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Posts Tagged ‘Henry Blodget’

Putin/Ketchum New York Times Op-Ed Inspires PR Ethics Debate

The fact that Ketchum pitched Vladimir Putin’s controversial New York Times op-ed on Syria isn’t breaking news: We’ve already established, via ProPublica, that Ketchum places pro-Putin op-eds written by “independent businessmen” in publications like The Huffington Post and CNBC. Yet unlike those posts, this one was quite clear in its intentions, and the Times apparently handled it much like any other pitch. Op-ed page editor Andrew Rosenthal writes:

“I thought it was well-written, well-argued. I don’t agree with many of the points in it, but that is irrelevant.”

Critics pounced immediately, writing that the Times was “aiding and abetting a long-term foe of the United States” by running the op-ed. This is obviously not true, as Times public editor Margaret Sullivan notes that publication is “not an endorsement of [Putin] or his ideas” and that he didn’t get paid. Still, one reader who may or may not be this guy asks why the NYT doesn’t “…take issue with the fact that it was so obviously penned by Putin’s flacks.”

Was it? Putin’s spokesman now claims that the man himself wrote “the basic content” and that his “assistants” fleshed it out—but what about Ketchum?

General consensus calls the successful pitch “a PR coup” for Putin, but it’s led some in the industry to raise ethical issues:

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PR Fail: Business Insider CTO Pushed Out Over Horrible Tweets

Apparently so—and “all opinions my own” statements on Twitter accounts aren’t quite enough when said opinions are as noxious as those of Pax Dickinson, just outed as Business Insider‘s resident bro-troll and forced out of his position as the site’s CTO. Here’s one of his amazing insights (keep in mind that this dude was C-level).

Last night’s Valleywag post highlighting Pax’s greatest hits appears to have led directly to his dismissal, which leaves us wondering how he managed to hang on so long in the first place. Did none of his bosses notice NSFW classics like this one, which must be seen to be believed? Somebody knew what was going on.

Is it? Not like he’s not proud of himself:

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NYT, WSJ Drop Paywalls for Hurricane Sandy

If you, like us, reside somewhere between Barbados and Sail Rock, Maine (and even if you don’t), you’ve almost certainly spent the last two or three days following Frankenstorm/Zombie-cane/”October Surprise” Sandy, which finally started bombarding our nation’s most important coast with winds, rain and transit closings last night. While we wish all residents well and don’t want to jinx anyone, we do have to say that the storm looks a little disappointing at the moment, especially given the massive buildup (kinda like The Dark Knight Rises).

Anyway, in more important news, our nation’s top two newspapers–The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal–decided to act in the public interest by dropping their premium paywalls “until the weather emergency is over”. Goody! Casual readers may now peruse more than ten Times articles before receiving a virtual spanking.

Don’t worry if you don’t happen to like either paper, because Business Insider columnist Henry Blodget already scored the day’s best Sandy headline:

“Hurricane Storm Surge May Flood New York With Toxic Poo”

And now, for no reason, here’s a brave Washington, D.C. man jogging through the storm wearing only shoes, shorts…and a horse mask. Just because.

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Citi Analyst Fired, Company Fined Over Email Snafus

We didn’t think Citigroup could fall any lower on the public opinion scale. The abrupt departure of CEO/punching bag Vikram Pandit was bad enough: Business Insider columnist Henry Blodget just came very close to labeling his subsequent “I resigned” claim as fraud.

But Citi’s fortunes keep getting worse: The bank recently settled a suit over releasing confidential information about Facebook’s financial status before the company’s IPO, and today brought news of a $2 million fine and the termination of a highly respected financial analyst.

Here’s what happened: Analyst Mark Mahaney, who is widely regarded as the financial industry’s number one expert on big-name tech companies like Google and Facebook, emailed a French journalist with his unpublished thoughts on the financial prospects of YouTube. This kind of move blatantly encourages insider trading. It went against his company’s official non-disclosure policy–and it also happens to be illegal.

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GE Illustrates How Not to Use Twitter

Last week, The New York Times published a story stating that General Electric paid no taxes, thanks, in part, to “fierce lobbying” that actually resulted in tax benefits. GE’s public affairs division thought it would be wise to try and refute this claim via Twitter. Bad move.

Business Insider received a tweet from GE yesterday asking them “to stop repeating the NYT’s ‘misleading attack’.” BI replied with some specific questions. The back and forth that ensued between BI and GE — questions, then silence from GE, then replies and more questions — ends with Henry Blodget writing that GE spokesperson Anne Eisele was working on an explanation in response to further evidence produced by the Times. We don’t see any updates after doing a quick scan of the site, so we’re thinking that Blodget is still waiting. *Update after the jump.

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Rubensteins, Edelman, Siegel, Nadal on the Observer‘s Power 150 List

Four PR people crashed the New York Observer Power 150 List this year, a ranking dominated by extremely rich and powerful people in finance and politics, topped off with a healthy mix of media moguls and editors from all sides of the MSM wars including Anna Wintour, Henry Blodget, Tina Brown, Arianna Huffington, David Remnick, Nick Denton, Scott Dadich, (responsible for WIRED‘s app), and Dennis Crowley (Foursquare super Mayor)

The “purely subjective, data-free ranking” includes:

Howard Rubenstein (#17)–Founder of Rubenstein Communications, and godfather of New York PR

Steve Rubenstein (#78)–The “fresh-faced heir apparent” to the empire, credited as a force behind the restoration of the High Line

Peggy Siegel (#86)–Called the city’s “most notorious publicist” by the chatty, salmon-colored newspaper

Richard Edelman (#133)–Davos regular, and President and CEO of independent megafirm Edelman Public Relations.  We’re sure he’s enjoying his characterization as “one of the truly good guys in an industry not known for them.”

Also notable is the inclusion of MDC Partners Chairman Miles Nadal at #94.  Nadal joins the list for acquiring a string of interesting small and midsize marketing, social media and PR firms to bolt on to his growing advertising conglomerate.