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Pop Culture

Will the YouTube/Michelle Phan Lawsuit Change the Influencer Game?

Michelle Phan

In case you missed it: Michelle Phan, the “make-up demonstrator and entrepreneur” who became a prime influencer by posting short YouTube videos with titles like “Beach Beauty Essentials” and “How to Take the Perfect Selfie”–and earning nearly seven million followers in the process–got sued last week.

The suit, which could be worth several million dollars, stemmed from the fact that Phan allegedly used music by Ultra Records artist Kaskade in her clips without permission.

Phan is at the forefront of the social media influencer movement, earning more than $5 million in 2012 thanks to brand deals and appearing in ads for YouTube itself. The suit filed against her marks something of a first and raises some big questions about the future of one of the hottest trends in marketing.

Will it change the way the influencer game works?

Eric Dahan, the CEO of Instabrand.com, who spoke to us about using influencers to market to Millennials last month, has some thoughts after the jump.

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Mediabistro Course

Social Media 101

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Social Media Case Study: National Golf Day Edition

golf balls

Golf and social media might seem like artifacts from entirely different eras, but when the two reach the green together they turn out to mesh quite well. In fact, they may be the only things on which our two political parties can reach agreement.

This case study, via Buffalo Communications, demonstrates the ways in which social can be integrated into pretty much anything.

The task: promote National Golf Day events in Washington, D.C. to audiences worldwide for client WeAreGolf.

The strategy: increase the reach with the help of strategic hashtags, professional golfers, golf fans and, yes, politicians.

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San Diego Purging the Homeless to Spruce up the City for Comic-Con

Comic-Con-Homeless-Batman

KGTV-10 (ABC) in San Diego recently let us know that downtown San Diego is ready for Comic-Con. 

More than 100,000 heroically adorned dorks lovely people will soon take up shop in “America’s Finest City.” Banners are being hung on street poles, hotels are getting ready for the influx of visitors, restaurants are developing exclusive menus…and are police are kicking the homeless out of the area.

So nice when an entire city holds hands, chips in and works together, right?

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EPA Apologizes for Keeping Up with the Kardashians’ Mobile Game

If you have better things to do with your life than scroll twitter at 10:30 PM on a Monday evening, then you may have missed an amusing and bizarre promotional failure on behalf of your government.

Specifically, the EPA’s clean water division posted what certainly looked like a message hyping the (unfortunately) red-hot “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood” mobile game, in which the user can–what else–turn him or herself into a celebrity.

Super-veteran House Rep John Dingell, who has served since 1955 and helped write the original act that created the division, summed up the Internet’s sentiments with a question:

For the record, we don’t believe for a second that he has no idea what a Kardashian is. Good tweet, though.

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‘D-List Publicist’ Talks About Taking on the Clients No One Wants

jeremy weeksIt’s probably become one of the most famous mugshots in history. The eyes. The slight cock of the head. It’s Jeremy Meeks, the “hot convict” that had social media users promising to overlook his rap sheet in exchange for doing a little time with him.

Of course, upon seeing the positive reaction to the photo, Meeks got himself a publicist. And for a problematic client like him, there could only be one publicist for the job: “D-List publicist” Gina Rodriguez. A former adult movie actress and Playboy model, now she works with people who usually end up with a catchy moniker: “Octomom” Nadya Suleman and the “White House party crashers” Michaele and Tareq Salahi.

Now, she tells The Daily Beast that she’s working to find Meeks a reality TV show.

All in a day’s work (and please call her “celebrity manager”).

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Q&A: Which Brands Won (and Lost) the World Cup?

Big Ballz

It’s all over but for the shouting…and the crying.

Germany may have surprised nearly everyone–especially Brazil–in winning everything this year, but the question remains: which brands came out on top? Which corporations got their money’s worth on the world’s biggest sporting event?

According to Rick Miller, vice president of data and insights for Networked Insights, the three big winners were Budweiser, Hyundai and Castroland the losers were Sony, McDonald’s and Visa.

We spoke to Miller to get more on the why and the how; questions and answers after the jump.

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Top 11 Writing Tips Drawn from the CIA’s Style Guide

CIA WHAT

You know, the CIA didn’t just celebrate its one-month Twitterversary last week by reminding us that it has no idea where Tupac is.

No, the world’s most infamous intelligence organization also released a very long and very particular style guide originally completed in 2011 and fit to compete with ye old Strunk and White and AP Stylebook.

Why? Well, as Director of Intelligence Fran Moore writes in the foreword:

“The information CIA gathers and the analysis it produces mean little if we cannot convey them effectively.”

Accurate. Here are eleven tips that stood out to us.

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Sir Richards Promises Free Condoms to Hobby Lobby Employees

For those of a political bent, here’s an imprecise if topical and on-brand case of newsjacking.

Colorado-based “organic condom” company Sir Richards (which is unique enough on its own, really) collaborated with its ad agency TDA_Boulder to create a blink-and-you-missed-it Facebook campaign tied to the most contentious social issue of the day: employee health plans and contraceptives.

Sir Richards

While this post is clever and topical, it’s not 100% accurate…

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PBS Idea Channel’s Mike Rugnetta Tries to Wrangle Rules for Internet Spoiler Alerts

spoiler alert

Spoiler. Alert. Think about it.

If the Internet could receive a huge #PRFail, it would be because of spoiler alerts. (This means you too, social #$@*’n media.)

They are the worst, but it’s not the problem of the Internet to police your work schedule or the fact that you have to DVR a certain event. It’s your fault for trolling the Internet in the first place if you haven’t watched your recording anyway, right?

To that end, they do suck and the great Mike Rugnetta of PBS Idea Channel has tried to do the inconceivable: create rules for these dreaded appendages of the Internet that reach out and choke the very hope out of people everywhere.

And it’s compelling stuff too.

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Cleveland, Every Brand on Twitter Accept LeBron’s Cavalier Comeback

Oh hey, Internet. Are you done reading LeBron’s press release/Sports Illustrated guest column/personal “let’s get back together” letter to Cleveland yet?

We will fully admit to our own general ignorance of sports right now, but from a PR perspective the dude does have a way of making the world hold its breath while he manages the message, doesn’t he?

Now let’s see how the web responded.

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