-Apologizes for Kent State Sweatshirt with Blood-Red Stains

The latest installment of the “Urban Outfitters hocks yet another terribly-offensive clothing item” saga centers around this Kent State shirt, complete with what looks rather unmistakeably like blood stains. enhanced-16199-1410759430-11

What was listed as a $129 “vintage” shirt struck most people who saw it as a tasteless, insensitive reminder of the Kent State Massacre that left four people dead in 1970. As the image swirled around the internet and outrage mounted, even Kent State itself made its disgust known, saying in a statement:

“We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit…This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.We invite the leaders of this company as well as anyone who invested in this item to tour our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened two years ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.”

In response to the flood of complaints, Urban Outfitters issued a semi-apology for the product on Monday morning, saying “We deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively.”

Read more

Groundskeeper Willie of The Simpsons Takes a Stand for Scottish Independence

Willie_s Views On Scottish Independence | THE SIMPSONS | ANIMATION on FOX - YouTube

It’s common for celebrities to publicly back political candidates or openly support causes they care about, but no one ever asks fictional cartoon characters what they think, and as it turns out, they might just have a lot to say — The latest pop culture icon to release a statement urging his countrymen to vote a certain way is none other than the (highly) animated Groundskeeper Willie of The Simpsons.

The proud Scotsman has officially weighed in on the upcoming vote that will decide whether Scotland will separate from the United Kingdom.

“Now, both sides of this argument have valid points,” Willie amicably admits at the beginning of the video (below, after the jump), but his true opinions become clear when he goes on to describe those opposing sides as “the freedom-loving heirs of the highland tradition, and those who enjoy crawling like worms under British boots.”

Well then. Read more

Burger King Japan Brings Back the Strangely Popular Black Burger

BN-EM432_bkingj_D_20140911023522Well, if Dr. Seuss taught us anything, it’s that strangely-colored food just tastes better (and can be eaten on a on a train, in the rain, in a boat, with a goat…).

But it isn’t green eggs and ham that have won the hearts of Burger King Japan‘s customers — it’s a black burger, complete with black bun, black cheese and black sauce. And while we, personally, may think the sandwich more closely resembles industrial waste than a viable lunch option, we are in the minority.

The black burgers, now called The Kuro Pearl burger and Kuro Diamond burger (“kuro” meaning black), were first introduced for a limited time in 2012. They became so popular that they outsold all other new products the company offered that year. Due to high demand, the burgers were temporarily brought back again in 2013. Now, the burger chain is hoping for an equally-warm welcome the third time around. Read more

Roll Call: Waggener Edstrom, W2O Group and More

Waggener Edstrom Communications announced that industry veteran Michael Murphy will join WE as a senior global advisor to the executive team. He will work with WE leaders as the firm continues its evolution into one of the industry’s largest, integrated independent global agencies. Murphy is a business leader and communications specialist with decades of global experience in helping organizations successfully develop a range of growth strategies from organic account growth around the world through to M&A to complement existing capabilities. Coupled with the agency’s already strong global leadership, Murphy’s insights will help map growth strategies and potential strategic and business development opportunities. (Release)

W2O Group announced the opening of a Silicon Valley office and the promotion of digital marketing expert, Aaron Strout, to technology practice lead in response to the growing momentum of this business sector across its firms. Technology is now the second largest and fastest growing practice within W2O Group. The Technology Practice started with two accounts less than three years ago and now services 14 clients, including HP, Verizon, Intel, BMC Software and INRIX. Strout will focus on expanding the Technology Practice across all W2O companies — WCG, Twist Mktg and Brewlife — while enhancing the range of services offered. The Silicon Valley office, which will include several team members representing account services, analytics and finance, will strengthen the Technology Practice and expand its footprint. Group director and author Michael Brito, who has been working with and for technology clients for more than 15 years, will partner with Strout to lead business development and growth in that office. (Release)

Read more

What Will Starbucks ‘Express’ Stores Mean for the Brand’s Culture?

