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Elizabeth S. Mitchell

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Step Aside, Iron Man: Marvel Revamps Captain Citrus for Florida Orange Growers

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What’s that in the sky? It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s…an orange-clad superhero bent on selling you Florida-grown citrus fruit?

That’s right, folks; taking his place in a long line of Marvel superhero legends like Iron Man, Captain America and The X-Men, is Captain Citrus, a collaborative marketing creation intended to help Florida’s citrus growers boost sales.

The original Captain Citrus, a long-outdated mascot for Florida’s orange growers, was more or less an orange wearing a cape. In an effort to bring the spokes-superhero up to date (and borrow some of Marvel’s lately-booming thunder in hopes of offsetting declining demand for products like orange juice) Florida’s orange growers commissioned the famous comic company to redesign the Captain, complete with rippling abs, his own digital comic, and even an animated trailer. Read more

Roll Call: Waggener Edstrom Communications, Eastwick, Portland and More

Waggener Edstrom Communications announced the integrated communications agency has brought on industry veteran Chris Millward as general manager for its China operations. Millward is a veteran in the China market and has lived in Beijing continuously since 1994. He has worked with several of the world’s top public relations agencies including Edelman and Weber Shandwick and a host of multinational companies. Millward will report to senior vice president Matt Lackie, who oversees WE’s Asia Pacific presence, and work closely with other leaders in the region including Beijing General Manager Jason Cao, Shanghai vice president and general manager Cathleen Witter, and Hong Kong vice president and general manager Emma Richards. Millward takes over for Antoine Calendrier, who had been overseeing China from his home base in Hong Kong.  (Release)

Eastwick announced an expansion of its digital, social, editorial and research and analytics services with the addition of senior industry leaders to its team. Leading Eastwick’s Digital & Content Marketing Group is Sahana Jayaraman, vice president. In addition to her role as head of digital services, Sahana will lead the agency’s Content Marketing Group, responsible for branded content. Jun Quintana joins Eastwick as vice president to lead the company’s Research & Analytics Group. Jun brings more than 18 years of experience working in both traditional market research and communications/social media measurement. Michael Kanellos has been promoted to senior vice president and takes on responsibility for Eastwick’s Editorial Group, where he is continuing to build Eastwick’s strong tech-focused writing proficiency. Michael also continues to oversee Eastwick’s Cleantech practice. Joining Eastwick as senior vice president, client services, is Dave De Jear. Dave brings to Eastwick more than 20 years of experience in communications, public relations and marketing. Eastwick is also adding industry experts to round out global connections. Sharon Chan, who joined Eastwick from Hong Kong in 2012, has been promoted to Asia-Pacific (APAC) Industry Lead.  (Release) Read more

Adventures in Marketing: Would You Get Fitted for a Bra at an Office Party?

professional-bra-fitting-horizTupperware parties, make-up parties, jewelry parties — the idea of selling a product directly to customers via the pretense of an in-home female bonding session is nothing new. But as women now make up more than half of the American workforce, they may not have the time to host or attend such brand-centered gatherings. So what’s a company to do? Why, bring the parties to them, in the office, of course!

But what if the product in question is something personal and intimate like lingerie?

As the New York Post reports, recent years have seen the launch of multiple lingerie companies whose business models bypass storefronts entirely in order to sell their products directly to their customers. Some such companies have even begun hosting increasingly popular in-office bra parties, which are exactly what they sound like: the women gather in a conference room to learn about the merchandise and swap bra-buying horror stories, and then each person goes off to be fitted in the ladies’ room or some other “private” setting.

Read more

Roll Call: Golin, FleishmanHillard, KIND and Alaska Airlines

Golin has hired Deanne Yamamoto as the managing director of its Los Angeles office. Yamamoto rejoins Golin after more than 16 years at Ketchum, where she most recently served as partner and West Coast brand practice leader. She officially assumed her role at Golin on September 2 and reports to Gary Rudnick, president of the Americas. In addition to overseeing Los Angeles’ staff of 100, Yamamoto will offer senior counsel to clients, and will focus on employee development and the expansion of Golin’s business in Southern California. (Release)

