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Posts Tagged ‘Kim Kardashian’

Pretty Little Liars Actress Publicly Blasts Overly-Airbrushed Promotional Image of Herself

article-2522370-1A0CA5E700000578-187_638x628You will be shocked, gentle readers, to learn that Kim Kardashian‘s latest “my body is back” bikini pic campaign was airbrushed into oblivion after “taken in secret by a friendly agency photographer.”

The over-altering of women’s bodies in magazine and advertisement images is an issue that’s been raging for years; papers, documentaries and conferences have been based on the subject, and we’re all aware of the unattainable ideal such blending and stretching and trimming creates. No one, not even the celebs and models in the photos, look like the glossy, pore-less, gravity-defying humanoids constantly bombarding our eyeballs.

Yet, while we laypeople all complain about it, it’s fairly rare (and particularly awesome) when a celebrity becomes majorly and publicly outraged by their own bodies being altered beyond reason. (Kate Winslet is still my hero for shaming Cosmo when it plastered a super-slimmed-down version of her on its cover –  “I don’t look like that,” she famously said, “and I don’t desire to look like that.”)

Now, Ashley Benson, star of ABC Family’s hit show Pretty Little Liars, who took to Twitter earlier this week to publicly bash a heavily Photoshopped image of her and her co-stars, is sending a similarly powerful and honest message to her young fans.

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PR FAIL: Kim Kardashian Thinks ‘Charity Auction’ Means Keeping 90% of Profits for Herself

kim-kardashian-launch-kardashian-kollection-01Okay, so while it’s somewhat heartening to know that a celebutante like Kim Kardashian is at least aware that someone with her wealth and influence might be socially obligated to use that money and fame to help those less fortunate than herself, she doesn’t seem to have the firmest grasp on what generosity or selflessness look like.

On Thursday, the reality TV star launched an eBay sale of some of her clothes and accessories to raise money for the victims of the typhoon in the Philippines. Kardashian promoted her fundraising effort by tweeting a link to a letter posted on her personal website, which reads:

Hi guys, this is a very special auction because a portion of the proceeds of my eBay auction are going to International Medical Corps, which is a nonprofit organization that provides critical health services on remote islands where families are struggling to access medical care and basic resources like food, clean drinking water and vital medications. The proceeds will go directly to the communities they’re serving in the Philippines and will help typhoon survivors get access to medical care and ultimately save lives. My prayers and thoughts are with those affected by the typhoon. Check out my eBay auction here and support those who need our help in the Philippines. Xo

While it sounds like her heart is the right place, the thing is, nowhere in this letter does she admit that the “portion of the proceeds” that will go toward the cause is an embarrassing ten percent. In other words, Ms. Kardashian, worth an estimated $40 million, plans on keeping a whopping 90% of the profits for herself.

Having trouble suppressing your gag reflex? Us too. Read more

FTC Threatens to Give Bieber a Spanking

Dude, it doesn't count if we can't see the label.

Most 19-year-olds don’t get a chance to visit outer space, leave their pet monkeys stranded in Germany or cruise the California highways in a leopard print Audi 8 at speeds high enough to draw warnings from local cops and former NFL players.

In some ways, however, Justin Bieber is just like every other American boy; he loves his mommy enough to buy her flowers every Mother’s Day. More specifically, he loves 1-800-Flowers, and he wants his 40 million Twitter followers to know all about it.

No one should be surprised to learn that Bieber has a contract with 1-800-Flowers, but you won’t see any mention of that fact in his promotional tweets. The Biebs is only the most prominent of a slew of celebrities endorsing brands on Twitter and other social media forums with no disclaimers in sight. Kim Kardashian, for example, often makes five figures for a single branded tweet but never discloses her relationships with her sponsors.

That might change soon if the FTC has its way.

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Brands Can Make Their Own Damn Instagram Ads

Instagram is in a bit of a pickle. After backtracking on its “brands can co-opt users’ photos and use them in promo campaigns” deal, Facebook‘s hottest “food porn” property has hit a few bumps in creating new “sponsored” revenue streams. Brands, of course, are all anxious to advertise themselves on a forum that inspires more than 8,500 likes and 1,000 comments every second.

What have they done? According to AdAge, they’ve started making their own commercials to run on the feeds of their celebrity “ambassadors”. Here, for example, is an ad obviously created by Pepsi but posted as just another picture on Beyoncé‘s account:

319,000 is a whole lotta likes.

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Ford Apologizes for Kidnapping the Kardashians in Ad Spot

A note to PR/marketing folks planning to build campaigns around C-list celebrities: just because the public hates them doesn’t mean we won’t get offended on their behalf. Despite the fact that recent polling found the Kardashian family to be slightly less popular than the U.S. Congress (which boasts as dismal 9% approval rating), the Ford Motor Company still had to apologize this week for a couple of very weird overseas print ad spots, one of which depicted Kim and her sisters in a…compromising situation in the back of the brand-new compact Ford Figo driven by one Paris Hilton (ugh).

