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

Bad PR

Samsung Receives Editorial Smackdown for ALS Newsjacking Stunt

Newsjacking and the ALS ice bucket challenge were two of the big topics on this little blog last week, and on Friday Samsung and its in-house creative/marketing teams in the UK managed to combine them both in this ad (which somehow earned the “alcoholic drinks” tag on our sister site Ads of the World).

You’ll have to forgive us for failing to notice most of the ALS posts appearing in our feeds recently; they all start to blend together pretty quickly unless you happen to know the people involved. But this little play for attention was noteworthy in that it inspired something we never see: an editorial wag of the finger via TechCrunch.

Three million views is a fair number for such a large brand, but we’re more interested in two particular critiques of this not-quite-real-time-marketing stunt.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsLearn how to use stories to inspire, connect, and persuade your clients! In this workshop starting September 3, you'll learn how to uncover stories in everyday life, incorporate stories into your media work, use storytelling techniques with clients, all to improve your pitch and presentation skills. Register now!

People Magazine Sued for Discrimination

whitetalkblacktalkOften in the hallways of schools or reality TV, you will hear some dolt saying something that involves little intelligence, like, “Man, she doesn’t sound black.

As if someone who sounds black must reverberate like Barry White. Conversely, someone who “sounds white” should have a douchey resonance, speak in text lingo, and use the word “bro” without a hint of irony.

You wonder why we bring this up? Enter into the fray People magazine, which used the topic to earn itself a nice lawsuit. Read more

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

Solar Energy Has a PR Problem: Massive Teepees of Doom are Killing Birds

Fried-Chicken-Set2Environmentalists had much to celebrate when the Ivanpah Energy Power Facility in California flipped its switch earlier this year and began powering 140,000 homes with clean energy.

Unfortunately, their joy translated into gloom for animal rights activists: somewhere between a thousand and 28,000 birds have since been fried to death in what’s been called “massive teepees of doom.”

Right now you’re probably thinking two things: first, tell me more; and secondly, that’s a pretty big range of alleged aviancide… is this truly a PR crisis for solar energy?

Credit goes to Esquire’s Michael Howard for an evocative piece describing how BrightSoure’s $2.2 billion plant is cooking birds alive when they fly through concentrated rays of sunshine:

Read more

APOCALYPSE WATCH: Even GOP Senators Dislike FOX News

tom coburn

Whenever America watches Jon Stewart uncork on President Obama, people immediately think “Damn! Obama must not be doing so well.”

It’s not breaking news, but his approval numbers are low because this is a subject upon which hardcore democrats and republicans can almost agree.

And now, the other side of that coin: the GOP is bashing FOX News.

Meet U.S. Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, FOX News Insider and now-former fan who may have just lost a paycheck.

Read more

SeaWorld Finally Confirms a Blackfish Backlash to Investors

SHAMU

SeaWorld has been very insistent in its messaging since CNN’s Blackfish expose surfaced with variations on “The documentary is skewed and it will not affect our business in any way.”

Despite this claim, the company and its firm 42West launched an aggressive campaign to counter the film’s influence and we posted extensively.

Time has revealed some small cracks in the  facade: Southwest Airlines, for example, recently ended its 26-year partnership with the resort while maintaining ties through the Southwest Vacations unit.

Today, however, the company officially changed its tune in a telling press release.

Read more

Levi’s Kicks Rock Fans Out of Free Show for Not Wearing Its Jeans

asses

Some chose to make asses out of themselves

If we had to choose a worst possible scenario for a corporate-sponsored indie rock show, we would lean heavily toward “brand forbids entry to fans not wearing its product.”

Yet that is, apparently, exactly what Levi’s told security guards to do at last week’s Haim/Sleigh Bells show in Brooklyn Bridge Park. While the company did apparently request that attendees wear Levi’s on its website, “concert industry observers” cited by the New York Daily News say they’ve never heard of a company going to such extremes to ensure what we’ll call “product placement.”

One attendee claimed that he “saw couples being turned away because the guy wore Levis but the woman had a skirt.”

The event did earn Levi’s some bad press, though the company has yet to issue an official response. Note to whoever manages events for this client: these sponsored shows are annoying enough without a Project Runway-ready jury at the gate. And how many people at any rock show pay attention to which jeans fellow attendees are wearing?

This is not what comes to mind when we hear the phrase “free concert.”

Newark, N.J. Named Unfriendliest City in America Again

NJ SucksBeing part of a Convention & Visitors Bureau (or, as they are called now, Destination Marketing Organizations) can be thrilling when national publications release the lists.

The “Best Of” this. The “Most Of” that.

These hallowed dispatches are the Holy Grail for many cities. And then, there are the bemoaned mentions in travel publications or websites that suggest your city — for lack of a more appropriate term — sucks.

Crisis communications can’t help an entire city, can it? Look at Detroit and tell me how that’s working out. Unfortunately, the one we know as Newark, New Jersey now finds itself at the bottom of just such a list.

Again. 

Read more

Anonymous Messaging Services Continue to Send Terrible Pitches

This week, anonymous messaging service Leak — which is indistinguishable from Secret and Whisper in allowing people to take their private thoughts from the comment section directly to someone else’s phone — got a bit of attention in the tech press.

That attention was almost completely negative due to the company’s painfully creepy “I do not were panties today” pitch. Yet related startups have either not received the message or (more likely) received it all too eagerly.

Here’s an email that our colleague received this morning from “coworker”:

anonymous

Can you see us shaking our heads through the screen?

Read more

STUDY: Government Approval Ratings Hit All-Time Lows

uncle-sam-gun-to-headIf you watch the news for any amount of time, you may notice that our government has a perception problem that transcends any intra-party squabbles: pretty much no one has a good thing to say about the U.S. government, the people running it, or even those most affected by it.

Now, the latest related poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal, adds to the dogpile.

In the national poll, we discover that President Obama’s approval rating has plummeted to its lowest ever position at 41 percent. Even worse, 71 percent of Americans believe this country is headed in the wrong direction.

Good news though: the approval rating for Congress has increased from 11 to 14 percent, so there’s that.

Le sigh.

Read more

NEXT PAGE >>