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Archives: May 2014

Jay Carney Steps Down as WH Press Secretary, Josh Earnest In

jay carney steps downJay Carney, the reporter who became White House press secretary for the Obama administration, has resigned from his post after three-plus years on the job. Josh Earnest will take up the position. He’s a 39-year-old with strong ties to President Obama, having worked with him since 2008 when he was communications director in Iowa for the campaign.

The surprise announcement was made yesterday when the President jumped behind Carney’s podium to break the news. He repeatedly called Carney a “friend” and said Carney’s resignation first came up in April. During his remarks, the President cited Carney’s desire to spend more time with family, including more visits to his daughter’s softball games. Carney, 49, has two children and his wife, Claire Shipman, is a reporter and part-time contributor to ABC News.

“He’s got good judgement, he has good temperament and he’s got a good heart,” said President Obama. “And I’m going to miss him a lot. I will continue to rely on him as a friend, an adviser after he leaves to spend as much of his summer as he can with his kids before he decides what’s next for him.”

Sources tell The New York Times that Carney is also stepping down for financial reasons; he’d like to move back into the private sector to earn more money.

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Biggest Stories of the Week

NYC Restaurant Gets Burned In Google Reviews By Glass Lovers

google glass tweetYear-old East Village restaurant Feast had been doing pretty well until it had a run-in with disgruntled Google Glass fans.

A diner, startup CEO Katy Kasmai, was asked to take off her Glass during brunch recently over privacy concerns. Feast says it has previously asked a patron to do the same thing for the same reason without incident. In this case, Kasmai took to Google+ to vent.

“For the first time ever this place, Feast, in #NYC just asked that I remove +Google Glass because customers have complained of privacy concerns in the past. Never has happened to me before in the one year I’ve had Glass. I left,” she wrote.

After the complaint went up, a number of people took to Google to give one-star reviews of the restaurant. Feast’s manager spoke with the EV Grieve blog to say that, for them, the negative commentary is damaging.

“[Y]ou have 13 people, which is about half the total reviews, who have never been to our restaurant, let alone live in NYC, leave you one-star reviews … it’s malicious and technically a violation of Google’s own terms for leaving reviews,” the manager said.

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Not-So-Breaking-News: CNN Says We Will All Die on March 35, 2041. Really.

cnn story

UGM — These three letters have pretty much meant the end of the world as we know it, to quote a notable lyric. Only this time, it was literal.

What does it mean? User-Generated Media. Have smartphone, will report. This means all that journalism studying done by serious reporters doesn’t amount to a thing if some schlep with a Samsung Note can tweet a shaky video to national news.

TMZ uses it. Discredited blogs use it. And even the biggies use it, most commonly CNN and its fabled “iReport.” Cute name. Terrible news. Like everyone dying by asteroid on March 35, 2041. Yes, March 3-5. That is not a typo, just really sloppy reporting.

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BEWARE: ESPN’s Darren Rovell May Have Stolen Your Press Release

rovell tweet

Yeah, but then again, so is this. So, we’re used to that from you.

Attention all flacks, the next time you send a press release to ESPN, be sure you understand what “copyright infringement” means. Why do we share that bit of professional advice? This article from Deadspin tells you everything you need to know, specifically about bottom feeder and bag-of-nothing Darren Rovell.

If you don’t watch ESPN, you’re not missing much. Here’s a guy that was at ESPN to talk sports business, which is to say he was the equivalent of a beat reporter at city hall who was thrust into healthcare because someone quit. That said, here’s his shtick … and you won’t believe this is his business.

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PSA Turns Passed-Out Drunks into Human Billboards

If you thought the ritual of writing shaming, embarrassing things on passed-out drunk people was relegated to college parties, you’d be mistaken. Now two major ad agencies in Japan are doing virtually the same thing, but for a good cause.

In partnership with Yaocho, one of the biggest bar chains in Tokyo, Ogilvy & Mather and Geometry Global have created a campaign aimed at discouraging Japanese citizens from getting so blitzed that they pass out and sleep in the streets. And what better way to dissuade such behavior than creating a shaming, public spectacle out of those who fail to excercise better judgement?

Such unfortunate, inhibriated individuals are marked with the hashtag #NOMISUGI, which translates to “too drunk,” and surrounded by a square of white tape. All over Japan, passersby have been Instagram-ing images of these human billboards, creating a viral PSA of sorts. While we agree with AdWeek that it’s difficult to tell whether these individuals truly draped themselves so horrendously on subway staircases and on sidewalks or whether the scenes have been staged, the campaign still sends a clear message: Behave, or risk becoming our next literal poster child for poor decision making.

Just some food for thought to get your weekend off to a somewhat-honorable start…

Alleged Bigot Sues Red Lobster, Waitress for Accusing Him of Bigotry

red lobsterLast September, Toni Christina Jenkins was waiting tables at her local Red Lobster in Tennessee when some jackleg fool left an unfortunate, highly racist note in the tip section instead of money (pictured in its original NSFW fashion after the jump).

To wit, Jenkins posted it on Facebook and the thing went viral faster that the flu. And for her efforts to “show that racism was still alive and well,” she was suspended from her job for “violating the company’s policy prohibiting the posting of receipts online.”

Stay classy, Red Lobster.

Anywho, things went very well for Jenkins but the guy who allegedly went all backwoods trailer park on her receipt is suing Red Lobster — and Ms. Jenkins — for $1 million. His claim: She did it.

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Roll Call: NYC & Company, buuteeq and Simulmedia

NYC & Company promoted Christopher Heywood to senior vice president, Global Communications. Heywood has been with NYC & Company, the City of New York’s marketing, tourism and partnership organization, since 2007. Prior to that, worked for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board for more than 8 years. In his new role, Heywood will lead the communications and PR function for NYC & Company and oversee all domestic and international public relations efforts, including managing the company’s global network of 17 international press representatives serving 27 global regions. Heywood will also oversee corporate communications for NYC & Company.  (Release)

buuteeq, a Seattle-based startup that provides the leading cloud digital marketing system for hotels, announced the additions of Joe Mele and Betsy D. Steckler to its team. With broad digital agency and media expertise, Mele will lead buuteeq’s engagement with global strategic accounts in the role of chief experience officer. Steckler will take on the position of SVP of Global Customer Success. Mele brings with him an outstanding depth of digital media and agency expertise to guide buuteeq’s global hotel clients to unprecedented success. He was previously with Razorfish for 14 years where he focused on digital media and marketing, working closely with top brands to drive digital strategy and improve business. In his new role as chief experience officer, Mele will be the primary engagement leader to scope and build relationships and programs with buuteeq’s largest accounts. Steckler brings 15 years of results-driven, deep domain expertise in SaaS management, development, and execution to buuteeq. As SVP of Customer Success, Steckler will focus on engaging and maintaining buuteeq’s robust clientele. (Release) Read more

The Ticker: NBA Bigot Bought Out; “God” Sent to Turkish Prison; Is Google ‘Abramson’-ing?

Spin the Agencies of Record


APCO Worldwide and StrawberryFrog are collaborating to get people to stamp their passport to the sunny beaches of Albania. According to the news in Argophilia Travel News, the two firms will cooperate for “developing and deploying international ad and marketing campaigns geared to boost knowledge of Albania and the country.” BTW, if you were standing on the stiletto heel of Italy, look east, and there’s Albania nestled besides Greece. The Adriatic Sea is quite lovely this time of year.

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