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How the Kmart Stole Christmas

KmartLayaway

Not so fast…

It’s actually not so hard out there for a retailer during the holidays.

Doorbusters; great sales; everyone rushing to get their children that last special gift to cram under the tree (if that’s your thing). It shouldn’t be a problem to spend some money — even if you have to use the luxury of layaway.

It’s a great invention that allows people to save up, use a store savings account, and buy those really big gifts. That is, unless the store decides to cancel layaway and then keep your cash.

Attention all Kmart shoppers: We have a serious issue. Read more

Which Firm Will Represent Cuba?

In case you missed it, the big news in politics today is that the United States is re-establishing relations with Communist Cuba after decades of isolation.

Here’s the video of the morning conference via CNN:

The “new chapter” mentioned by the president comes about, in part, thanks to the release of American Alan Gross in exchange for three Cubans who’d been jailed in Florida for spying.

The question, then: which firm will handle US/Cuba relations?

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BlackBerry Should Send CEO John Chen To Talk To the Media More Often

BlackBerry has been up against some very rough times, but the company keeps pushing, trying to get back into the hands, pockets, briefcases and purses of people around the world.

Today, CEO John Chen spoke with Nora, Charlie and Gayle (“a ride or die BlackBerry girl”) on CBS This Morning about the latest phone, how a few new colors could make the phone cooler, and why the government is still hanging on to their BBs.

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Roll Call: FleishmanHillard, Fenton, Steinreich Communications Group, and More

FleishmanHillard has announced new leadership for its global strategic integration team. Stefan Gerard, based in New York, will serve as the firm’s global strategic integration lead. In addition to this role, he will lead the New York office’s brand marketing group. Gerard, a senior vice president and senior partner, has helped lead the agency’s strategic integration practice in the Americas since joining the firm in 2010. He brings to the position a unique mix of multidisciplinary experience across advertising, public relations, digital content, brand strategy, consumer research and experiential activation. In his expanded role as the global lead, he is responsible for developing and managing the structure and strategy for the firm’s large-scale client engagements that span geographies and disciplines, as well as overseeing the integration of creative and planning disciplines into the firm’s overall offering. (Release)

After nearly 33 years as CEO of his own firm, David Fenton has sold the agency and appointed a new chief executive. His own role will shift to one of chairman, effective immediately. Former Billboard editorial director Bill Werde has taken on the role of Fenton‘s new CEO. Werde most recently worked on new business opportunities at Guggenheim Digital, which oversees Billboard, Adweek, and The Hollywood Reporter. Fenton sold the agency to two new owners, Craig Leach, CEO of Graham-Pelton, and James Marcus, director at Graham-Pelton Consulting and former head of Fenton Studios. With the buyout, Fenton has joined Collegium, a network of cause-related agencies, which Leach and Marcus launched about nine months ago. (PRWeek)

Steinreich Communications Group, Inc. has announced that Ariella Steinreich joined the firm as media relations director. Steinreich will be responsible for providing media strategy and counseling, as well overseeing the integration of traditional and social media campaigns. Steinreich most recently was a senior associate at Burson-Marsteller where she handled global media relations for several of the agency’s clients. Prior to this position, she was at Kwittken, where she also handled media relations.

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Taken 3 Uses LinkedIn to Endorse a Winner’s ‘Particular Set of Skills’

liam neeson linkedin

Typically, the more sequels a movie gets, the more it evokes images of suckage and cash grabs.

Noted franchises like Jaws, Resident Evil, Friday the 13th, and Scream come to mind when considering the carbon copies of movies that should have just tapped out after one or two. This brings us to Liam Neeson’s Taken series.

If you have seen the movie, you know that he plays a man with “a particular set of skills.” Understanding the plight of bad sequels, there needed to be a great stunt to get people interested. And then someone thought of a LinkedIn endorsement by Liam Neeson.

We’re suddenly interested in this movie now!  Read more

North Korea (Sort of) Responds to Sony Crisis

North Korea

Pic via KCNA/People’s Daily

So where do we stand on the ever-evolving Sony Pictures hacking crisis?

Yesterday the hackers’ threats turned to violence, invoking 9/11 and implying that someone would attack theaters screening The Interview, the film at the heart of the conflict. The movie’s planned New York premier was subsequently cancelled despite that fact that the Department of Homeland Security dismissed the threat, and top chain Carmike Cinemas announced that it will not screen the movie at all.

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The Ticker: Fenton Sale; New WPP Chairman; Rogen and Franco; And More

Coke Breaks Up with American Idol

shutterstock_61587547

In a sign of the times and shifting pop culture influences, Coca-Cola is the latest big brand to end its sponsorship of the formerly formidable Fox giant American Idol.

Today Variety reports that Coke explained its decision to drop Idol after more than a decade:

“After 13 years, we feel it is the right time for the Coca-Cola brand to venture into new spaces and pursue other opportunities to connect with teens and leverage music as a passion point.”

Ad spending on the show has dropped nearly 50 percent over the past three years, with AT&T and Ford also stepping away from the show in order to reshape a relationship with the network that “goes much deeper than any individual program,” in the words of a Ford rep.

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GOOD NEWS: Honesty Really Is the Best Policy When Adopting Dogs

eddie the terribleIf I said “Silicon Valley,” what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Computers? Technology? Rich hipsters? What if we said, “Genius pet adoption?” Meet this lovely story from the Humane Society of Silicon Valley

This is “Eddie the Terrible.”

He’s a two-year-old chihuahua who can “go zero to Cujo in .05 seconds when he sees another dog on a leash.” Also, this bedeviled dog is understood to be “socially stinky.” How do I know these odd facts?

The HSSV created the best adoption blog post in the history of ever just for Eddie.

Read it after the jump… Read more

Greenpeace Protest in Peru May Have Caused Environmental Damage

greenpeace protestEnvironmental groups are known for the doggedness with which they pursue their causes. So it’s not a surprise that Greenpeace would go to Peru to stage a demonstration, encouraging people to be eco-friendly. That the protest itself may have caused irreversible damage to a historic site is surprising.

Global leaders gathered in the South American country’s capital, Lima, and agreed last week to reduce greenhouse gases with details about how to do that coming this spring.

In the shadow of that, at the Nazca Lines, a World Heritage site where geoglyphs, hundreds of drawings in stone and sand have been around for more than 1,000 years, Greenpeace staged one of their high-profile demonstrations. They laid out a cloth message that can be seen from overhead, spelling out “Time for change! The future is renewable. Greenpeace.”

The only problem is the 20 Greenpeace members were there without legal consent and without the proper equipment normally used by professional archaeologists to prevent damage being done to the sensitive rocks and sand that cover the earth in that location.

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