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Urban Outfitters Semi-Apologizes for Kent State Sweatshirt with Blood-Red Stains

The latest installment of the “Urban Outfitters hocks yet another terribly-offensive clothing item” saga centers around this Kent State shirt, complete with what looks rather unmistakeably like blood stains. enhanced-16199-1410759430-11

What was listed as a $129 “vintage” shirt struck most people who saw it as a tasteless, insensitive reminder of the Kent State Massacre that left four people dead in 1970. As the image swirled around the internet and outrage mounted, even Kent State itself made its disgust known, saying in a statement:

“We take great offense to a company using our pain for their publicity and profit…This item is beyond poor taste and trivializes a loss of life that still hurts the Kent State community today.We invite the leaders of this company as well as anyone who invested in this item to tour our May 4 Visitors Center, which opened two years ago, to gain perspective on what happened 44 years ago and apply its meaning to the future.”

In response to the flood of complaints, Urban Outfitters issued a semi-apology for the product on Monday morning, saying “We deeply regret that this item was perceived negatively.”

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The Ticker: Agents Chasing YouTube Stars; Tim Cook Holds Firm; Clients on Native Ads; And More

Talk About Product Tie-In! Indie Film Using Medical Marijuana for Promotional Purposes

 

The upcoming indie film Tusk has partnered with a dispensary called Buds & Roses and a company called Kushman Veganics on two strains of medical marijuana — White Walrus and Mr. Tusk — that will also be a promotional vehicle for the film.

The movie is about a man who’s slowly turning into a walrus, stars Justin Long and is written and directed by Kevin Smith, who’s known for taking a liking to the wacky tabacky from his previous work, such as Clerks.

“This is right at the intersection of art and stoner culture,” Graham Retzik, a marketing strategist with the film company A24 told The New York TimesIndeed.

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STUDY: Media Coverage Has Little Influence on Consumers’ Travel Decisions

If only I'd read this BEFORE I bought tickets

Here’s an interesting, somewhat contradictory finding from our friends at travel blog Skift.

Turns out that media coverage of a given destination wields little, if any, influence when it comes to determining where consumers will take their next vacations.

If true, this finding might require some travel/leisure-focused firms to adjust their strategies…

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Miss America Organizers Really Want You To Know They’re All About Educating Women

Last night, we crowned a brand new Miss America — Miss New York Kira Kazantsev. This marks the third time in a row that New York has taken the crown. Her talent was singing a version of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” while tapping cups on the floor, and during that performance an on-screen pop-up touted her love of “anything Jane Austin.”

Meanwhile, Miss Ohio moved her lips while singing a duet of “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” with a ventriloquist’s dummy. And we learned Miss Virginia is “terrified of frogs.”

All of this is news in and of itself (sort of). But judging by the emphasis placed by the Miss America pageant organizers, the college scholarships that are awarded is really what they want all the chatter to focus on. I guess we were all distracted by the bathing suit portion of the competition.

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#GoodellMustGo: NFL Sponsor CoverGirl Caught Up in Bad Press Tsunami

This weekend brought another wave of bad PR for the NFL in the former of #Goodellmustgo—and it’s threatening to take down one of its key sponsors.

The photoshopped image below was taken and modified from CoverGirl’s “Get Your Game Face On” campaign, which sought to create a series of “official team makeup looks,” and paired with the trending hashtag #Goodellmustgo.

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As documented by Jezebel

The company pimped it on its Facebook page, on Instagram, on Twitter, and even made an entire board of NFL makeup looks on Pinterest. Every team. Including Ray Rice’s team, the Baltimore Ravens. Fans excited about Girling the hell out while cheering on their team could find all of the looks on Cover Girl’s special NFL Game Face website.

But today the website is gone and we’re left to wonder: is CoverGirl’s NFL partnership gone as well?

Almost certainly not.

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Kanye: ‘Throw Your [Prosthetics] in the Air Like You Just Don’t Care’

kanye-quotes-performIf you have ever been to a hip-hop show, you probably know that the headline’s cheer is not a typical way to get a crowd in the zone. But there’s nothing typical about megalomaniac narcissistic Kanye West.

Take, for example, his latest actions on the “Yeezus” tour in Sydney, Australia.

An eyewitness told Daily Mail Australia that Kanye refused to perform until the crowd came to its feet, saying, “I can’t do this song, I can’t do this show until everybody stand up.”

And then, he called out an amputee in the audience for not standing. You know, like people with both legs. 

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ISIS Spokeswoman Explains Love of Nutella to New York Magazine

nutella_While this story is not directly related to PR as we know it, it is the most disturbing thing we read last week.

If you’ve watched recent reports about ISIS, the terror group currently shocking everyone around the world, you probably noticed that reporters all make sure to mention the group’s media prowess. ISIS is unique in that its spokespeople use the same social networks with which we promote clients every day to spread their hateful message.

Just over a week ago, New York magazine posted an alternately fascinating/horrifying portrait of the young women who serve as spokespeople for ISIS by filling their Twitter, tumblr and Kik accounts with LOLs, emojis…and terroristic propaganda.

These women also interact with Western press representatives — and one topic that repeatedly comes up is Nutella. Seems that many of those involved in the “movement” share images of the product (as well as pictures of their kittens and thoughts on their favorite Disney movies) in order to make themselves seem “softer” and “friendlier.”

While writing the piece, New York’s Katie Zavadski reached out to to one of these ISIS spokeswomen on the subject of Nutella.

Here’s the reply she received:

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PR Jobs: Hausman, Myriad Marketing, Emerald Expositions

This week, Hausman is hiring a public relations manager, while Myriad Marketing needs a public relations executive. Emerald Expositions is seeking a database marketing manager, and is on the hunt for a marketing specialist. Get the scoop on these openings and more below, and find additional just-posted gigs on Mediabistro.

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Find more great PR jobs on the PRNewser job board. Looking to hire? Tap into our network of talented PRNewser pros and post a risk-free job listing. For real-time openings and employment news, follow @MBJobPost.

Illinois TV Anchor Courageously Shares Brain Cancer News with Viewers

Dave-Benton-Cancer-VideoIn the wild and wacky world of public relations, those who stand out often do so by creating great relationships with media types.

Understanding that, if you know anyone with PRSA Chicago, IABC Chicago, or even the College of Media for the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaignplease pass this story along!

Why? Dave Benton at WCIA-3 (CBS) out of downstate Illinois in Champaign is easily one of the most courageous media personalities to come across in a long time.

Learn why after the jump. Read more

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