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The Ticker: Dancing with the Startups; Greenpeace vs. LEGO; Everybody Loves Jeter; And More

White House Unveils New PSA Asking Us All To Prevent Sexual Assault

The White House has released the latest PSA in its efforts to end sexual assault, and with it a new website that asks visitors to take a pledge as a “personal commitment to help keep women and men safe…”

The “It’s On Us” campaign has enlisted the help of celebrities such as Jon Hamm, Kerry Washington, Mayim Bialik and Randy Jackson, along with partners like BET and the NCAA. The President and Vice President have a cameo in the clip.

The Obama Administration’s efforts in this area began with the launch of the White House Task Force to Protect Students From Sexual Assault, which has another site, NotAlone.gov. Sharing information and making it explicitly clear what sexual assault is and where to turn to for help have been the first major steps for both campaigns.

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Biggest Stories of the Week

Roger Goodell Press Conference Is Your #PRFail of the Week

While we didn’t have a chance to watch NFL commissioner Roger Goodell’s entire press conference live thanks to our day jobs, we’ve already read enough recaps and seen enough tweets to know that it was a disaster — and not just because of the random annoying Howard Stern guy.

Mediaite has highlights, and here’s the full conference (the audio is a little off, and you’ll note that Goodell doesn’t even appear until the 21 minute mark):

In short: he knows that domestic violence exists, he will establish a conduct ommittee, he has never considered resigning, and he’s “proud” of the “opportunity” to do a better job than the crappy one he did before.

Goodell says that “domestic violence has no place in the NFL” as if it’s some kind of bold stance. And “nothing is off the table” except his own credibility.

He’s also amusingly misspeaks and calls the Super Bowl the “Super War.”

The main conclusion, though: he’s not very good at answering questions!

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16 Brands That Celebrated #InternationalTalkLikeAPirateDay

pirate ship

Confession: we didn’t even realize that International Talk Like a Pirate Day was a thing until yesterday, when we heard rumor that certain brands might be usin’ and abusin’ the word “matey.”

Apologies for our ignorance, lasses — we should have known that the “only holiday to come into being as a result of a sports injury” would offer clients plenty of opportunities to get attention on social media.

Without further ado, then: arrgh, parrots, Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush. You know the deal.

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Mexican Wal-Mart Under Fire for Allegedly Hosting In-Store Cockfight

walmart chickenIt’s going to take more than “clean up in aisle seven” to wash this one away.

Wal-Mart Mexico, or Walmex, has come under fire for allegedly hosting a cockfight in its Boca del Rio store in order to promote a soda company.

What happened to good old fashioned free samples?

If the allegations are proven true, the retailer could face fines of up to 96,000 pesos ($7,240), as cockfighting is illegal in Boca del Rio.

A Walmex spokesman, Antonio Ocaranza, said the the promotion was not actually a cockfight, as the roosters weren’t armed with blades, no betting took place, and none of the roosters were harmed.

“It wasn’t a cockfight,” Ocaranza told Bloomberg. “There wasn’t anything that would be in violation of any game regulations.”

Photos of the event (below) depict the penned roosters looking agitated and appearing to attack one another…so, there were cocks, and they fought, but it wasn’t technically a “cockfight” because the birds weren’t wielding weapons? Lovely, then. Read more

Someone Forgot to Cancel Joan Rivers’ Instagram iPhone Promo

Question: when did TMZ become a legitimate news source?

Early this morning, the site best known for sex tapes and whatever deep dirt they have on Justin Bieber told us that someone forgot to cancel Joan Rivers’ pending Instagram iPhone promotion after she passed on to a better place.

Here’s the image, which a super-sleuth at TMZ managed to capture moments before it disappeared forever:

joan-rivers-iphone6-facebook-5

We’d like to point out the very sloppy copywriting on this paid placement: no way Rivers would have droned on about “achievement in design” for five whole sentences without making fun of “the most arrogant company in the world.

We do, however, feel like Rivers (who could teach a few lessons to PR pros, by the way) would have appreciated TMZ’s sense of humor:

“Steve Jobs could not be reached for comment.”

Of course, they still went with the “Promotes iPhone 6 Feet Under” headline. Touche. 

[Pic via TMZ]

CNN Gives Scottish Independence Story 110 Percent

ICYMI: a majority of Scotland doesn’t mind being part of the United Kingdom after all.

All due apologies to William Wallace of Braveheart fame but it seems they don’t want their FREEEEEEDOM as much as we might have thought. Now imagine if we’d been able to resolve the American Revolution in such a well-behaved way! As we ponder that and pour some of ye olde gin on the cobblestone curb, did you happen to see how CNN reported the results?

When the votes were in from all 32 council areas, the “No” side prevailed with more than 2 million votes over 1.6 million for “Yes”. That total is important to note because it’s the closest international media has come to reporting 100 percent of the vote. However, ratings-challenged CNN wanted to be first in line, so they did this:

CNN-Scotland

For those scoring at home, that’s 110 percent.

Maybe there were some mail-in votes that had to make the cut. Who knows?

(And we wonder why Americans distrust mass media.)

5 PR Experts Weigh in on NFL’s Attempt to ‘Combat Domestic Violence’

Peaceful football

We’re all well aware that the National Football League has a big problem on its hands. A recent YouGov survey tells us that the NFL brand has experienced “the [sharpest drop] in consumer perception since Target’s data breach” last December.

Here’s something you may have missed this week: in order to confront all that terrible publicity, the league announced the creation of a “social responsibility team” consisting of its own community affairs VP Anna Isaacson and three (female) advisers, each of whom have built careers as experts on the prevention of domestic violence and sex crimes.

The question: is this a meaningless stunt or an earnest attempt to address underlying issues?

This week, we spoke to five industry experts to get their take on the league’s move. For context, we’ll start with quotes from two of the women involved, who will be responsible for “policy-making and education.”

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Same Channel, Different Show: America Distrusts Mass Media More Than Congress

don't trust the corporate mediaDoes the national news industry read its own press? While networks are busy creating fancy holograms and littering the screen like ESPN during the NFL Draft, America cares less and less about what they actually have to say.

Gallup just came out with a poll that proves it: distrust in national news is an historic low.

According to the poll, things aren’t in a good way. Americans’ confidence in the media’s ability to report the news “fully, accurately and fairly” has returned to its previous all-time low of 40 percent.

Be it due to fear or loathing, people do not believe what the media folks are sharing. No matter what talking point decorates the teleprompter, many viewers feel like they might as well flip the channel.

Should we?

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