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Bad PR

Russia Seeks to Ban McDonald’s as Retaliation Against the U.S.

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Another day in downtown Kiev, nyet?

McDonald’s is no stranger to the headlines of PRNewser. In fact, we even dedicated a story tag after the repeat bad news: #McFail. However, bad brand news out of Russia involving the home of the Clown isn’t their fault…this time.

That said, Mr. Gorbachev may want to re-erect that wall, because the Cold War has returned: Russia wants to ban McDonald’s. As in, everywhere in the country.

Can’t we talk a little, Putin? I mean, for the children?

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Mediabistro Course

Presentation Writing: Design and Delivery

Presentation Writing: Design and DeliveryLearn how to use storytelling techniques and visual content to create and deliver successful pitches and presentations! Starting August 6, Amanda Pacitti, the manager of learning at Time Inc., will teach you the best practices for presentations, from using software like Prezi and Powerpoint, to writing your script, and using images, audio, and video to drive your points. Register now! 

When Foreign Dictators Look for Good PR, They Look to London

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If you wanted to, there’s a lot you could say right now about PR’s influence in the world of foreign affairs: Gaza, Putin, who is winning, who is losing, etc…but the most interesting question may be who is profiting?

“… [I]ncreasingly, governments look to PRs and lobbyists to give their image a scrub. What it is, is reputation laundering. What they are buying is a good image in political centres like Brussels and Washington, in the international and financial media and with investors. Governments and dictators will look overseas for this type of expertise, and London has become the place to go for it.”

London is profiting (to the tune of roughly £7.5 billion per year), and VICE UK’s Jack Gilbert is naming names: Bell Pottinger, Portland Communications, and more.

In a must-read article published today on VICE, Gilbert puts the hard questions to Tamasin Cave, director of Spinwatch (a PR watchdog organization) for an excellent expose.

Highlights after the jump.

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Comcast Cries Mea Culpa on ‘Hellish’ Service Call…But Does It Make a Difference?

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Comcast pissed off the wrong customer last week when it botched a service call with Ryan Block, former editor of the tech site Engadget and product developer at AOL.

NPR called it “condescending“; Gawker called it “hellish“; The Verge called it “a nightmare“; Yahoo called it “terrorizing.”

As fellow PRNewser Shawn Paul Wood posted earlier, “flacks who enjoy the various #PRFail called it ‘priceless’”. In case you missed it, you can hear what went down at the link: Comcast ‘Provides’ What May Be The Worst Service Call Ever. ”

A week later, the company’s Chief Operating Officer Dave Watson calls it “typical”, saying the incident was “painful to listen to” but that the rep “did a lot of what we trained him…to do.”

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Could 18,000 Layoffs Be a #PRWin for Microsoft?

New-Microsoft-Logo-PPT-BackgroundsIf your stock portfolio contains Microsoft, today is a good day. If you happen to work for Microsoft, then it probably isn’t.

In case you’ve been living underneath a rock, the company announced this morning that it would eliminate up to 18,000 jobs, canning 14% of its workforce.

That’s a big deal on its own, but it isn’t the only story making headlines.

In fact, investors seem quite happy with the news.

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Reason No. 5,298 Why People Hate Local News Coverage: Breaking Into World Cup Final

worldcup.jpgViewers are a little persnickety about what they think local news should and should not cover.

Unfortunately, if you don’t please them, your ratings could suffer. They hold on to the mantra “The customer is always right” closer than a Klansman and his tighty-whities. They bicker about fashion on the anchors, general assignments for beat reporters, and meteorologists getting out of shape over heavy rain. You can’t please them all the time because they can be irrational.

And then came WENY-TV and its interruption of the World Cup final for a weather report proving why they may have a point.

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Air New Zealand Pulls Safety Video Starring Sports Illustrated Models After Backlash

Air New Zealand partnered with Sports Illustrated in February to celebrate the magazine’s 50th anniversary and make an airline safety video. (???)

But once the video went public, it was met with push back from activists in Australia, namely Natasha Young, who launched an online petition to have the video nixed because it “objectifies” women and “disregards those who are conservative” and have conservative sensibilities. That spawned a hashtag, #AirNZsexism. The petition attracted 11,000 signatures. And now, Air New Zealand has pulled the video.

The airline says the video — which stars Sports Illustrated swimsuit models, including Chrissy Teigen and Christie Brinkley – has been pulled as a matter of course; it regularly rotates the clips the airline says.

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T-Mobile’s Reputation Could Take a Big Hit From FTC Allegations About Fake Fees

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T-Mobile has fashioned an entire marketing campaign around the benefits to customers for making the switch to their services, promising to pay up to $650 for any fees incurred for coming over to their side. So it’s especially damaging that the Federal Trade Commission is charging the mobile service provider with duping customers into paying fees they shouldn’t have been on the hook for.

In its complaint, the FTC says T-Mobile has made “hundreds of millions” of dollars charging customers for the ability to send “premium” text messages that they didn’t ask for. T-Mobile allegedly pocketed 35 to 40 percent of the $9.99 per month typically charged. This practice is called “cramming” and, back in November, according to CNET, carriers agreed to ban the practice. Moreover, T-Mobile has said that it will help customers recoup fees from third-party providers who charge for these services.

T-Mobile CEO John Legere has vehemently denied the charges in two different posts on the T-Mobile site, which have both been repeatedly tweeted out to his followers.

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Another Word the Media Should Really Learn to Use Properly

breaking newsFor what seems like this entire year, the phrase “Breaking News” has been questioned. You may remember a certain Malaysian airline flight that disappeared without a trace. Every story that came out was “breaking news.”

A rumor was heard: breaking news. A psychic had a dream: breaking news. A news crew may have a lead: breaking news. It was the news station who cried wolf all day long. We even had a great story about MSNBC’s Chuck Todd and his blatant disregard for the inherent meaning of the phrase.

Let’s now add to that lexicon of misnomers: Exclusive. Shall we? And TMZ, we’re looking at you.

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Adam Richman Gets ‘Postponed’ After Suggesting That a Woman Commit Suicide

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Robin Thicke isn’t the only celebrity who had a very bad day/week on social media.

Adam Richman, who was once famous for eating a lot, is now trying to be even more famous for not eating so much. He somehow got slimmer through diet and exercise and proceeded to post pics on Instagram documenting his progress with the hashtag #thinspiration.

Apparently, that tag doubles as a meme in “the pro-anorexia community”, and when an Instagrammer pointed this fact out to him he asked her, by way of an acronym, whether he looked like he might give a f*ck.

It all got much worse from there.

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U.S. Veteran Claims Cracker Barrel Fired Him for Giving Needy Man a Corn Muffin

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Meet Joseph Koblenzer.

He is a 73-year-old man, former war veteran, and now standing in the unemployment due to the actions of Cracker Barrel. What actions? According to CBS Tampa Bay, Koblenzer was a man with a heart for the needy.

In fact, it was the appearance of a needy man and woman (on separate occasions) who cost him a nice job as a three-year greeter of said folksy eatery. His deviant act of thievery? A corn muffin, packets of mayonnaise and tartar sauce, coffee, and a coke and a smile.

Yeah, we hate him too.

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