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Tonya Garcia

P&G Wants To Convince You That You’re Just-Worn Clothing Needs A ‘Swash’

swashPicture it: It’s an ordinary evening. You’ve had a day filled with meetings, writing a press release for a client and lunch with a reporter. You’re finally home. You’ve pulled on your favorite sweats for an evening of wine and Dating Naked when you take another look at the shirt you wore that day, tossed over the back of a chair. You kind of want to wash it but you think, “Is it really that dirty?” What’s a person to do?

[Insert image of wide-eyed man/woman shrugging in an exaggerated manner.]

You Swash it!

At least that’s the conclusion that P&G wants you to come to. The company will sell a $500, four-foot-tall machine that uses “gel-filled pods” ($6.99 for a pack of 12 single use pods) to “neutralize odors,” rid a garment of wrinkles and restore its fit. It’s not really washing. Not really dry cleaning. It’s “swashing.” The machine will be available at Bloomingdale’s next month.

The target market for this item is what The Wall Street Journal calls the “re-wearer,” someone who feels the item they just wore isn’t really that dirty so they want to get one more wear out of it.

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Vogue Continues Its Social Media Quest with September #Instagirls

vogue sept coverVogue is really working hard to pick up its social media game. The magazine has actually turned over its all-important September issue to — GASP! Dun dun dun… — models.

The trend over past years has turned to putting Hollywood actresses, even reality stars, on the covers of magazines. So for Vogue to turn over not just any cover, but the monster Fall issue cover to a group of models is a big deal.

But these aren’t just any models. These are #instagirls. Back in the 90s, we had supermodels: Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Cindy Crawford among them. Basically, the cast of George Michael’s “Freedom” video. Nowadays, models have not risen to that pop culture level so that we’re all on a first name basis with them. Instead, they have a powerful presence on social media.

Vogue is hoping to capitalize on that by turning over its biggest cover to these tweeting, Instagramming digital fashion celebrities.

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Ferguson, MO Hires Common Ground Public Relations

Ferguson, MO, the town that is roiling with protests and racial strife after the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of the police, has hired a PR firm, Common Ground Public Relations for communications help.

In comments to Talking Points Memo, Nina Kult, a Common Ground rep, makes it abundantly clear that the firm is only handling the deluge of media requests that the city has been getting since protests began about a week ago. Or at least that’s all they’ll talk about.

“We’re just handling media relations as of very recently and that’s really all we’re doing. We’re just handling media queries and that’s all I can really say right now,” Kult is quoted saying.

Chances are, the number of media inquiries is more than the city has ever had to deal with. A suburb of St. Louis, the town is now basically the subject of round-the-clock coverage on major outlets, including MSNBC, The New York Times and The Huffington Post.

Continuing with the close scrutiny of all the goings on, TPM notes that the Common Ground’s “Meet The Team” page is populated by an entirely White staff. Oh geez.

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Now the Sultan of Brunei Has His Eye on The Plaza Hotel in New York

plaza hotelThe Sultan of Brunei is looking to expand his holdings with the possible purchase of The Plaza hotel in New York City. That hotel plus two others come with a price tag of $2.2 billion. The current owner,  Subrata Roy, head of the Sahara Group, would like to sell in order to get his hands on some cash to get out of prison. He was arrested in India earlier this year on money laundering charges.

Back in May, the Sultan — and by extension, the Beverly Hills Hotel — faced some high-profile protesters including Jay Leno, Richard Branson and Ellen DeGeneres because of Sharia laws he put in place in April. These laws promise to inflict harsh punishments such as incarceration, stonings and amputation for “crimes” such as homosexuality, abortion and adultery.

“Christopher Cowdrey, CEO of the Dorchester Collection, which owns the Beverly Hills Hotel and Hotel Bel-Air, has been quick to respond, speaking to the media directly about the issue. But what he’s been saying is terrible,” we wrote at the time. The Sultan’s investment agency owns the Dorchester Collection.

These big-name Hollywood celebs asked for a boycott and promised to keep away from events held at these hotels until there was change. It cost $2 million in business.

New York has its fair share of celebrities. But more than that, what New York has is a lot of business travel in addition to millions of tourists per year. And a lot of high-end hospitality competition. Criticism on the East coast could be just as, if not more, potent.

