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Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

International Olympic Committee Hopes Gay People Will Stop Being So Gay

Last night our own Tonya Garcia reported on some Olympics-sized jitters over at NBC. Seems the official home of the 2014 Sochi Winter Games is a little wary of host country Russia’s decision to pass some of the world’s most archaically homophobic laws, which promise to arrest anyone who dares discuss “non-traditional sexual relationships” with minors or even bothers to act “openly gay” at the games. Yes, that means athletes too…

NBC spokespeople claim that no advertisers currently plan to boycott the games due to this unfortunate development, but the story doesn’t end there.

You’d think the International Olympic Committee’s thinking would be more in line with the 21st Century; we’re sad to say that’s not the case.

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NBC Says Brands Are Still OK With the Sochi Games, Prays They Stay That Way

Russia’s new anti-gay propaganda law has prompted global backlash for the awful bias and homophobia it demonstrates, and the harassment and unfair treatment of the LGBT community it will cause. The law bans “discussion” of “non-traditional sexual relationships” with minors. Those found to have broken the law will be subject to fines and even prison.

With the world descending on Sochi in about six months for the Winter Olympic Games, calls for a boycott are getting louder. Just today, an American runner Nick Symmonds, who won a silver medal at the World Athletics Championships in Moscow criticized the law, saying that he would like to wear a rainbow pin, but it’s “very clear that will land you in jail.” The International Olympic Committee has asked how this will be enforced. Rep. Nancy Pelosi was far stronger in her condemnation of the law, calling it “outrageous” that Russia would “criminalize equality.” President Obama said he was “offended” by the law.

Also today, FIFA asked for “clarification” ahead of the 2018 World Cup, which will take place in Russia. And Andy Cohen says he won’t be going to Moscow to co-host the Miss Universe pageant because it’s “unsafe” for gays and he “doesn’t feel right as a gay man stepping foot in Russia.” Because of your horrible law, you miss out on the awesomeness of Andy Cohen. Sucks for you.

All of this controversy is surely causing some sleepless nights for the folks at NBC, which will be broadcasting the Games. The network is expecting to pull in $800 million in advertising, which Buzzfeed says would be the most ever for a Winter Olympic Games.

“So far, brands that have bought advertising time on NBC remain committed, but with six months left to go before the opening ceremonies and the potential for a boycott rising, a lot can happen that could change their minds,” the site says.

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The IOC, Stoli Vodka and NBC Respond to Boycotts/Petitions Stemming from Russian Anti-Gay Laws

Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a bill into law that bans ”propaganda of nontraditional sexual relations” and threatens openly gay or “pro-gay” citizens and foreigners with fines, arrests and possible jail time. Another new law restricts adoptions of Russian children by people in countries that allow same-sex marriage.

With the 2014 Winter Olympics set to take place in Sochi, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) says it has received assurances ”from the highest level of government in Russia that the legislation will not affect those attending or taking part in the Games.” It pledged to ensure there would be no discrimination against athletes, officials, spectators or the media during the games.

Many equal-rights activists are unimpressed with the IOC’s response, and feel that whether or not the laws directly affect the games is far from the point. ”They should be advocating for the safety of all LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) people in Russia, not simply those visiting for the Olympics,” said Human Rights Campaign President Chad Griffin. ”Rescinding this heinous law must be our collective goal.”

In order to make their voices heard, activists have been writing petitions and staging boycotts.

The “Dump Russian Vodka” campaign, started by internationally syndicated sex columnist Dan Savage, has prompted bars across the US, UK, Canada and Australia to stop serving Russian brands like Stolichnaya. In response, Stolichnaya’s CEO Val Mendeleev wrote an open letter last week condemning the recent laws and reaffirming the brand’s commitment to the LGBT community. The brand’s website has also undergone an overhaul, and now features a rainbow block of text boasting that the brand “stands strong and proud with the global LGBT community against the attitude and actions of the Russian government.” (We’d call this a winning damage control response) Read more

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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NBC and Jimmy Fallon Need a Late Night Time Machine

Jimmy FallonThe late night ratings wars have never been funny. From David Letterman and Jay Leno to Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon, the bitter rivalries and backdoor deals only remind the public of how desperate the television industry is for viewers.

So when news broke that NBC tapped Jimmy Fallon to replace Jay Leno as host of The Tonight Show and move the storied franchise back to its original home, New York City, the public collectively sighed and vowed to remind itself to set its DVR or check out Hulu at work. Clearly NBC is seeking the next Johnny Carson to revive television ratings (which is kinda like the music industry seeking the next Michael Bolton or Kenny G to revive CD sales).

News flash: The Roots are a great house band and all, but the public has moved on.

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Twitter Buzz Helps Boost TV Ratings

The biggest PR/marketing story of the week so far involves Coca-Cola‘s surprising announcement that social media “buzz” doesn’t translate to short-term boosts in sales. On the television front, however, research comes to the opposite conclusion: yesterday we learned, via our sister blog Lost Remote, that Nielsen finally released a yearlong study firmly tying Twitter mentions to increased ratings for popular shows.

