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Posts Tagged ‘New York Post’

Bad PR: New York Post Mocks John Galliano’s ‘Orthodox’ Outfit

New York Post John GallianoWhile we agreed with Dior‘s decision to fire designer John Galliano in 2011 after his insensitive anti-Semitic rant, we also feel like the New York Post was reaching just a little bit with this headline despite the fact that they were able to collect angry quotes about the offending outfit from various New York Jewish leaders. Galliano’s publicist Liz Rosenberg (formerly with Madonna) could only throw up her hands and insist that the “accusations are not at all correct” because he’s worn the same outfit for years (and the hat, which is the only element of the ensemble that really resembles an Orthodox getup in the first place, was part of his brand’s 2012 menswear line).

But what’s a publicist to do? Unfortunately, no one is safe from the power of terrible pun-friendly headlines. But was “Schmuck!” really the best one they could write? The guy went to rehab and apologized thoroughly, for God’s sake.

Whoops: Subway’s ‘Footlong’ Doesn’t Quite Measure Up

Subway SubmanHey, what’s an inch between friends?

If it contradicts the selling point behind your signature product, it can be a big deal. So when a curious Australian Subway customer discovered that his “footlong” sub sandwich was, in fact, only 11 inches long, he decided to vent his frustration in the most modern way: he took a picture of the offending item beside a ruler and posted it on the company’s Facebook page along with the simple request “subway plz respond.”

And then, of course, everybody went nuts.

So is this a PR mess, or what?

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PR Disaster: Notre Dame Star Manti Te’o's Fake Dead Girlfriend

Mani Te'oIt was every sports journalist’s dream story: Promising college senior, Heisman trophy runner-up and near-certain first round NFL draft pick Manti Te’o suffers the deaths of his grandmother and his beautiful, supportive girlfriend within 24 hours–just before dominating the field in his team’s upset victory and continuing his streak as one of the nation’s most promising college football players. His heartbreaking tale of grief and victory quickly spreads beyond the world of sports.

One problem, though: it wasn’t true.

Deadspin broke the astonishing story yesterday as a web of complex lies promoted by some of our most respected publications began to unravel and the damage control campaign began.

A summary for those who haven’t been following: Manti Te’o is a gifted football player and devout Mormon from Hawaii who claimed, via his Twitter feed and various public statements, to have developed a relationship with a woman known as Lennay Kekua who he supp0sedly met after a 2009 game between Stanford and his team, Notre Dame. She had a Twitter account with which Te’o frequently interacted, expressing his love and encouraging his fans to follow her sister (both fake accounts were later deleted).

Then came the news that, right after the (real) death of Manti’s beloved grandmother last September, Kekua passed away from leukemia approximately a month after suffering a serious car accident. Manti doesn’t attend her funeral because she had insisted that he not miss a game. South Bend Tribune fleshed out the story through interviews with Te’o before Sports Illustrated, ESPN, CBS, the New York Post, The Associated Press and pretty much everybody else in the media world reported on it. Someone set up a charity in Kekua’s name. Manti Te’o was an American classic: the tragic hero.

And then things began to fall apart.

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New York Post Publishes Another Offensive Photo

New York PostWe’re usually more concerned with the acts of PR departments than Editorial departments, but today the always-classy New York Post reached a new low by publishing a photo of a man about to be crushed by a subway train.

Cue inevitable outrage.

In a terrible tragedy that involves one of New Yorkers’ top fears, a Queens-based businessman and father approached a panhandler who’d been harassing midtown commuters during rush hour traffic–and the man responded by pushing him onto the subway tracks, where he was crushed to death by an oncoming train. A freelance photographer standing in the station captured the scene but didn’t have time to help the man to safety before the train arrived. (If you want to see the full picture, you’ll need to click on the Gawker link—we’re not going to post it here.)

A few points:

  • As far as we know, the New York Post has never been a reputable brand. Its editors can publish all the Charles Krauthammer they want but the public will still see their paper as a cheap tabloid.
  • Of course the rag chose the photo because they knew it would be controversial.
  • By posting on the “scandal”, we’re probably being a little hypocritical by driving more attention toward a mag and site that we don’t like.

All these things are true. And yet, we have to ask: At what point do tasteless stories like these become a burden for the Post? Does its public image even matter, or has it become the East Coast equivalent of TMZ–completely immune to criticism?

Should NYC Postpone the Marathon? (UPDATED)

Today a battle wages on Twitter over what most would probably not consider a pressing issue: whether New York should proceed as planned with the ING New York City Marathon, currently scheduled for Sunday morning. The debate has turned bitter and divisive as pro and con camps make their cases.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg and others who think the race should happen argue that a postponement or cancellation would be devastating to the NYC-based businesses that bring in hundreds of millions of dollars each year thanks to the Marathon (this year’s race will include approximately 50,000 runners). Bloomberg pointed to the city’s quick rebound after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001 as an example of crisis recovery, saying, “The city is a city where we have to go on.”

Anti-marathoners essentially argue that the race, which is a massive undertaking, will divert crucial resources from the city’s Hurricane Sandy clean-up efforts–and that travel disruptions will depress participation rates anyway. Quite a few suggested that runners should boycott the race and volunteer to help Sandy survivors instead–and they’ve even set up a Facebook page.

The latest spat concerns the generators required for the race–and the power they could potentially provide to homes devastated by wind and flooding. Some have predictably turned the issue into a partisan bludgeon to use against Bloomberg, who broke character yesterday to formally endorse President Obama for re-election. Drudge Report deemed the headline “Bloomberg Diverts Critical Supplies from Sandy Aid to NYC Marathon” worthy of a siren, while the New York Post ran with “Abuse of Power”. Coincidence?