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Burger King Learns That People Are Not Interested In Healthy French Fries

 

Back in September, Burger King introduced Satisfries, a low-fat version of their French fries. Not even a year later, two-thirds of Burger King restaurants are phasing out the “healthy” alternative. Darren Tristano,EVP of Technomic, a food industry consultancy, tells Today that people are looking for indulgence when they go to Burger King. And even though YouGov BrandIndex found that the BK brand got a bump from the healthy offering, it wasn’t long-term.

One reason the fries didn’t succeed is price. Preparing two different kinds of fries adds costs for the restaurant. But secondly, and probably more importantly, people don’t give a flying fig about eating healthy fries. Bring on the greasy stuff, the ketchup and the mayo because when it comes to fries, it’s no holds barred.

Which isn’t to say that people don’t want fast food chains to offer a healthy alternative. McDonald’s catches heat all the time for being unhealthy, and has added fruit and salads to its menu to answer criticism.

The issue seems to be the menu choice BK made for its attempt at being health-conscious. We’d propose that people aren’t sure a “healthy” French fry is an actual thing.

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Meow Mix Takes Things Too Far With Traveling Mobile Sound Booth

Meow Mix is cat food.

To promote this brand of cat food, a mobile sound booth is traveling around New York City giving people the opportunity to sing the Meow Mix jingle. The words to this jingle are “Meow. Meow.”

This is the sort of thing that makes us question our sanity.

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James Franco Is Hosting A Special To Promote The Interview As Dave Skylark

Here’s something you hear every day: James Franco has got a new movie coming out! To promote that movie, The Interview, he’s going to host a half-hour special on MTV completely in character.

Dave Skylark asks hard-hitting questions to celebs like Nicki Minaj: “You wrote the song ‘Superb Ass.’”

“It’s ‘Super Bass,’” Minaj corrects.

Haha! James Franco.

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Uber Takes Shots at Lyft In Press Statement Addressing Alleged Cancellation Shenanigans

lyft tweetWho knew the car service industry could be so cutthroat? Right now, there’s a heated battle between Uber, the company that’s already made a name for itself not just for its service but for the way it goes about protecting its business, and Lyft, the newer startup in the game.

Lyft has lobbed accusations at Uber, accusing 177 of the company’s employees of making more than 5,000 requests for rides and then quickly canceling them. This sort of thing costs the drivers money and wastes a ton of time. At first, Uber said that it must’ve been indecisive customers. But upon further inspection from CNN and Lyft, there’s a good possibility that Uber workers were the culprits. And, according to Valleywag, when these Uber recruiters do keep their reservations, they use the ride as an opportunity to try and get drivers to leave Lyft.

Now faced with evidence, Uber decided to issued a press statement that goes for Lyft directly. Shots fired!

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The Gap Faces Unreasonable Backlash for Featuring a Thin Model in a Tweet

Fashion’s body image issue is back in the news.

The Gap faced a barrage of criticism for the tweet above featuring what People magazine is calling an “ultra-thin model.” In response, people posted things like, “In what world do people look like this? Perhaps you could select models who represent regular gals & not a skeletor ghost” and “Looks like she needs a hamburger and some sunlight.”

The Gap immediately issued a statement via Edie Kissko, a company spokesperson: “Our intentions have always been to celebrate diversity in our marketing and champion people for who they are. Upon reflection, we understand the sensitivity surround this photograph. Customer feedback is important to us and we think this is a valuable conversation to learn from.”

The statement doesn’t really say anything; it’s not an apology and doesn’t dig too deeply to explain the photo. And that’s fine. In this case, the backlash was unreasonable.

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Kelly Cutrone Says Fashion People Don’t Care About KimYe

Kelly CutroneKelly Cutrone has never been one to mince words. You wanna cry? Take that elsewhere. If your body is disturbing, she’s gonna let you know. Certainly she’s not going to tone it down for Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.

Speaking with the New York Daily News, Cutrone says point blank, “I don’t think there’s one person who really works in the fashion industry who gives a flying f— about Kanye West.”

There’s more!

“I think they have no influence in the fashion world whatsoever,” she continued.

Boom!

Notice, however, how specific Cutrone is about her comments.

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