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PR Fail

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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Sky News Reporter Goes Looting Through Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 Luggage (for News)

sky news luggageJust when you think network news can’t get any worse, ratings rears its ugly head and forces reporters to do things you never thought possible outside of a lawsuit. This time, the ne’er-do-well culprit is the UK’s Sky News (a Rupert Murdoch joint).

Tragically, the victim is, again, Malaysia Airlines.

With MH370, the flight seemed to vanish into the ether, like all those horror stories about the Bermuda Triangle. And just when the airliner had that atrocious “breaking news” down to a minimum, the unthinkable happened over the Ukrainian coast as MH17 was shot down…presumably by separatists in the region.

And then Sky News went rummaging through the luggage of the dead passengers on live television.

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Comcast ‘Provides’ What May Be The Worst Service Call Ever

comcast

There is no secret, no hidden truth, no mystery on this planet that refutes the abysmal customer service that call centers at cable companies provide. It’s like they all hire from the same discount store that shuttles HR rejects from the hotel.

The proposed Comcast and Time Warner merger? That’s a utopia of pleasantry just waiting for America (and one of those brands may vanish this year).  You would think the powers-that-don’t at Comcast would appreciate public perception.

Not when gems like this call to cancel service, which should serve as a crisis communications starter kit. (Oh, please take time to listen to these 10 minutes of bliss.)

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#PRFail: Watch America Teach FOX News About ‘Gender-Neutral’ Restrooms

fox news lgbt bathrooms

Recently, Illinois State University created “Gender-Neutral Restrooms” to help serve the LGBT community. A nice move by the institution to be more accommodating; however, FOX News took a little umbrage with this.

Essentially, the re-labeling would change several of its single-stall “family” restrooms on campus as “all-gender” restrooms. No new toilets. No new seating. Just the sign, which takes a while to get used to viewing. Here’s the initial report of the news…and then the unfortunate #PRFail follow-up after the jump.

(NOTE: FOX News anchor Heather Nauert incorrectly says the university is Indiana State.)

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Kate Hudson Can Thank the Edit Team for This PR Fail

instyle_kate_hudson_tallGood PR is tough work: its often thankless hours are usually spent for another’s glory. There’s the client’s win, of course, but also bragging rights for the journo or outlet that snatched the juicy cover story from its competitors.

We don’t need the credit, but perhaps a little respect for our craft would be nice.

PRNewsers, consider the following situation and ask yourself how a seasoned publicist would have handled it differently.

InStyle ran a cover story about Kate Hudson in its July issue without plugging her new release. Definitely an “oops!” for InStyle, which counts on maintaining good relationships with the celebrity publicists who bring them their cover stars, but was it an “oops!” that demanded a correction?

As reported by AdAge, InStyle’s editors thought so:

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American Apparel Mistakes Challenger Explosion for Fireworks

AmericanApparel_Frank

The home of “smediums” and tasteless advertising should just reconsider talking to the public

While you were stumbling between the cooler full of adult beverages and your lawn chair, something pretty awful and all-the-more stupid happened — American Apparel posted a picture of the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding.

WHY?! It was placed (and long since deleted) on the corporate Tumblr account accompanied by the hashtags #smoke and #clouds because July 4 pictures are a thing. More about that decision after the jump…

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CNN Reaches for Ratings By Asking America to Deport One of Its Own

jose antonio vargasMeet Jose Antonio Vargas

This guy is one of the most brazen reporters today. Why? He has courage and temerity to do what few others of his ilk would even consider — he is willing to sacrifice his own residence in America for a greater cause.

As you can see from the picture above, he added to the “Dear God, give us ratings but really not a bad idea” juggernaut of the newly minted CNN FilmsDocumented.” In this amazing documentary, Vargas discloses even more details about living as an undocumented American journalist. More so, because in 2011, he put his stamp on the national immigration debate in The New York Times. 

And for his reward, CNN asked Twitter to deport him. Yes, really.

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Twitter (Finally) Calls Robin Thicke a Douchebag

DOUCHEBAG

Ok, I can hear you now.

Yesterday Robin Thicke learned the same lesson that has already turned JPMorgan and Roger Goodell into prime case studies for the ages: Twitter chats pretty much never go well, especially when the fruit at the center of the conversation hangs so very, very low.

This one was so bad that it led journalists all over the country to devote their mornings to locating Mr. Thicke’s most embarrassing stock photos.

How did we do?

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BET Awards to Lionel Richie: ‘Say You, Say… Who?!’

lionel richie good

ICYMI (and by the look of the national ratings, you did), the BET Awards have come and gone. At the annual affair, the once-all-music channel gave a Lifetime Achievement Award to the inimitable Lionel Richie.

To the kids in PRNewser-ville, the guy is so much more than the father of that girl who was BFF to a hotel heiress. This is a man that has been sangin’ his tail off since he was the lead vocalist of The Commodores in the 70s.

“Easy,” “Still,” “Brick House,” “Three Times a Lady,” “Zoom,” and so much more to make your mix tape the bomb (dot) com. Lionel is a legend in music. Seriously fabled if you consider the hits he has written. And to honor that amazing career, BET did this… 

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#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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