I24905278_BG1f you’re addicted to your morning cup of Starbucks but are sick of waiting in long lines of giggling tweens ordering ten-word-long beverages before homeroom, the cafe chain has some good news for you.

In an effort to cater to busy commuters, the company plans to launch smaller, express-style stores with reduced menu items, mobile ordering, and digital payment systems, all with the aim of getting you on your way faster. This move comes as the coffee chain looks to further strengthen its already-successful drive-through stores, which make up about 40% of its US locations and already have a higher sales growth than its stores without drive-through windows.

Starbucks also plans to open at least 100 new stores in the next five years dedicated solely to its Starbucks Reserve small-batch arabica coffee line.

But if you don’t have to wade through a sea of aspiring novelists typing furiously on their iPads or listen to the Dr. Seuss-esque tongue twisters that are the epitome of drink orders, then are you really part of the Starbucks culture?

Well, in a word, yes; you’re just part of the other Starbucks culture. Read more

Roll Call: Hager Sharp, Lambert, Edwards & Associates, Elasticity and More

Hager Sharp announced the appointment of Lisa Matthews, longtime planning editor for the Associated Press in Washington, DC, as vice president. Matthews organized national and international news coverage and is a leader in storytelling in today’s multiplatform media environment. Matthews is an award-winning journalist who has orchestrated AP coverage of major events such as the Olympics, the Summit on Africa, and breaking news across the country. She most recently served as planning editor at the AP, overseeing teams of video, radio, and digital journalists and working with AP print and photo divisions as well as bureau leaders across the country. Matthews has been twice honored with Edward R. Murrow awards, for coverage of 9/11 and of the economy. She is active in professional organizations such as the Radio Television Digital News Association and the National Association of Black Journalists, and has served as a mentor for young journalists and students in programs sponsored by the Radio Television News Directors Foundation and James Madison University, her alma mater. (Release)

Lambert, Edwards & Associates (LE&A) announced the addition of Matt Magee as a director in the Financial Communications Practice. Matt adds more than a decade of experience in the financial industry to the firm, with a background ranging from investment banking to equity trading. In his new role, he will be responsible for developing and implementing integrated strategies for publicly traded companies seeking to engage the investment community and other pertinent audiences, providing full-service investor relations and corporate communications programs. Previously, Matt worked as vice president in the Financial Institutions practice of both Boenning & Scattergood and FIG Partners. He was responsible for advising executive management teams and Board of Directors from various financial institutions on corporate strategic plans and initiatives such as capital raising and merger & acquisitions. (Release) Read more

Enraged Little Girl Insists that ‘Hello Kitty’ Is Indeed a Cat

jjjjjjkitIn case you missed the recent Earth-shattering revelation that Hello Kitty is not, in fact, a feline, here’s a brief update to put the below video and its furious, ranting star in context: Christine R. Yano, an anthropologist who is currently curating a Hello Kitty exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, was informed by Sanrio (Hello Kitty’s parent company) that despite her feline features and name, Ms. Kitty is, in fact, a member of the human race.

“I was corrected — very firmly,” she told the Los Angeles Times. “Hello Kitty is not a cat. She’s a cartoon character. She is a little girl. She is a friend. But she is not a cat.”

Once this news broke, social media rants circled the web, and general pandemonium ensued. Among the shocked, confused and disbelieving fans was this little girl, who, despite being visibly and audibly distraught, makes a pretty clear-cut case as to why she just isn’t buying it.

“She LOOKS  like a CAT,” she sputters. She is a cat that acts like a human, like usual cartoons!”

We hear, ya, Honey. It’s enough to send a person spiraling into existential crisis. Isn’t Goofy a dog? Isn’t Winnie The Pooh a bear? Isn’t Sebastian a crab? We don’t even know what to believe anymore.

NEXT PAGE >>