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Posts Tagged ‘Ronn Torossian’

5WPR Shoots Down New York Exclusive on Boy Genius Investor

mohammed islam

As we read the original story last night we thought, “this is too good to be true.” And so it was.

Thanks to our fellow media folks at The New York Observer, we now know that 17-year-old pseudo-genius/high school student Mohammed Islam featured in New York magazine’s “Reasons to Love New York” feature is not, in fact, a wealthy investor. Once the lie was exposed, he did what any embarrassed teenager in the spotlight would do: he hired 5WPR for crisis communications.

In the subsequent NYO piece, we learned several things including the fact that someone at 5W is a big fan of Jasper Johns.

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Burson-Marsteller Suffers Backlash Over Tunisian Government Contract

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Someone who was employed by Burson-Marsteller in 2011 made a very ill-advised statement.

That was the primary conclusion drawn from 5W PR founder Ronn Torossian’s Friday New York Observer op-ed, which ran under the URL “the Muslim Brotherhood’s new PR agency rejects Israel” and led to inflammatory headlines like this one from Arutz Sheva:

boycoot

To clarify, the word “boycott” means “a punitive ban that forbids relations with certain groups, cooperation with a policy, or the handling of goods [produced by that group].” On its website, the publication ran with the more accurate “U.S. PR Giant Refuses Israel as a Client, Works for Brotherhood.

Damage done, though.

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McDonald’s and the Smartphone Mafia Made the Most of Friday’s iPhone Launch

Were you among the 10 million people who helped turn the iPhone 6 into Apple’s fastest-selling model to date this weekend?

We were not. Honestly, we just got our iPhone 5 a few months ago and we almost enjoy being so very far behind the rest of the world. Anyway, two organizations made the most of the Friday release: McDonald’s and whatever one would call the international syndicate responsible for selling said phones on the Chinese black market (at a 300-400 percent markup).

First, the wise people at McDonald’s decided to show up outside the 5th Avenue Apple store early Friday morning to pass out Apple pies to the “folks who had been waiting in line so long, they were sure glad to see us”. Get it? USA Today and Ronn Torossian of 5WPR certainly do.

McD’s was only the biggest brand looking to steal some of the excitement and mayhem. This clip, created by YouTuber Casey Neistat, is a must-watch if you haven’t seen it already:

Neistat apparently received some pushback over the video, so he explained himself a bit on its page:

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PR Veterans Weigh in on Apple Expose

apple-logo-pngPardon us for being all Apple today, readers, but it’s hard to look away when the world’s most influential company makes waves (especially since we had a revealing conversation with someone close to its international communications team yesterday).

Earlier this week we reviewed takeaways from the extensive 9t05Mac piece on the company’s comms operations, and today three industry influencers gave us their impressions.

Dan Lyons, journalist-turned marketing fellow at HubSpot and creator of The Secret Diary of Steve Jobs:

I think it was a great series. Very insightful. There is still more work to be done in exposing the collusion and coziness between Apple and certain bloggers and members of the mainstream media.

In fact, I have no problem with Apple being as manipulative as it possibly can. That is what PR is supposed to do, and Apple is very good at PR. The real culprits are the reporters and bloggers who play along.

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Cyberattack Suit Against 5W’s Torossian Proceeds

Ronn-Torossian-PicPaging Hamilton Nolan

According to our hometown Daily News, the recent cyber-libel suit filed against 5WPR founder/HuffPo blogger Ronn Torossian—no stranger to news coverage or lawsuits—is “heating up in [New York State Supreme] court.”

(Love the “Ronn is being suedd” lede, BTW.)

New York businessman Dror Zoreff filed the $15 million suit in November, alleging that Torossian “posted false stories on a slew of message boards” calling him various names like fraud, “con artist” , et cetera. Here’s the development the News calls “scorching” via Zoreff attorney Richard G. Haddad:

“On Jan. 7, Torossian agreed in court to stop issuing false and defamatory statements about Mr. Zoreff and to immediately remove from the Internet all false statements.”

