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


STUDY: The Public Wants More Information from Food Brands


It’s no secret that consumers are more concerned with the health benefits, purity, and environmental impacts of the food they buy than ever before.

But a recent Cone Communications survey polled more than 1,000 people to dig a bit deeper for specifics, finding that generational divides exist within these trends and that food brands have a fresh opportunity to define and differentiate themselves via consumer preferences. 74% of participants said that companies need to do a better job of explaining why they stand apart in terms of environmental concerns.

Some more key stats from the “2014 Food Issues Trend Tracker” after the jump.

Read more

Mediabistro Course

Storytelling for Media Professionals

Storytelling for Media ProfessionalsStarting April 22, this in-person workshop will teach you the specific ways to incorporate storytelling into your personal and professional life. Students will examine the role of storytelling in business and put their newfound skills into practice with a series of improvisation, writing, and presentation exercises designed to help them uncover personal stories. Register now! 

Congress Members Skip Seth Rogen’s Testimony on Alzheimer’s, Show How They Really Feel About the Issue

seth rogen alzheimersThis week, Seth Rogen made a funny, charming and impassioned appeal to members of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services for research funding for Alzheimer’s disease. At the very least, he also asked for a sign of hope that the government will do more to bring attention to this disease.

He didn’t get that sign.

Rather, he spoke to a room mostly empty of Senate members with only two —  Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) – sticking around to listen. (There are 18 members on the committee.) Keep in mind: this was testimony for a subcommittee that is supposed to handle just these sorts of issues.

Congress already has a reputation as a government body that does absolutely nothing, so this doesn’t help.

Read more

President Obama & VP Biden Show Us Their Exercise Regimen For ‘Let’s Move’

obama biden lets moveRemember last week when Michelle Obama told Jimmy Fallon that she wanted people to show her how “they’re moving“? It was during her appearance on The Tonight Show where she talked up the fourth anniversary of her anti-obesity “Let’s Move” campaign and asked everyone to take to social media with the hashtag #letsmove. If she got enough of a response she suggested that the President and Veep might show us how they get active.

“Yo babe, hook me up,” was the way she planned to pitch it. (Note: Do not try that pitch with the media. You are not the First Lady.)

Well looks like that ask worked! We have footage of both Obama and Biden getting in a workout. A couple of things that might strike you about this clip.

Read more

‘Eat Fresh?’ Subway Will Stop Baking Bread Using a Chemical Found In Yoga Mats

subway sandwichSubway announced today that it will be removing a chemical from its bread, Azodiacarbonamide, that is used to increase elasticity in shoe rubber and yoga mats. What the…?

In a statement, Subway, which is “the world’s biggest sandwich chain,” maintains that they’re removing the ingredient despite the fact that it’s FDA and USDA approved.

“Fresh baked bread — and the perception of better-for you offerings –is a major deal to Subway. It’s one of the chain’s central selling points,” USA Today notes. It’s the “better-for you” part — the veneer of healthiness that Subway promotes about its food — that is taking the biggest hit with this news.

Read more

CVS Quits Smoking, Gets Defensive About It

16601_10152165436598116_438158652_nThis morning’s biggest CSR news comes via the country’s largest pharmacy chain. As announced in this press release, CVS Caremark will stop selling all tobacco products at its more than 6,000 U.S. locations on October 1st, 2014.

The change comes in the wake of a January surgeon general’s report, which arrived exactly 50 years after the first and tied smoking even more directly to diseases like diabetes, colon cancer and erectile dysfunction (eek). The company spun it as a way of aligning its services and interests, which include public health—nice copy on the tagline, BTW. Here’s the key quote from CEO Larry J. Merlo:

 ”Ending the sale of cigarettes and tobacco products at CVS/pharmacy is the right thing for us to do for our customers and our company to help people on their path to better health. Put simply, the sale of tobacco products is inconsistent with our purpose.”

This is a very smart move for several reasons.

Read more

U2 to Unveil New Song During Super Bowl Spot, Offer Free Downloads to Benefit (RED)

a812d18636ceff861a80c8920a9dedc6Come Super Bowl Sunday, you may be buying many things–beer, chips, a box of ever-elusive Velveeta, or even David Beckham’s underwear–but U2 and AIDS charity (RED) are hoping you’ll also choose Sunday as the day to download the band’s new song, “Invisible” (for free!).

