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Health

#PRFail: Honda Falls Asleep at the Wheel Joking About Narcolepsy

narcolepsy hondaI could write about this in our mediabistro sister blog over at AgencySpy, but why? This is such a #PRFail! This all comes down to a car company and the ineptitude to learn something — say about “narcolepsy.” Allow me:

nar-co-lep-sy /ˈnärkəˌlepsē/ (n.) 

A serious condition characterized by an extreme tendency to fall asleep whenever in relaxing surroundings

So, there’s this up-and-coming car manufacturer named Honda. Someone in the advertising agency or in-house decided it was time to promote the “All-New 2015 Fit” with a commercial called Synth and Seattleites. 

And then, they poked fun at narcolepsy. To wit, Honda got run over by a bunch of people they apparently didn’t know existed. You know? Like the chupacabra, Bigfoot, and unicorns, only much meaner.

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Purell and TNT Team Up to Terrify Subway Riders into Cleanliness

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Ever get on a subway without your hand sanitizer and — upon realizing your terrible error — felt certain you would inevitably contract a virus that would make you patient zero in an apocalyptic pandemic? Well, if you’re one of the few who haven’t had a thought like that, this new campaign for Purell and Michael Bay‘s new post-apocalyptic TV drama will enlighten you.

New York commuters have been greeted at the Grand Central Terminal this week by an eye-catching hand-sanitizing station that boldly states, “1 virus. 6 billion dead. Don’t be next,” urging folks to clean up lest they meet a similar fate to the fictional billions who die in Bay’s new TNT show “The Last Ship.” The series will focus on a U.S. Navy destroyer fighting to save what’s left of humanity. We imagine there will also be plenty of explosions and slow-motion action scenes (it’s Michael Bay after all).

Of course, New Yorkers are no strangers to over-the-top marketing tactics — just this year alone they’ve been chased by a raging bear in search of yogurt and attacked by a demon baby in a runaway stroller, so maybe germs are the least of their worries.

STUDY: The Public Wants More Information from Food Brands

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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.

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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.

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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.

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‘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.

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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.

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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. 

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

affluenza

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…

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