Looks like we’re headed for a jury trial. There’s a bit more…

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Top PR Man Tied to Troubled Fundraiser

Staten Island State Representative Michael Grimm has a big PR problem on his hands—and it’s threatening to extend to some well-known faces within the industry itself.

The big news: On Friday, federal authorities arrested Israeli national Ofer Biton, who happens to be one of Grimm’s top fundraisers, and charged him with immigration fraud. The government has accused Biton of lying about his business ventures and extorting funds in an effort to win a permanent US visa–but this isn’t the first time he’s attracted suspicion.

Biton was a top aide to Upper East Side rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto until 2010, and investigators “have been investigating the possibility” that he was responsible for the disappearance of up to $6 million originally belonging to members of Pinto’s yeshiva. Biton solicited a good deal of cash from this crowd in support of State Rep. Grimm, and the rabbi’s followers believe that he also pocketed millions of dollars meant to go to politicians and related charities. Biton has even been accused of leaking negative stories about Pinto to reporters and then using the bad press to blackmail him into hiring a professional representative.

The big PR name in this sundry tale is that of Ronn Torossian.

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Congregants Allege 5WPR’s Torossian Involved in Scheme Against Rabbi

5WPR founder Ronn Torossian has been named in an investigation over an alleged plot that one rabbi’s followers say resulted in the loss of millions of dollars of the congregation’s money.

According to The New York Times, followers of Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto have accused a former aide, Ofer Biton, of taking money intended for charity. Moreover, they say that Biton hatched a plan with Torossian to push negative news in the media. The story says:

The rabbi’s followers have also charged that Mr. Biton and Ronn Torossian, a public relations agent based in Manhattan, engaged in a scheme in which they leaked purportedly damaging information about the rabbi to reporters. Then, the followers said, Mr. Biton pushed to have Mr. Torossian put on retainer to help put an end to the bad publicity.

No one has been charged or found guilty of anything. However, the U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI have stepped in to investigate.

In the story, Biton denies “any involvement whatsoever in any plot.” Torossian also said he had no comment in the story. He sent us an email with a short statement: “I have no knowledge of any of the absurd allegations alluded to,” he wrote.

Shortly after, he added to his comments, also via email.

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Torossian’s 5WPR Working with Rick Sanchez

5WPR president Ronn Torossian confirmed with PRNewser that his firm is working with Rick Sanchez, the CNN staffer fired in October 2010 after making controversial statements about The Daily Show host Jon Stewart. According to TVNewser, while making an appearance on Pete Dominick‘s satellite radio show, Sanchez called Stewart “a ‘bigot’ and went on to say, ‘a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart.’”

Torossian didn’t elaborate on the nature of the services he’s providing for Sanchez. However, Business Insider’s Glynnis MacNicol reported on an event she attended late last week at the Carlebach shul in Manhattan, a “one-on-one with (‘America’s Rabbi’) Rabbi Shmuley Boteach in front of a group of about 50 people including myself.”

In addition, Sanchez will appear at a couple of fundraisers for a Toledo-based Latino social service agency today, according to the Cleveland Jewish News.

Blinn PR Closes, Steven Blinn Moves to Canada

Blinn PR, a technology boutique based in Manhattan, closed its doors recently.  We we alerted to the news by Steven Blinn‘s GChat status update, saying only:

“After 15 years BlinnPR is closing it’s doors. Relocating to Toronto, and looking for new opportunities. Eh?”

Blinn is notable to us as both a frequent commenter on PRNewser, and as one of several agency owners to lock horns with 5WPR and its provacative founder Ronn Torossian.

Blinn went after some of Torossian’s clients in the wake of the Chris Anderson‘s PR Blacklist, on which several 5W staffers were listed.  Torossian and his SVP responded by attempting to take both Blinn’s clients and staffers.

Emails and IMs to Blinn have not been returned as of the time of this post.

Dinner with Ronn Torossian Will Cost You $40

We’re all invited (via Craigslist) to join 5WPR’s Ronn Torossian for dinner on Friday (for $40, for charity). There’s an open bar!

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