The strangest thing about this story is probably the fact that the spot, created by Ford’s Indian ad agency WPP, was never meant to be seen by the (Indian) public.

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4 Super Bowl ‘Rebranding’ Reviews: What Worked? What Didn’t?

Since today is officially Review the Super Bowl day, we thought we’d riff on a theme we saw in several of last night’s big-name ads: rebranding. The companies in question aren’t exactly hurting for money (except for one very notable exception), but they wanted to use the Super Bowl as a jumping-off point to refine and re-target their brands. So what worked? What didn’t? Let’s do some before-and-after comparisons, shall we?

Mercedes-Benz

Before: A luxury car brand synonymous with “incredibly rich (and usually evil) people”

After: A premium brand that’s still affordable for those of us a little lower on the social ladder

Did it work? Nice commercial but no. An “economy” model Mercedes is like a subprime mortgage: you can tell us it’s less expensive and convince us that we’ll be able to pay it off in twenty years of installments, but the fact is we still can’t afford it.

But hey, at least we didn’t have to watch Kate Upton try to act.

Click through for the rest:

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Retailers Beat Celebs and Entertainment Brands on Facebook

Walmart Facebook pageThis is something of a surprise: a new study from WSL/Strategic Retail tells us that Kim Kardashian and American Idol are not the social media “brands” with the biggest influence on the public–at least when we’re talking about Facebook. Those would be Walmart, Coca-Cola and iTunes.

Wait, who actually likes iTunes?

The big stat: nearly twice as many Facebook members (61%) “like” retail brands as celebrities or TV shows. We don’t quite see the point of liking a chain store, but millions of Americans clearly do (though only 26% turn to social networks for information about things they want to buy).

Some other, less surprising findings from the study:

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Shocker: PR Firm Writes Kim Kardashian’s Tweets

Kim Kardashian Millions of MilkshakesIn what just might be the most obvious revelation of the year, leading PR firm Burson-Marsteller has confessed to writing promotional tweets on behalf of a certain Kim Kardashian, who happens to be the spokesperson for client/frozen dessert chain Millions of Milkshakes (insert terrible joke here).

This client case study doesn’t tell us too much that we didn’t already know, but it does offer some interesting details about the ways in which top firms create “maximum ‘noise’” for promo campaigns via strategic, “exclusive” media leaks and traditional Islamic greetings tweeted to fans in Dubai (we also love the fact that Kim’s promotional appearance at a new MoM branch in Bahrain attracted “100 Shiite Muslim protesters with anti-Kim signs who had to be teargassed by local authorities”).

Hey, we all know that the lives of reality TV celebrities are heavily choreographed affairs, but the degree of media manipulation in this case still surprises us—and we’re a little depressed by the fact that 400 journalists and bloggers attended the campaign’s biggest press conference.

Go ahead and call us naive. We can take it.

Who Are the Most Powerful Entertainment Publicists?

This may come as a shock, but the most powerful PR folks in Tinseltown don’t work for the Church of Scientology.

Today Business Insider provides us with a fascinating list of the biggest names that you’ll never see on the big screen—and it turns out that Entourage was fairly accurate! (We mean this in terms of publicists being 24-7 workaholics who are always on call, not in terms of actors being talentless douchebags who make lots of money while doing very little work and facing no consequences for their consistently bad behavior.)

The people on this list earn their often-considerable salaries by working their asses off and thinking of their clients’ interests above all else; in other words, by being consummate PR professionals who understand very well that image is everything. They may be seen as low-key deal-makers, but here’s a telling quip: “When we asked each of the 20 publicists on our list for further information, almost every single one replied: ‘Who else is on the list?’” Always on the job, indeed.

The most interesting thing about the picks, which were based on client star power, work portfolios and insiders’ nominations, may be the variety of clients handled by various publicists–success clearly demands a keen understanding of pop culture in its various guises, from high to lowbrow and all things in between.

Some takeaways:

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The Unpredictable Power of Live Television

We human beings know that unpredictability is a profound force in our world. No matter how much we make plans, diligently practice and religiously strive to control the outcomes of our days, years and lives, we are all subject to the whims of a universe that is simply too vast, powerful and indifferent for us to control in any significant way. We hate, and love (or is it need?) unpredictability.

Either way, it’s not surprising that a new survey highlighting the latest Nielsen research proves that people still love to watch live television. We’re addicted to the unexpected.

These findings pose a unique problem for PR professionals like us who loathe the thought of losing control of our connection with the public. We’ve learned the hard way that even the most disciplined messaging strategy can be sabotaged by unexpected factors–like Clint Eastwood and an empty chair.

Nevertheless, we must adapt to human nature and harness its formidable power–fighting natural law brings nothing but disappointment and catastrophe, which is why PR students need to study Shakespeare as much as business management. Business is about desire and money, life is about love and unpredictability, and PR is about all of the above. Read more

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