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Damage Control

LEGO Issues Tepid Response to Shell Controversy; Greenpeace Issues Mock PSA

One has to admire Greenpeace’s dedication to solid production values. Check out this mock PSA, which came out today:

The org might not be so great with money, but it certainly jumped on the opportunity to criticize LEGO’s new partnership with big bad Shell a week ago, writing that the decision to include the Shell logo on some products (and reap the retail rewards) meant that the company was putting cold, hard cash “above its commitment to the environment and children’s futures.”

There’s also the expected petition complete with an image of a polar bear balancing on a LEGO ice block in a sea filled with oil and what looks like a pirated rig. All of those things and LEGO’s weak response after the jump.

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Can We Talk? Joan Rivers Calls President ‘Gay,’ First Lady ‘a Tranny’

usa-obama

For more than 50 years, Joan Rivers has been considered the female Don Rickles — a compliment of the highest order. She has insulted everyone with wit, humor, and dazzling banter. However, that was the younger Joan Rivers. Today, she’s not so much funny, as just a fake plastic individual in Hollywood that doesn’t know when to give it up.

And now, the octogenarian comedienne may have just told her last joke and discussed her last arrest with the “Fashion Police.” Why? You don’t get to call the President of the United States “gay.” Moreover, his wife a “tranny.” Yeah, not even plastic surgery will save you from this one, Joan.

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More Proof Congress Knows Its Image Problem: Fire Staffers; Hire Flacks

congress toilet

Election after election, we see the same thing: People hate Congress. People protest the system. People complain about the election. And then they do one of two things: 1.) Don’t vote or 2.) Vote for the same fools who are already there.

Why? There is no other explanation — voters are stupid. However, it seems that Congress may be getting smarter than the oafs who put them there. Based on a report from D.C. blog, InTheCapital, we learn that Capitol Hill has “cut down on staffers but increased their PR firms.”

Think they’re onto something? You know? Like, finally?

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

John_Legere___Introducing_JUMP_July_10_2013

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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Facebook’s Own Records Contradict Its Latest Apology

FACE!

If by “people” you mean “Facebook researchers”

We won’t say that Facebook has gotten good at apologizing, but they’re certainly used to it. At this point, even your great aunt has heard about the disastrous effects of a research paper that revealed the details of the company’s “manipulative” emotional A/B testing study. It might be Facebook’s biggest PR challenge to date because, even though it was probably not illegal, many users feel violated somehow.

The damage control line so far has been “it’s all about research” with the ultimate goal of improving the user experience–and that everyone implicitly agreed to play the part of unknowing digital lab rat when he/she clicked “OK” on Facebook’s terms and conditions.

Last night, however, a Forbes story undermined this claim.

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Corporate ‘Fact-Checking’ Blogs: Trend or Fad?

Crack

In the wake of aggressive corporate communications moves like America’s biggest company “fact-checking” New York Times op-eds, we thought we’d check in on BlackBerry, the former best friend of Alicia Keys.

Last week, the company’s SVP of marketing announced the launch of its own “fact check portal”, which is usually the kind of thing reserved for politicians whose enemies will never believe that they have, in fact, seen the birth certificate.

So how is the portal doing so far?

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GM Recalls 8.2 Million More Cars for Potential Safety Issues

GM Ignition Recall Safety InformationAnother day, another recall of dangerously flawed GM vehicles.

The latest recall, which affects 8.2 million more cars, brings the total number of recalls this year to over 28 million. That means the company has actually recalled more cars this year than it has sold in the past seven.

Seriously.

This most recent batch, involving “unintended ignition key rotation,” includes seven different vehicle types, including the Chevrolet Malibu from 1997 to 2005, the Pontiac Grand Prix from 2004 to 2008, and the 2003-2014 Cadillac CTS. The company also announced four other recalls that cover over 200,000 additional vehicles, most of which are due to an electrical short in the driver’s door that could potentially disable the power locks and windows and might even cause overheating.

A company statement regarding the ignition key issue features comforting sentiments like the fact that GM is aware of three deaths, eight injuries and seven crashes involving the vehicles recalled on Monday, but that it has no conclusive evidence that the faulty switches actually caused the crashes. Of course. Read more

Gary Oldman Apologizes for Controversial Playboy Interview

BN-DJ871_gary_E_20140624085720Gary Oldman has apologized for a recent interview with Playboy that began as a conversation about the actor’s role in “Planet of the Apes” but quickly dissolved into an explosive tirade about the hypocrisy of liberal Hollywood and the double standard of what a liberal actor can say versus what a conservative actor can say. In the interview, Oldman is quoted as stating:

“Well, if I called Nancy Pelosi a c*** — and I’ll go one better, a f****** useless c*** — I can’t really say that. But Bill Maher and Jon Stewart can, and nobody’s going to stop them from working because of it…”

He also used Mel Gibson’s past antisemitic remarks as an example by saying:

“Mel Gibson is in a town that’s run by Jews, and he said the wrong thing because he’s actually bitten the hand that I guess has fed him – and doesn’t need to feed him anymore because he’s got enough dough…He’s like an outcast, a leper, you know? I don’t know about Mel. He got drunk and said a few things, but we’ve all said those things… We’re all f****** hypocrites…That’s what I think about it. The policeman who arrested him has never used the word n***** or that f****** Jew?

I’m being brutally honest here. It’s the hypocrisy of it that drives me crazy.”

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RadioShack Soon to Be Disconnected from NYSE

radioshack stock

First, it was the birth of “big box” electronic stores. Then, it was that whole “shacking up with Lance Armstrong” blowing up in its face (see what I did there). Followed by obliterating brand loyalty for “The Shack.”

Things were looking like a brighter horizon was coming for the Fort Worth, Texas-based iconic brand, thanks to a genius Super Bowl commercial (see below). And then absolutely nothing happened after that. So much for momentum.

Today, we discover an even more somber state of affairs for what was America’s favorite electronics store — its stock is selling for $1 per share, and faces almost certain peril and de-listing from the NYSE.  Read more

Bad News: Poll Shows Confidence in News Media Very Low, Right Above Congress

we hate TV

500 channels and nothing on…

There is nothing more mesmerizing than our ability to ignore fact, figure, and logic.

Collectively, there are groups of people who can be so dense that one would think every highfalutin group walks around in wifebeaters drenched in sweat and beer stains. For example: It is no secret that the current Congressional body has the lowest approval rating in U.S. history, yet there they are, re-elected and sitting pretty.

Glowing in the spotlight of that single-digit love is one other group that just can’t take a hint: National Network News.

The numbers we have to share have nothing to do with ratings, but they probably should.

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