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Archives: August 2011

JCPenney Apologizes for Stupid T-Shirt

JCPenney had a bad day after people became outraged over a t-shirt that read “I’m too pretty to do homework so my brother has to do it for me.” The t-shirt was aimed at girls between the ages of seven and 16 and was being sold online during the back-to-school season. Ugh. Don’t these folks listen to any Beyoncé? Who run the world? A caption for the shirt read: “Who has time for homework when there’s a new Justin Bieber album out?”

The shirt generated tons of angry tweets (“I’m too pretty (and smart and pissed off) to buy your cheapass clothes,” wrote one woman), drew ire from blogs, and led to a petition against the retailer, forcing JCPenney to issue an apology and take down the offending cheapass shirt.

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Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

P&G May Move Gillette Business

Ad Age reports that P&G’s Gillette brand, which has worked with Porter Novelli for more than 20 years, may take its business elsewhere. P&G spends between $4 million and $6 million on PR for this brand.

P&G’s James Moorhead, who previously worked on Old Spice, became the associate marketing director for Gillette in May. And the brand just finished a pricey launch of the Gillette Fusion ProGlide.

PN is expected to re-pitch for the business. While the firm did make a high-profile hire earlier this month, it was accompanied by a few executive layoffs. A decision on the account is expected in October.

Launches Today from BW, Edelman, and Altimeter

Social Readiness: How Advanced Companies Prepare
View more documents from Jeremiah Owyang

Business Wire has launched a number of upgrades after listening to user feedback. The changes include a new multimedia video player and multimedia image gallery and more links to other news releases from the company. There’s additional detail about these changes here.

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‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ to Premiere with Suicide Prevention PSAs

Ever since news broke that Russell Armstrong, husband to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong, committed suicide, there have been questions of whether the show would air as planned. (Definitely one of the least important questions being asked.)

That question has been answered by the president of Bravo, Frances Berwick, who issued a statement saying the network would air the season premiere on September 5 as scheduled and it would be accompanied by PSAs focused on suicide prevention. The show is being re-edited and footage of the Housewives is being shot to take into account the terrible news.

Besides the logistical questions, the news has raised ethical questions about the affect that reality TV has on its stars. NPR has a few suggestions about an ethical code for reality TV shows, including a proposed panel that would settle disputes over whether certain footage damages the reputation of someone appearing on a show.

‘Vogue Italia’ Jumps on the Controversial Cover Bandwagon

Vogue Italia has run into a bit of controversy over the September cover, featuring the model Stella Tennant corseted and Photoshopped into a 13-inch waist. Who needs to breathe, eh? Am I right?

The magazine already ran into trouble earlier this month for a trend feature that referred to hoop earrings as “slave earrings” (it has apologized). Now the issue is whether this cover glorifies an unnatural and unhealthy female body image. The cover is meant to recognize Ethel Granger, who famously did have a 13-inch waist.

Vogue Italia joins Newsweek on the list of magazines that are generating buzz with some recent controversial covers.

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Former VMS VP Joins Cision

Joan Kilanowski, previously the VP of major accounts for VMS’ news division, has joined Cision‘s account team to help transition former VMS clients. VMS announced that it had filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy last Friday.

Kilanowski joined VMS in Texas in 2000. She contributed to the VMS Voice blog, was a member of the company’s social media team, and led the Hispanic media monitoring service.

Cision North America’s president and COO Peter Granat told us that the company had begun work immediately to transition VMS clients after the sudden closure announcement.

Hearst Interactive’s Michael Dunn Speaking at Semantic Web Summit

Being on the Web is nice, but being seen on the Web is better. That’s where Semantic Web technologies come into play.

“As new markets come up in existing or new industries, we don’t really have a method of seeing the full spectrum of content that’s at our disposal,” Michael Dunn, VP and CTO of Hearst Media Interactive told our colleagues at

Dunn has been added to the list of speakers at the Semantic Web Media Summit, taking place in NYC on September 14. Other speakers from Mediabistro, The New York Times, the AP, and other companies will join him for a discussion of how the Semantic Web is changing the Internet, and how content providers can maximize their online opportunities with these technologies.

Click here for more info.

The Ticker: Kardashian PR; Young women on social media; Lisa Kudrow; CNN acquires Zite; Career advice

Roll Call: Groupon, Hetrick Communications, LinkedIn, and More

Groupon’s director of comms Bradford Williams has stepped down after only two months. According to Business Insider, there was some disagreement between Williams and CEO Andrew Mason over the way issues should be handled, one specific example being a “leaked” memo last week during the company’s pre-IPO quiet period. BI points out that Groupon has been taking some heat over business information revealed in the IPO paperwork.

One of Indianapolis’ major PR and advertising firms, Hetrick Communications, is closing at the end of September. Founded in 1994, president Bruce Hetrick said there simply wasn’t enough business to keep the doors open. Clients have included Indiana University and Atlas World Group. [via Indianapolis Business Journal]

Matt Sonefeldt has been named IR manager at LinkedIn, the first person to hold this in-house position at the newly-public company. He’ll report to CFO Steve Sordello. Sonefeldt is new to IR, but comes from Capital Research where he was a buy-side analyst. Marilyn Lattin, head of Investor Communications, an IR firm, handled investor relations during the company’s IPO. [via Inside Investor Relations]

Eric Villines has joined MWW Group as GM of the firm’s Seattle office and deputy head of the firm’s global tech practice. He’s been with the firm since 2006.

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What Do You Think of This CNN Promo?

Erin Burnett , CNN’s newest host, has announced the name of her new program via tweet Erin Burnett OutFront. And now CNN has released the promo for the show. She uses some interesting words to describe the show — “courage,” “authentic” — and the imagery looks a little Anderson Cooper-esque.

CNN’s announcement for its new evening line-up describes it as a “general news program” that will fit into the global scope and wide topical span of the evening coverage. What do you think of this clip?

[h/t TVNewserHuffington Post]