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

Fashion/Beauty

You’re Not Going to Love the Way You Get Fired. The Board Guarantees It.

Men’s Wearhouse has fired its venerable founder, executive chairman and beloved pitchman, George Zimmer. Mr. Zimmer launched the men’s clothing enterprise in 1973 with one store in Texas. Today there are 1,143 locations across North America.

The public came to know and love Mr. Zimmer from the popular commercials featuring his famous slogan “You’re going to love the way you look. I guarantee it.” Not only was Mr. Zimmer the face of the brand, but he also became part of our culture, a sort of everyman that made men who couldn’t afford $5,000 suits feel proud about the way we looked. He guaranteed it. And we believed him. The departure of Mr. Zimmer marks the end of an era.

As PR people who tout the many indisputable benefits of transparency when dealing with the public, we’re bemused by this development and lack of details surrounding it. The public likes Mr. Zimmer. His ousting appears to have been done with an intentional amount of disrespect and disdain. What else could explain the lack of an official statement from the board regarding such an important and controversial decision? Instead of getting in front of this, they did nothing, which is the PR equivalent of pleading the fifth. It’s how guilty people act. Read more

Abercrombie & Fitch Apologizes for CEO’s ‘Cool Kid’ Comments

Abercrombie & Fitch has been embroiled in controversy since Business Insider re-published disturbing comments CEO Mike Jeffries made in a 2007 Salon article, including doozies like, “A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely,” and “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids…we go after the cool kids.”

In a society deeply engaged in anti-bullying discussions and efforts to make standards of beauty and “coolness” more inclusive, these comments ignited a widespread and fiery backlash, including a grassroots re-branding campaign and a Change.org petition.

The petition, started by 18-year-old Benjamin O’Keefe (who has himself overcome an eating disorder), garnered over 70,000 signatures and asked the company to stop sending the message that teens aren’t beautiful, demanding A&F start selling clothes larger than a size 10.

Here’s a graphic recently published in the Huffington Post, which shows the major hit Abercrombie & Fitch has taken over the past month. For the full effect, we recommend listening to this audio clip of a nosediving airplane while viewing the graph.

After a brief apology Jeffries recently posted on Facebook failed to turn the tide, the company invited O’Keefe and members of the National Eating Disorders Association to its headquarters in Columbus, OH last week to discuss their concerns with executives. After the meeting, A&F released this statement: Read more

Happy 140th Birthday Blue Jeans!

We couldn’t let today pass without honoring a staple of Americana that ranks alongside hot dogs, July Fourth and apple pie. Blue jeans were introduced to America on this day in 1873 by Levi Strauss and tailor Jacob Davis, whose patented denim pants with copper rivets have become a symbol of everything that is celebrated in our culture.

Blue jeans are emblematic of everything American from the hard-nosed, can-do attitude of blue collar workers to sexy supermodels in cutoffs to rebellious rockers in ripped up Levis… and everything in between. The public loves blue jeans, and every generation since 1873 seems to have defined blue jeans in its own way.

Here are some examples: Read more

Abercrombie & Fitch CEO Allegedly Doesn’t Want Fat or Uncool Customers

We always knew we didn’t belong in Abercrombie; being accosted by overpowering cologne while dodging deer antlers and shelling out a year’s worth of allowance on a sweatshirt never particularly appealed to us. But then again, we weren’t blonde, lead cheerleader, and built like, well, we usually say “an Abercrombie model”, so we were pretty sure A&F didn’t want our business anyway.

Turns out, we may have been right.

When speaking with Business Insider last week, Robin Lewis, co-author of The New Rules of Retail, claimed that A&F CEO Mike Jeffries “doesn’t want larger people shopping in his store, he wants thin and beautiful people. He doesn’t want his core customers to see people who aren’t as hot as them wearing his clothing. People who wear his clothing should feel like they’re one of the ‘cool kids.’”

So what exactly deems a kid cool enough to earn the privilege of wearing the A&F brand? In a 2006 interview with Salon, Jeffries said, “In every school there are the cool and popular kids, and then there are the not-so-cool kids. Candidly, we go after the cool kids…We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

So who’s automatically excluded from this “cool” group? Girls above a size 10, apparently. Abercrombie doesn’t even list women’s XL or XXL on its size chart. According to Lewis, the only reason Abercrombie offers XL and XXL men’s sizes is likely to appeal to beefy athletes. Read more

Getting Inked for Income? Company Offers Raises if Employees Get Tattoos of Logo

While many companies may reward employees’ loyalty, New York City real estate company Rapid Realty is asking for a lifelong commitment in exchange for a bump in pay; any employee willing to tattoo the company’s logo on their body will automatically receive a fifteen percent raise.

Selling your own skin as billboard space? Crazy, right? That’s what we thought, but apparently at least forty Rapid Realty employees have already deemed the bribe worth the body art.

Stephanie Barry justified her decision with hard-to-deny simplicity, telling CBS: “I was like, why am I throwing my money away when I could give myself from $25,000 to $40,000 for the same amount of work?” And she’s not alone. Since there are no size or location restrictions, workers have gotten creative, one person getting inked stealthily behind her ear.

Not everyone is buying in, though. When CBS asked non-Rapid Realty-employees if they would do the same thing at their jobs, responses ranged from “[the reward] would have to be extraordinary” and “It’s a scar for life. I have enough of those.”

What about you, readers? Would you be a walking billboard for a hefty pay raise? Tell us in the comments section.

