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Posts Tagged ‘rich people’

Publicis and Omnicom Join to Create Agency Supernova, Inspire Twitter Jokes

This weekend we moved a step closer to The Singularity as the world’s two largest PR/marketing/advertising groups announced plans to join, creating one unstoppable media megalith that will easily pass WPP to become the biggest, most powerful group in the history of big, powerful groups.

Together, Publicis and Omnicom include agencies from Saatchi & Saatchi and Leo Burnett to BBDO and DDB Worldwide.

On Saturday and Sunday the two companies confirmed the move and released statements from co-CEOs Maurice Levy and John Wren, who made a public appearance together; Levy said the merger started as “almost a joke” six months ago. One thing the pair didn’t do was secure the Twitter handles @OmnicomPublicis or @PublicisOmnicom, a fact that allowed a couple of industry wise guys to have a bit of fun in the wake of the announcement:

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Oh, Right: Kate Middleton Is Pregnant

Life & Style MagazineToday in Awkward (sort of) Press Releases News, the communications team at Buckingham Palace confirmed that we will, indeed, meet little Prince William Junior (or Juniorette) in approximately nine months: Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton is pregnant.

We’re not going to conduct any in-depth analysis of this crucial world-shattering event, but we do wonder: When she agreed to marry the Prince, did Lady Catherine’s thoughts turn to the day when the Associated Press would announce her pregnancy via Twitter? Did she debate whether such a thing is classier than having one’s pregnancy announced on the cover of Life & Style magazine alongside one or more Kardashians?

…and now we return to your regularly scheduled programming. Please feel free to freak out as you see fit–we will take this Very British moment to hope that the third season of Downton Abbey is better than the second.

Los Angeles Makes ‘Meatless Mondays’ Official

Farmers Market Produce We can all agree that most Americans (ourselves included) would benefit from eating a little less meat. It’s not that meat isn’t delicious or that it’s always unhealthy; it’s just that we tend to rely a little too much on beef and bread.

You may have heard of “Meatless Monday”, a public health PR campaign created in 2003 by marketing vet Sid Lerner and promoted by the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine‘s Center for a Livable Future in order to make healthy dietary choices more palatable to the otherwise distracted masses. Why Monday? Turns out we’re more receptive to healthy messages after indulging in the excesses of the average weekend (beer, football, BBQ…you know the deal).

Last week the Los Angeles City Council decided, by unanimous vote, to declare all LA Mondays “meatless” and to incorporate the message into its regular operations. What does this mean, exactly? We imagine that the subsequent PR campaign will resemble a much smaller version of Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” project. The city’s mayor might even make a guest appearance on The Biggest Loser (hint hint).

Of course, the city can’t require anyone to suffer through every miserable Monday without the delicious life-giving taste of flesh…

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Last Night’s Loser: Big Money

From a PR perspective, we’ve already established the winners of last night’s election: no-frills, on-brand messaging and basic math. The loser, in our humble opinion, was big money.

After the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision, quite a few observers began to freak out over the growing power wielded by well-funded Super PACs and advocacy groups.

These fears may well be justified; 2012 was the most expensive election in history, with spending on presidential and congressional campaigns amounting to approximately $6 billion, and we can’t quite see that as a positive thing. Still, this year’s contests brought encouraging signs hinting at the fact that “a whole lot of money” just isn’t enough to win an election in this country today.

Take, for example, the unsuccessful Connecticut Senate campaign of former WWE head Linda McMahon. Over three years and two different races, the wrestling executive spent $100 million of her own money, easily breaking all records and providing a nice boost to the Connecticut economy. Yet Chris Murphy defeated McMahon by a healthy margin last night despite the fact that she spent twice as much as he did while eschewing divisive social issues to run as a moderate business reformer.

What does this tell us?