How does that relationship work? Let’s check out the numbers:

The Twitter effect is least influential on season premieres. an 8.5% increase in buzz (or related tweets by volume) leads to a 1% bounce in viewership among the 18-34 set, while a 14% increase creates the same gains among viewers aged 35-49. For midseason episodes, however, the numbers are more impressive: the amount of buzz required to create a similar 1% ratings bump is almost half the size for episodes airing midway through the season.

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Brian Williams: Doing Comedy ‘Shows That I Have a Personality and a Pulse’

Brian Williams Brian Williams took his trademark blend of levity and gravitas to New York’s 92Y last night. There, exactly an hour after his Nightly News broadcast ended, he provided an in-depth look at the highlights and lowlights of his life. He touched on his connection to the Jersey shore, his early jobs working in a DC college press office and as a broadcast trade association typist and his current post as NBC news anchor.

Williams poked fun at NBC’s pharmaceutical advertisers, vented his anger about the handling of Hurricane Katrina and made poignant comments about the Newtown shooting. However, none of moderator Jonathan Tisch’s queries or the audience’s pre-screened questions addressed his network’s recent ratings decline or the status of Williams’ struggling news magazine show, Rock Center.

Here are selected quotes from Williams on a broad range of topics:

His Early Years:

On food he ate growing up: “For us, mixed greens were something that came out of a mower.”

On his fondness for firefighters: “I still hang out at the firehouse. It’s like I’m their human dalmatian.”

On his education: “I did spectacularly poorly at community college. I’m still only a high school grad; I’m not into that completion thing.”

On his reaction when his mother told him he’d be a good TV reporter: “I’d only been on closed circuit camera at 7-Eleven.”

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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Spokeswoman Leaves for CNN

Allison GollustThere’s a new job opening for an ambitious, politically-minded PR professional in the greater New York area: Governor Andrew Cuomo‘s spokeswoman Allison Gollust stepped down from her post today after just four months on the job to return to what would seem to be her first love: broadcast television.

Gollust will now serve as head of communications for CNN. This isn’t an unprecedented move; Gollust previously worked in various communications roles within the NBC organization under newly appointed CNN president Jeff Zucker. Both left the network after its takeover by Comcast.

In her new role as senior vice president, communications, Gollust will serve as official spokeswoman for the brand in additional to managing all PR initiatives and overseeing the 24/7 news channel’s messaging strategy.

Christa Robinson, who served in the senior VP position for 13 years, will leave CNN according to a memo sent to staff by Zucker and reprinted on sister site TVNewser.

Will the newly reunited team be able to turn CNN around? Only time will tell.

Bill Clinton to Betty White: Happy Birthday! Run for President!

Given Betty White‘s devoted fan base (of which we are proud members), we imagine it can’t be too hard to advertise NBC‘s Betty White birthday celebration, set to air tonight at 8 p.m. EST–all you’d have to say to get us to watch is “Hey. It’s Betty White. Tune in”. But in case that isn’t enough to turn the heads of people who don’t own the complete Golden Girls on DVD, this teaser clip might just do the trick.

This past election season proved the power and influence of an endorsement from President Bill Clinton, and now everyone’s favorite Arkansas smooth-talker is throwing his weight behind a new kind of campaign.

In the video, Clinton says of White, “In a time when our nation is still bitterly divided, it’s important to have a leader who’s won the respect and affection of our nation in the way that Betty has”. Plus, Clinton points out, “The position would come naturally to Betty, as she has lived for so long in a place called the White house.” Har har.

We know we just got through election season, but…we have to say we fell for this promo hook, line and sinker. Betty White for president! Where do we pick up the T shirt?

Poll: Do Super Bowl Ad Leaks = Good PR Strategy?

Super-Bowl-Commercials-2013Isn’t it interesting how branding and advertising strategies converge around the Super Bowl? No matter how what kind of products they’re promoting, companies and agencies seem to play copycat in the run-up to the big game. This year it’s all about teaser leaks and hashtags.

The game has changed: two days ago NBC already had a post up ranking the leaked clips, and most marketing execs “don’t see any downside” to releasing ads ahead of time, thereby foregoing “the ‘aha’ moment” when viewers see future classic commercials for the first time. Their theory: all buzz is good buzz, and social sharing could make their ads even bigger. Just because people have seen or heard of them before doesn’t mean the public response will be any less positive.

Not everyone agrees, though: a marketing professor tells the New York Times that leaks only work for particularly “dynamic, innovative or exciting” ads, while “old school” ad execs prefer the “element of surprise” that comes from making the public wait. The Bleacher Report blog even theorizes that the leaks will lead to decreased viewership since so many Americans are more interested in watching the commercials than the game itself.

So let us know, readers. Click through for the poll.

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