‘Great Gatsby’ Movie Promotions and Parties Capture Glamorous 1920s New York Lifestyle

The New York metro area is giddy about The Great Gatsby, and for good reason. The highly anticipated movie, to be released on May 10, stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s legendary novel of the same name was set on the north shore, or Gold Coast, of Long Island.

Locals are already enjoying movie tie-ins galore, including Tiffany’s ‘Gatsby’-inspired jewelry collection, Prada’s exhibit of movie costumes and Brooks Brother’s new menswear line. The Plaza Hotel’s ‘is unveiling a Gatsby’ suite. Long Island’s historic north shore mansions inspired the cinematic backdrop, so they’re getting in on the action with springtime ‘Gatsby’ galas.

Here’s what we’ve gleaned about the glitzy goods and the upcoming festivities:

Tiffany’s Collection: The luxury jewelry brand, where Fitzgerald was a client, is showcasing a series of 1920s era windows at its Fifth Avenue flagship store. On the main floor, dazzling art deco items are on display. The fourth floor is showing clips from the movie and interviews with designer Catherine Martin, wife of ‘Gatsby director Baz Luhrmann. Nearby are cases of crystal bowls, diamond tiaras and chandelier earrings.

Brooks Brothers’ Clothing Line: Fitzgerald was also a fan of the clothing brand, which has long served affluent customers. The retailer designed the movie’s menswear and recently launched a ‘Great Gatsby’ line. The limited edition clothing interprets the film’s period looks with items such as waistcoats and formal wear. Brooks Brothers is also highlighting its ‘Gatsby’ connection with different window displays at each of its New York City stores.

Prada’s SoHo Store Exhibit: Famed Italian designer Miuccia Prada created the “period accurate but modern” women’s costumes for The Great Gatsby. Starting today, those stylish fashions are being shown at Prada’s store in New York’s SoHo neighborhood. Items include dresses and accessories, in addition to sketches and behind-the-scenes photos.

Read more

What’s the Public’s F*#king Deal with Profanity?

The most compelling aspect of public relations is that the public keeps changing. Our attitudes toward everything in life from sexuality to profanity constantly evolve, and this makes understanding the public more of an art than a science.

Philips Norelco knows this. That’s why the razor brand took a slight risk in dropping a bleeped-out F-bomb in its most recent commercial, “I’d Date Me.” Regardless of your moral compass, we think it’s pretty funny. (Watch the video above and see if you agree.)

Perhaps what Philips Norelco knows is that there is nothing funnier than absurdity, and there is nothing more absurd than thinking bleeping out a bad word will spare anyone from knowing what word is being smothered. It’s not like these commercials are being aired on Nickelodeon.

Saying a profane word makes us listen to it, but bleeping out a profane word makes us say it in our own heads. As PR people, we can’t help but wonder if there will ever be a day when the F-bomb becomes mainstream enough to be pronounced unmolested.

Is the public ready for profanity, or are those words still too offensive?

‘Dove’ Uses Forensic Science to Prove ‘You Are More Beautiful Than You Think’

Women know that we are our own worst critics — at least that’s what our beloved friends and significant others tell us. Now, thanks to Dove‘s latest installment of its Real Beauty campaign (and some CSI-worthy forensic science), we have tangible proof that it’s true.

Dove recruited seven women of different ages and backgrounds to take part in an experiment. Early in the day, these women were asked to spend some time with a group of people they had never met before, but were not told why. Then, they met one-on-one with FBI-trained forensic artist Gil Zamora, who created composite sketches of them based on self-descriptions of their own facial features. Later, the artist met with the people who mingled with these women earlier in the day and drew sketches of the same women based on the way these strangers described them.

In the below video, we hear the women describe themselves by saying things like “my mom told me I had a big jaw,” and “I kind of have a fat, rounder face.” But when others are describing them, they say things like “she has nice eyes that light up when she speaks.” When the portraits are finished, without fail, those created from the observations of others are more flattering than those based on self-descriptions. Read more

Playboy’s New iPhone App Pushes All the Right Buttons

Beyond the beating that email gave to the U.S. Postal Service, it’s difficult to imagine a brand more threatened by the Internet and digital technology than Playboy. We’re a little surprised that the old bunny is still around, because today anyone can access pretty much every imaginable variety of “adult content” with a few simple clicks of a mouse or taps on a touch screen for the low, low price of a few pop-up ads (and a browsing history that might upset the ladies in your life).

How can Playboy even pretend to compete with all that low-to-no-cost content? Answer: The brand will live on by being dogged, resourceful and creative, because the Playboy we know simply won’t go down without a fight (nor should it). For example, the brand’s new iPhone app doesn’t feature nudity, because its makers are abiding by Apple’s content standards while demonstrating some excellent marketing acumen.

Read more

Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola’s Charming Prada Promo Spot

We thought Brad Pitt’s painfully pretentious and nonsensical Chanel no. 5 ad had forever tarnished the concept of high fashion “content marketing” for us, but yesterday we finally came across a spot we can support.

The purpose of this three minute short film, directed by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola, is to promote Prada‘s new fragrance Candy L’Eau.  The short features all the quirk, charm and sense of humor one might expect from its creators, stars the lovely French actress/model Léa Seydoux and follows a sweet storyline that pays homage to the love triangles of French New Wave cinema. Viewers will likely be so charmed by the spot’s characters and aesthetic that they’ll hardly notice the three explicit brand plugs.

We don’t know about you, readers, but we find this product rollout campaign much more enjoyable than listening to movie stars — however gorgeous they may be — ramble ceaselessly and unintelligibly about fate, life, and the universe (especially on a Friday!).

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>