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Breaking: Disney To Acquire Lucasfilm, ‘Star Wars’

Today in Been There, Done That Media News: Walt Disney Co., fresh off its efforts to turn the once-stellar Pixar into a mediocre sequel factory, has announced plans to acquire Lucasfilm Ltd. for a cool $4 billion, thereby taking ownership of the series that defined the childhood of every American born between…oh, who are we kidding? Every kid around the world loves the (original) “Star Wars” trilogy. We’ll just avoid mentioning episodes 1 through 3 (along with certain parts of “Return of the Jedi”), because we’d rather not get our blood pressure up this late in the afternoon.

Anyway: Get ready for more “Star Wars” rides at DisneyWorld!

The worst part of this announcement? ”Star Wars Episode 7 is targeted for release in 2015, with more feature films expected to continue the Star Wars saga and grow the franchise well into the future”–and George Lucas will serve as “creative consultant” on this monster of a vanity project.

Serious question: Did anyone anywhere in the world ask for another “Star Wars” movie? Or is George Lucas just making one last attempt to revive the embarrassing husk of what was once a promising career?

We leave you with the only appropriate response to this announcement:

What the Hell is Brad Pitt Talking About?

We guess we should applaud Chanel for being bold enough to choose a male face for its iconic No. 5 perfume, though we will venture that Brad Pitt was hardly the riskiest choice. We always imagined his favorite scent to be some enticing combination of stale cigarettes and marijuana, but who are we to say?

On watching Mr. Jolie’s first spot for Chanel, we share a common response: What the hell is he talking about? And how will this string of cosmic nonsense inspire more people to buy Chanel?

Well, that was…pretentious. We can only assume that the “it” he mentions is life, the universe and everything. Double rainbow, man. Unfortunately, the second spot released today is no better: Read more

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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Seems Like ‘The Rich’ Might Have a PR Problem

While Americans generally “admire” and may even envy our wealthiest countrymen, we don’t seem to like rich folk very much! These are the conclusions drawn from an intriguing Pew Research Center survey released yesterday.

How do the “average Americans” across the economic spectrum who answered these questions view “The Rich?” Well, most of us reckon they may be smarter than us, harder-working than us, and even better-looking than us; heck, the vast majority of our kind respect and admire them–assuming that they made their money “by working hard.”

But we’re also fairly sure that they’re greedier, less honest, and less appreciative of the sacrifices that us ordinary folk have to make in the greater interest of the world’s largest economy.

How do we reconcile our differences? Tax the dickens out of ‘em!

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Facebook Needs PR Advice Now More Than Ever

Maybe you’ve heard: The once-heralded Facebook IPO is in trouble and losing value by the minute. PR experts live for big, challenging cases like this one–after suffering through an economic collapse caused by over-inflated home values and bundled stocks, the public understands the pain that comes when a financial stake doesn’t live up to the hype (even if it that stake happens to double as their favorite weekday time-waster). In other words, Facebook’s money woes garner little sympathy from Main Street. There is no victim card in this game.

Today, the public loathes overvalued anything. The fact that Mark Zuckerberg is a young, idealistic and ridiculously wealthy CEO who wears the same clothes to work that we wear to rake leaves ensures that Facebook’s negative PR arc will inspire a certain Schadenfreude. You probably even have a few outraged friends who claim to be completely “over” the Facebook phenomena–especially if they take personal offense at the new compulsory timeline format. (For the record, we think your friends are full of it.) Read more

The PR Industry Is Doing Just Fine, Thanks!

What recession? Today in Always Look on the Bright Side news (thanks to Eric Idle): Despite a US economy that can’t seem to find its way out of the rabbit hole, the PR business is doing quite well, if we do say so ourselves.

While we can’t quite back up Everything PR’s prediction that the industry “may well be the barometer of hope many people are looking for,” revenues are clearly rising in 2012 with no slowdown in sight.

What changed? Well, after five years of declining recession-era budgets, businesses and public figures seem to have rediscovered their favorite hobby: spending lots of money to make themselves look good! In case you haven’t heard, corporate profits have emerged from the downturn in excellent health despite the fact that millions of Americans continue to struggle. It’s really common sense: An era producing record-low levels of trust in government, media and big business entities makes PR services more valuable than ever.

Now that you’ve got money to burn, you can pay for the full report here.