FleishmanHillard has appointed new leadership for its global crisis management team. Brian West, based in Singapore, will serve as the firm’s global crisis management lead and also will lead the crisis team in Asia Pacific. Chris Nelson, based in New York, will lead crisis management for the Americas, and James Dunny, based in Dublin, will serve as lead for EMEA. The three will oversee a team that includes more than 100 of FleishmanHillard’s most senior crisis counselors. West, a senior vice president and senior partner, has served as interim chair of the firm’s global crisis practice since early 2013. He has overseen the introduction of FleishmanHillard’s new crisis management methodology A.R.C.™ (Assess. Resolve. Control.), and he has helped build an internal training program that certifies the firm’s crisis counselors through a proprietary program developed with input from crisis management veterans and educators. Nelson, a senior vice president and partner, has more than 20 years’ experience as a crisis management consultant. He has guided CEOs and their executive teams through hundreds of high-profile crisis situations, including data breaches, product recalls, chemical spills, workplace violence, employee malfeasance, crises of investor confidence and corporate espionage. Dunny, the new head of FleishmanHilllard’s EMEA crisis management team, has nearly two decades of experience working with companies across a variety of sectors, including pharma, tech, agriculture, food, energy and media. He has advised companies through numerous crises and issues across Europe and the Middle East and brings particular experience in the areas of emergency response, industrial relations, litigation, product recalls and corporate restructuring. (Release)

Read more

Rockefellers, Heirs to Oil Fortune, Announce Divestment from Fossil Fuels

640x400rbf-logo_color_left__largeWe can’t imagine John D. Rockefeller ever thought his heirs would be releasing a statement like this one.

On the heels of the largest-ever climate change protest that occurred in NYC this past weekend, and just before multiple countries are set to meet at the UN to discuss a climate change treaty, the Rockefellers — heirs to the Standard Oil fortune — have announced that their $860 million charitable foundation, The Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF), plans to completely divest in fossil fuels.

The statement reads in part:

“Given the RBF’s deep commitment to combating climate change, the Fund is now committing to a two-step process to address its desire to divest from investments in fossil fuels. Our immediate focus will be on coal and tar sands, two of the most intensive sources of carbon emissions. We are working to eliminate the Fund’s exposure to these energy sources as quickly as possible…As we take the steps to divest from coal and tar sands investments, we are also undertaking a comprehensive analysis of our exposure to any remaining fossil fuel investments and will work with the RBF Investment Committee and board of trustees to determine an appropriate strategy for further divestment over the next few years.”

This move represents a trend in philanthropic planning toward treating endowments and investments themselves as tools for social change; over the past few years, college endowments, churches, pension funds and city governments alike have pledged to sell a total of $50 billion in investments in oil, coal and gas companies. Read more

Why Punishing the ‘Dancing Guard’ Might be a Bad PR Move for Buckingham Palace

By now, you’ve likely seen the viral video of a member of the illustrious Queen’s Guard taking a timeout from the tedium and seriousness of his back-and-forth marching to break into dance (if you haven’t been graced with the subtle awesomeness that is this video, it’s included below). Since the red-coated guards of Buckingham Palace are famously stern and aren’t even supposed to crack a smile — let alone bust a move — the fleet-footed, lighthearted guard has become something of a YouTube sensation, bringing mirth and giggles to millions.

But England’s Ministry of Defense isn’t laughing.

Now that the guard has been identified publicly as 20-year-old Samuel Jones, his friends and family worry that the powers that be will make an example of him in an effort to prevent similar shenanigans in the future.

A friend of Jones’ recently told The Evening Standard, “The strict routines of army life can get a bit heavy sometimes and Sam really enjoys cheering people up…He has no idea how seriously his latest stunt would be taken – and it has worried his family…It was just a prank and everyone is hoping his bosses don’t make too much of an example out of him.”

The possible penalties could include a £1,000 fine, a loss of privileges, and even a three-week prison sentence. Though a Ministry of Defense spokesperson told The Evening Standard last week it was unlikely that Jones would be jailed, he also made it clear that the guard certainly isn’t getting off scott free: “He will face some sort of action but it is more likely to be a fine. No decision has been made,” the representative said. Read more

Mexican Wal-Mart Under Fire for Allegedly Hosting In-Store Cockfight

walmart chickenIt’s going to take more than “clean up in aisle seven” to wash this one away.

Wal-Mart Mexico, or Walmex, has come under fire for allegedly hosting a cockfight in its Boca del Rio store in order to promote a soda company.

What happened to good old fashioned free samples?

If the allegations are proven true, the retailer could face fines of up to 96,000 pesos ($7,240), as cockfighting is illegal in Boca del Rio.

A Walmex spokesman, Antonio Ocaranza, said the the promotion was not actually a cockfight, as the roosters weren’t armed with blades, no betting took place, and none of the roosters were harmed.

“It wasn’t a cockfight,” Ocaranza told Bloomberg. “There wasn’t anything that would be in violation of any game regulations.”

Photos of the event (below) depict the penned roosters looking agitated and appearing to attack one another…so, there were cocks, and they fought, but it wasn’t technically a “cockfight” because the birds weren’t wielding weapons? Lovely, then. Read more

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)

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