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Posts Tagged ‘Buzzfeed’

Don’t Buzz Me, Bro: Another Major Plagiarist Bites the Dust

buzzfeed

Why yes. He did go too far.

In what has to be one of the worst trends in journalism today, another national reporter has been fired for plagiarism. This time, it was BuzzFeed’s “Viral Politics” guy Benny Johnson.

This blow to the chronicles of credible reporting is particularly relevant because BuzzFeed also talks a big game regarding the benefits of its native advertising services. Yet here we are, discussing the copying and non-sourcing prowess of a once-respected reporter. Again.

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Urban Outfitters (Again) Pulls Ganesh Products After Offending Hindus

Ganesh

Another day, another retailer offending members of a major religion by co-opting one of its most revered symbols.

Unlike the recent case of designer Roberto Cavalli and a design that just happened to very closely resemble the symbol used by Sufi Muslims to denote God, this one involving Urban Outfitters‘ pillow covers can’t quite be addressed with a completely unbelievable “but we didn’t know!” statement or the “third party vendors!” explanation used to dismiss stories about Amazon, Sears and Walmart selling posters of a concentration camp.

The issue here, as reported by BuzzFeed, is that Urban Outfitters carried pillows bearing the clear image of Lord Ganesh as part of a series created by an artist who does not seem to belong to the Hindu faith.

This isn’t the first time UO has stepped in the (metaphorical!!) elephant dung, either…

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Coldwell Banker, BuzzFeed Pair Up for Sponsored Content Series

Coldwell Banker

A couple of weeks ago, a BuzzFeed listicle that looked a whole lot like a paid placement for Target inspired a bunch of journalists on Twitter to ask for some clarity as to what is and isn’t sponsored content.

We’ll soon have another example of the strategy in action: today real estate brand Coldwell Banker announced a partnership with everyone’s favorite kitty-pic-factory-turned-real-news-source.

What will this partnership entail?

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Welcome Back, Justine Sacco

SaccoDating app Hot or Not received a lukewarm mention on BuzzFeed this morning, with writer Peter Lauria describing the product as “once massively popular, cruel, and addictive”; his very headline had the company returning to “an overheated online dating market.”

As marrieds with dogs, we’re far less interested in the fortunes of said app than the little nugget buried at the bottom of the post:

“To help with the marketing and promotion of Hot or Not’s relaunch, Andreev has hired Justine Sacco, the former communications director for Diller’s IAC”

That was quick, wasn’t it?

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Buzzfeed + Cats = Perfect Recipe for a Viral Video

Cat food brand Friskies has figured out the perfect, deliciously simple formula for a viral video: Buzzfeed + cats, proving once and for all that the internet was, in fact, created for the sole purpose of sharing adorable/hilarious videos of our feline friends.  

The below ad for Purina’s Friskies brand, which depicts an older and wiser cat grudgingly bestowing sage advice unto a kitten, was published by Buzzfeed on June 5 (less than two weeks ago), and has already been viewed well over 10 million times. The spot has even spawned a popular Twitter hashtag #DearKitten, without either the brand or Buzfeed attempting to spread it.

Ah, to be a promoter of cat products and have the whole of the interwebs just waiting to do the heavy lifting for you. Sometimes all it takes is a fuzzy face, a couple of tugs at the heartstrings, a few laughs, and some seriously smart advice about the dreaded monster they call “Vacuum.”

BuzzFeed Forces Us to Ask, Again: ‘What Is Sponsored Content?’

Last night on Twitter, quite a few journalists shared this link along with their general “WTF, LOL” responses.

Target BF

If you don’t want to click on it, we’ll summarize: it’s a BuzzFeed listicle summarizing 16 ways in which shopping at Target is just so totally awesome–and did you know you that you can save a little more money with these super-secret tricks?!

The question: is it paid media? The answer: apparently not.

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THR ‘Most Powerful’ List Reflects New Media’s Influence

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The Hollywood Reporter just released its annual “most powerful people in New York media” list, and the most surprising thing about it is how unsurprising the new listings are.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg provides the story’s lede–and while the piece mentions the expansion of Bloomberg TV and Businessweek, everyone knows that it’s still all about those terminals.

The big news, though, is the addition of the names you’ve come to know from the digital side.

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Brand Marketing Increasingly Includes LGBT Families & Couples, And Consumers Approve

target adBuzzFeed commissioned JWT to conduct an analysis of how Americans feel about ads that are “LGBT-inclusive.” Although they’re talking about advertising, there’s a lot that PRs can also learn from the study, which reveals some very positive attitudes about the increased diversity we’re seeing. That is awesome, BTW.

Lately, we’ve seen a number of ads that feature LGBT families and couples; from Banana Republic to Honey Maid and Coca-Cola, there’s been a significant increase in LGBT presence in marketing of late. And, according to the findings, that paints an accurate picture of life today. Eight out of 10 consumers surveyed (there were 500 total) said “showing gay or lesbian people in ads simply reflects the reality of our society today.” Another 60 percent said brands that show same-sex couples are “being appropriately inclusive” with their marketing.

“These findings suggest that when diversity and acceptance are authentic and on-strategy for the brand, LGBT-inclusive ads will be met with a high degree of acceptance and benefit the advertiser,” said Mark Truss, director of brand intelligence at JWT.

Some of the ads that have run featuring LGBT couples and families — and even those, like the Cheerios commercial, which feature more racial diversity — have received harsh criticism. And, rightfully so, people have defended the ads, the companies that stood by the campaigns, and the real people in them.

But it’s also worth noting here that brands are following society’s lead rather than the other way around.

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UPDATED: American Airlines Customer Service Includes Reporting Terror Threats on Twitter

In case you missed it, many in our industry feel that social media management and customer service teams should work in unison. The idea is that the fall of the silos separating these disciplines will improve the performance of both.

American Airlines is one account that blends the two well, but yesterday a very odd interaction demonstrated, once again, the challenges of engaging with users in real-time. From BuzzFeed editor Samir:

Of course, the user in question is 100% responsible. But what’s the correct way to respond to a message like this one?

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Hillary Clinton’s Publicist Defends Himself for a Change

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Philippe Reines is not easily amused, and he’s definitely not too fond of the jokers at BuzzFeed.

Yet, given the insidious rumor that his boss Hillary Clinton might just run for president in 2016, he could become the best-known publicist in Washington over the next 30-and-change months. Reines’s recent New York magazine profile is well worth a look—if only because he seems to disprove many of the stereotypes that interviewer Reid Cherlin and thousands of others held about him.

Despite being described as the “longtime keeper of Hillary Clinton’s image“, earning the deputy assistant secretary for strategic communications title, and founding his own advisory firm called Beacon Global Strategies, he doesn’t seem to take his job too seriously.

Some takeaways after the jump.

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