During a commercial break in the big game, the song will premiere in an edited version of its music video, after which, “Invisible” will be available for free download on iTunes for a 24-hour-period. Every time the song is downloaded during those 24 hours, Bank of America will make a $1 donation to (RED)–up to a total of $2 million. All the funds will go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

The promotion is the launch of a new partnership between the banking giant and (RED), which, since it was founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver in 2006 with the aim of engaging businesses in the fight against AIDS, has teamed up with big-name brands like Apple, Starbucks and The Gap to raise more than $240 million for the Global Fund. Read more

Cancer Charity Raises Over 300% of Goal Just by Sending Brad Pitt an Open Letter

A letter to Brad PittCelebrity endorsements are the bread and butter of no-brainer marketing–whether an organization is trying to sell sneakers or stop poverty, a famous face’s stamp of approval can go a long way to getting the public to do, buy, or donate to something. But what’s a small charity to do when they want the power of a major endorsement, but haven’t the money or clout to get it?

They get creative.

A fundraising move by Stop Darmkanker, a Belgian nonprofit dedicated to ending colon cancer, has both proven the power of celebrity (even when that celebrity isn’t actually involved) and finally answered old Will’s famous question, “What’s in a name?”

If that name happens to be “Brad Pitt,” the answer is: the ability to help an organization you’re not even involved with meet its fundraising goal…and then triple it. 314%, to be exact. 

Read more

‘Affluenza’ and Other Stupid Medical Ways to Get Away with Murder


In my fare burg, there is this kid — this rich, spoiled-ass-rotten, still-sucking-on-mama’s-teet-called-kaching, 16-year-old punk — named Ethan Couch. He, for lack of a better word, is a murderer.

And for his crime of killing four people as he got behind the wheel of a car; thus, making it into a bullet hurled out of a .357, gets 10 years — probation?! What the what?

Why? A doltish term North Texas psychologist called in the Couch trial “affluenza.” Today, he admits that term is a regrettable flub from which the medical community will never recover. Talk about a #PRFail. More on his thoughts after the jump…

Read more

E-Cigarettes Have a Huge Cheerleader: Big Tobacco


Smoking ads are a skosh different these days

Smoking ads are a skosh different these days

The Marlboro Man. The Virginia Slims Gals. The Phallic Joe Camel.

These images have been engraved in our medulla thanks to a bajillion dollars in advertising budgets by big tobacco for the past six decades. For all those years, smoking was made to look cool, care-free and almost bitchin’. That is, until multi-billion-dollar lawsuits forced them way out of business. You know, pity and such. Boo-hoo. Whatevs.

In fact, according to this story from NPR, tobacco companies have paid more than $100 billion to state governments as part of the 25-year, $246 billion settlement in the past 15 years. 

Many thought that was the death knell for the industry. Until some foreshadowing a few years back, which was found in a movie that — no joke — is an absolute must for all PR professionals to watch, “Thank You for Smoking.”

In this film, and the last scene of the linked trailer, is this dialogue between Rob Lowe (agent Jeff Megall) and the great Aaron Eckhart (smoking lobbyist):

Jeff Megall: Sony has a futuristic sci-fi movie they’re looking to make.
Nick Naylor: Cigarettes in space?
Jeff Megall: It’s the final frontier, Nick.
Nick Naylor: But wouldn’t they blow up in an all oxygen environment?
Jeff Megall: Probably. But it’s an easy fix. One line of dialogue. ‘Thank God we invented the… you know, whatever device.’

Whelp, beam me up, Scotty. The future is definitely here and big tobacco is so digging them — E-Cigarettes.

In a story with a great headlineThe New York Times delves into this obvious cheering section to help bring smoking back to the forefront and coolness factor out into the open.

Read more

Apple Responds to iOS 7 Motion Sickness Complaints with Better Solution

iOS 7.0.3 new Reduce Motion setting - YouTubeWe recently discussed the large number of motion sickness complaints that Apple has received since its release of iOS 7, and the need for the company to take the PR reigns and step up with a solution. The zoom animations that occur when users switch between applications, along with a dynamic background and 3D impression, or a parallax effect, which makes the icons look as though they are floating above the background, have been making people dizzy, and up until this week, the suggested “fixes” didn’t seem to go far enough in reducing the motion.  

On Tuesday, however, Apple released its iOS 7.0.3 update, which, along with several bug fixes and enhancements, offers dizziness-afflicted users a way to more completely solve the problem. Now, the Reduce Motion setting, which previously only reduced the the parallax effect, also reduces the animations. With this feature enabled, unlocking the device, opening apps, and switching between folders uses a much faster cross-fade effect, which is a bit more like what users of iOS 6 were used to.

Even though, when compared with the vast number of people with iPhones and iPads, the subset of users complaining of these issues could be considered relatively small, it was a wise choice for Apple to offer a better solution — it sends the message that each of its users is valued, and that the company wants its software to be as enjoyable and functional as possible. Read more