Another complication: The race starts in Staten Island, one of the areas hit hardest by the storm (at least 19 dead, many homes destroyed, thousands without power). Postponement advocates argue that starting the race there belittles SI residents, many of whom already feel ignored by city and federal authorities. Yet Bloomberg insisted that the race will go on, and today he doubled down on that promise.

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More Poorly Executed Hurricane Sandy PR

Add Gap to the list of brands criticized for releasing Sandy-themed marketing messages during the storm. First there was American Apparel‘s “Sandy Sale“; then there was the Urban Outfitters email blast reading: “This storm blows (but you know what doesn’t?)” Yeah, that would be free shipping on all orders.

On Monday, Gap’s official Twitter feed earned negative feedback (and a full Mashable post) for trying to do the impossible: making statements of support for hurricane victims while simultaneously performing its primary purpose and promoting the Gap brand. Here’s the offending message:

OK, is this message insensitive? It could be seen that way, considering the fact that many who live in the affected area are currently without power and others suffered damage to their homes during the storm. Is it dumb? Certainly, because we can’t imagine too many people counting the hurricane lockdown period as a perfect time to buy chinos online. Was it “on brand”? Absolutely. Again, the purpose of the feed is, above all else, to promote the Gap.

Should we be offended by it? Come on.

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‘Today’ Show Producer: Leave Matt Lauer Alone!

NBC’s perennial ratings champion “Today” recently made some fairly big changes by pushing old hand Ann Curry out in favor of fresh-faced Savannah Guthrie. Amazingly, the world continued to turn.

But there’s a bit of tension over at 30 Rock these days, because “Good Morning America” has finally started to beat “Today” in the ratings after a nearly unbroken 16-year streak playing runner-up.

Right after the switch, media gossips began to wonder whether “Today’s” biggest star (apologies to mid-day drinking aficionados Kathy and Hoda) was behind the change. Even Al Roker came down on Ann’s side by accusing Matt of “throw[ing] one of us under the bus.” Leave it to the New York Post to come up with a fitting nickname for “Anchor Animal” Lauer and accuse him of being too demanding on set. Juicy!

Well, in an apparent attempt to control the rumors and counter the negative press, executive producer Jim Bell gave interviews to both The Hollywood Reporter and The New York Times “Media Decoder” blog this week.

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Guess Who’s Back! (Yeah, It’s Monica Lewinsky)

Today in Unexpected  Comebacks news, former right-wing talking point Monica Lewinsky has announced a return to the national spotlight that will have absolutely nothing to do with handbags!

In fact, “friends” report that Lewinsky is out for “revenge”, that she’s shopping a book described as a “tell-all memoir” to major publishing houses, and that she’s received offers in the cool $12 million dollar range. Two questions: Where did these “friends” get this number? And has a public figure ever published a memoir that did not promise to “tell all?”

Whatever. The book will apparently include “secret love letters” that Lewinsky wrote to former President Bill Clinton and reveal details about his “insatiable desire for three-way sex, orgies and the use of sex toys of all kinds.” Well, we guess you sometimes have to get a little racy if you really want the press to pay attention. And there’s more: Lewinsky’s book will also recount incidents in which Clinton referred to his wife as a “cold fish” and joked about their “non-existent sex life.”

Well then. We can certainly say one thing: Anonymous sources always give the bitchiest quotes–in fact, they sound suspiciously like the carefully chosen words of paid representatives! When asked why Lewinsky chose the current moment to release a memoir, yet another member of this mysterious group of “friends” gave the New York Post this ridiculous quote:

“No one will hire her and she can’t get a job because of Clinton. She needs to make money somehow.”

Doesn’t sound like her PR folks are desperate at all, does it?
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Scientology Plans PR Campaign to Combat ‘The Master’

Director Paul Thomas Anderson has always insisted that his highly anticipated new film “The Master”, which stars Philip Seymour Hoffman as a low-rent sci-fi author and war veteran who decides to go whole hog and invent his own bizarre religion, has nothing to do with the Church of Scientology. Yet most people seem to think that’s exactly what it’s about for some reason!

We all know that the church doesn’t take too kindly to criticism, and we guess the film counts as a critique, because the church’s representatives have now apparently intensified their anti-“Master” PR campaign in anticipation of the movie’s Friday opening.

Despite all this noise, Anderson has never publicly criticized the church, and he has even indicated that the experience of making and promoting his latest opus actually led him to become more sympathetic toward Scientology in general. On a recent stop in Venice he said: “I don’t know a hell of a lot about Scientology today but I know about the beginnings of that movement and it inspired me to use it as a backdrop for these characters. I can’t be any more unambiguous than that.”

OK, so Anderson admits that the character of charismatic cult leader Lancaster Dodd is indeed “partly based on” church founder/ “Dianetics” author/ heavenly body L. Ron Hubbard. Most importantly, the public will always know “The Master” as “that Scientology movie,” so of course the church feels the need to respond.

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More Bad News for Prince Harry

Prince Harry has a bit of a PR problem—and it doesn’t look like it will get any better any time soon. In addition to the now-famous nude photos, “British PR guru” Max Clifford reported last week that a couple of women had approached him with “more material” on the man who happens to be third in line for the crown.

Rupert Murdoch’s The Sun already chose to ignore the royal family’s request to avoid publishing any photos that depict the prince in a…compromising position–and this move seems to pave the way for other tabloids to go ahead and spread the dirt around.

Today, Murdoch’s favorite American publication, the always-classy New York Post, gives us some more damning details: Read more

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