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Posts Tagged ‘dumb ideas’

This Might Be the Dumbest Tweet Ever Written by a Politician

We’re not quite sure what irritates us most about North Carolina state senator Bob Rucho‘s message: his mediocre-at-best grasp of the English language, his choice to completely butcher a great historical quote, or his decision to break a cardinal law of political discourse by comparing his adversaries to Nazis. The fact that he threw communists and terrorists in there for good measure and that he has called his critics “weenies” shows us that he might have committed a brilliant act of trolling.

Let’s count the errors here: possessive fail, subject-verb agreement fail, using “then” instead of “than”…

Rucho later made an attempt to explain himself:

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Dunkin’ Donuts Didn’t Look So Great in Blackface

Well, then: welcome back to the grind. We hope your hangover isn’t too harsh—and if it is you can just chug some Pedialyte.

So what happened over the long weekend? To start it all off, Dunkin’ Donuts hung its head and apologized for August’s biggest facepalm moment, a “bizarre and racist” ad starring an actress in blackface. This story makes a little more sense when you consider the fact that the spot ran in Thaliand, where CEOs and creative departments are all apparently a little loopy (and racist).

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Apple Really Wants to Trademark the Word ‘Startup’

You read that right: Apple wants full ownership of the word “startup”. In Australia. For some reason.

This isn’t the first time, either: the world’s leading fruit-themed brand tried to secure exclusive rights to the word in both Auckland and the great 50 as far back as 2011, when Apple lawyers claimed it was all about securing the rights to a new name for a not-so-secret retail initiative focused on providing tech setup services for new products. (Like a Genius Bar for people who don’t know how to turn their own devices on.)

Oh, now we get it—and it’s further evidence of Apple’s brand identity slipping away. They are no longer the little company favored by tech nerds everywhere; they are now every bit as ubiquitous and annoying as the brands they vanquished.

Yes, this is more a legal issue than a PR issue, but in our eyes it’s just the latest sign that Apple’s perch atop the tech field is no longer as secure as it was back in those halcyon days of 1998. It’s also a really stupid idea, so we’ll choose to blame Ashton Kutcher until we know better.

Busted: Fashion Publicist Doubles as International Art Thief

Today in Dumb Criminals News: back in June someone brazenly walked into an art gallery on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, grabbed a Salvador Dali drawing valued at $150,000, and walked away. Just like that. The perfect crime? Not really–the thief, apparently suffering from pangs of guilt, anonymously mailed the picture back to the gallery as soon as law enforcement released security camera photos of the heist.

We have a feeling 29-year-old Milan resident Phivos Istavrioglou regrets that decision: he was arrested and charged with second-degree grand larceny yesterday. Investigators ID’d him after matching fingerprints taken from a 2012 Whole Foods shoplifting arrest to those on the canvas.

Our favorite parts of this story: Investigators apparently identified him as a suspect after discovering that he’d searched for information on the theft before it became public knowledge–and they convinced him to return to New York by posing as gallery owners and offering him a consulting job!

Oh, we almost forgot: he worked as a publicist for French fashion label Moncler. We don’t know how well he performed in that gig, but he certainly knows how to get unwanted attention from the press! We have a feeling he won’t be tweeting again anytime soon, though…

PR Fail: Cinemark Invites Families of Aurora Shooting Victims to Theater Reopening

A note to readers: While most of the PR failures we write about are unfortunate, they are also amusing (on some level). This one, however, cannot be categorized as anything but horrifically insensitive, bordering on cruel.

Relatives of the victims of last summer’s movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado recently received invitations from Cinemark USA to attend the reopening of the same theater at which their loved ones lost their lives. The invitations, which were sent just after the holidays, urged recipients to “reserve [their] tickets” for an evening of remembrance and a movie to follow.

In response, family members sent a strongly-worded letter to Cinemark in which they expressed anger and outrage at the company’s lack of compassion, calling the invitation “disgusting”. They also noted that Cinemark representatives never reached out to offer their condolences; the company even rebuffed requests to meet with family members without lawyers present. The letter admonishes the reopening celebration as a “thinly veiled publicity ploy” and calls for a boycott of the theater.

Click through for the full letter, which appeared in The Denver Post complete with the signatures of eight shooting victims’ relatives:

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Toyota Recovers from PR Stumbles with Hot Pink Re-Branding

2013 Toyota CrownWe’d be hard-pressed to think of a bigger PR disaster for an automotive brand than the largest car recall in history followed by a massive tsunami wreaking untold damage on international supply chains. Heck, we didn’t even mention this valuable lesson about the dangers of automated spam messaging or this misguided effort to raise brand awareness among toddlers.

And yet, 2012 sales numbers tell us that Toyota has already recovered from a wide-reaching scandal that started in 2009 with reports of “technical difficulties” in its vehicles and ended with the recall of more than seven million individual automobiles. In fact, the Japanese company ended the year by reclaiming its place as the world’s most successful car maker.

Toyota obviously wanted to get people talking in 2013, so it came out swinging with a re-branding initiative fronted by a hot pink “executive” sedan. Japanese CEOs and their teenage daughters now have one more thing in common…a favorite color! Did someone invite Hello Kitty reps to participate in creative strategy meetings?

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Facebook Couples Pages: Dumb Idea or The Dumbest Idea?

Facebook Couples Pages DebutToday BostonInno asks a crucial question: “Are Facebook’s New ‘Couples Pages’ the Dumbest Thing the Internet Has Ever Given Us?” We’d say n0–that would be a three-way tie between “YOLO“, “Bronies” and Rebecca Black–but the public response to Zuckerberg’s latest awesome idea seems to be overwhelmingly negative.

Come to think of it, we can’t remember a single Facebook tweak inspiring anything but ridicule. Maybe the company needs to re-think its product rollout strategy…

Also: breakups will be a whole lot more public now, won’t they?

P.S. We do feel a little bad for Mr. and Mrs. Stephanie Holson above. We don’t even know them, but they already annoy us (and we’re married)!