AgencySpy LostRemote TVNewser TVSpy FishbowlNY FishbowlDC GalleyCat SocialTimes

Posts Tagged ‘Sony Pictures’

Obama on Sony Hackers: ‘I Wish They Had Spoken to Me First’

U.S. President Obama listens to Britain's PM Cameron speak during the U.N. Security Council meeting in New YorkAlthough this headshot of our president was not made for the Sony Pictures ballyhoo (shout out to Reuters), he was probably looking like this when he got the word that the mighty U.S.A. had kowtowed to the dude with the jacked-up haircut from North Korea.

You see, a president of this country should never take the back seat to anyone, let alone someone who disappeared for 40 days and convinced an entire country that he was on vacation.

So, Mr. President, we feel you.

The whole hack job aversion to halt The Interview would have our knickers in a twist…if we didn’t think the whole thing was ridiculous (from a PR standpoint) in the first place. Turns out that Obama is quite concerned that Sony Pictures didn’t consult him first.

Because he’s the president…that’s why!  Read more

Mediabistro Course

Mediabistro Job Fair

Mediabistro Job FairLand your next big gig! Join us on January 27 at the Altman Building in New York City for an incredible opportunity to meet with hiring managers from the top New York media companies, network with other professionals and industry leaders, and land your next job. Register now!

Sony Hires Rubenstein, Threatens Journalists Publishing Hacked Data

Sony_Pictures_Entertainment_entrance_1

Sony Pictures has hired New York’s Rubenstein Communications to handle the fallout from its epic document leak, and the company made its first visible move to limit the ongoing bad press over the weekend by threatening to sue all who report on related materials.

Specifically, the studio’s lawyer David Boies (of Bush v. Gore and many other cases) demanded that all news organizations delete the “stolen data” they already have or will receive and agree to stop reporting on it. Essentially, Boies threatened to sue any organization that publishes future stories drawn from the emails and other materials leaked by hackers.

Sony tried to get the heads of other major studios to sign the letter but they abstained, noting that it might look like “a publicity stunt.”

The real conversation piece, though, is a New York Times op-ed from Aaron Sorkin of The West Wing and The Social Network. In summary, Sorkin tells journalists “You’re Giving Material Aid to Criminals.”

Read more

Celebrities’ Aliases Revealed in Sony Pictures Hack

Justin_Beiber_disguise_3407In case you haven’t been trolling the Interweb for the latest theatrical trailer, Sony Pictures was victimized by a torrential hack attack last month. No money was stolen, but the hackers did manage to steal the element of surprise. The Verge breaks it down in a riveting account, if you’re into that sort of thing.

One thing good did come out of this: we know what celebrities like to call themselves when trying to remain incognito. Who knew A-listers, B-listers, and other folks we don’t really care about could be so inventive with nicknames?

At any rate, enjoy…

Read more

Sony’s Marketing President Pays For A Summer of Flops

marc weinstockMarc Weinstock, the president of worldwide marketing at Sony Pictures, has been kicked to the curb after a summer that included big-budget disappointments like After Earth and White House Down. In fact, the non-hits just keep coming with the weekend box office disaster that was the latest Sony release Battle of the Year starring Chris Brown, which only brought in $4.6 million.

The marketing department is undergoing some major changes with 12-year vet, Steve Elzer, stepping down from his role as SVP of media relations just last week.

“When box office returns fall short, it’s marketing executives that are often the first to be blamed, and Weinstock is the second marketing chief to be shown the door in less than two months after a summer that saw almost as many misses as hits,” The Hollywood Reporter says. 

Read more

Sony Pictures Hires PR Crisis Expert To Lead Communications Team

In an interesting twist/sign of descent into desperation, Sony Pictures has named Charles Sipkins, a PR crisis response expert, as its new head of communications. Sipkins previously worked at the Los Angeles office of Sard Verbinnen & Co., a firm famous for “helping to rehabilitate reputations of companies and executives that have been sullied by the press.”

Sony didn’t give The Hollywood Reporter much in the way of details, but that didn’t stop the magazine from editorializing a bit and guessing that this new, big-deal hire might have something to do with the fact that none of the studio’s would-be big-budget hits (After Earth, Elysium, White House Down) have connected with audiences this summer.

It’s probably no coincidence that Sipkins has a history working with “activist investor“ Daniel Loeb of hedge fund Third Point, who has spent much of the summer blasting the studio’s “flops” and calling out management for a “complete lack of accountability and poor financial controls.”

No punches pulled, then. Sounds like someone bowed under pressure, no? Here’s Will Smith and family reacting to the news:

Hollywood Pushes Back Against Zero Dark Thirty Critics

Zero Dark ThirtyWe haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty yet, but we are intrigued by the PR back-and-forth between the film’s makers/promoters and various members of the US government. A couple of questions are central to the controversy:

  • Does the film glorify torture and imply that information gained during torture sessions eventually led to the location and assassination of Osama bin Laden?
  • Did the filmmakers act inappropriately in collecting information from confidential sources within the Central Intelligence Agency?

This is a bi-partisan issue; California Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Arizona Republican John McCain both voiced concern over the fact that the movie might lead Americans to see “enhanced interrogation” as an acceptable element of the US military’s intelligence arsenal. The conversation grew so heated that director Kathryn Bigelow found the need to release a public statement calling herself a “lifelong pacifist”, disavowing the use of torture and reminding everyone in the media that retweets do not equal endorsements. The senators have also sent a letter to the acting director of the CIA asking for more information in terms of the filmmakers’ discussions with members of the agency’s intelligence community.

Now the pushback on behalf of ZDT is growing stronger–and it’s an interesting case from a PR perspective.

Read more

Britain Finds Novel Ways to Bond with Global Audience

London’s 2012 Olympic Games may have inspired love at first sight among the viewing public and attendees, but from a marketing communications standpoint it’s been a long, drawn-out courtship.

“We’ve been preparing for the Olympics since 2005. To inspire visitation, our strategy has been to socialize the travel experience and centralize content to support marketing and PR,” says Karen Clarkson, VP North America for VisitBritain. She spoke at the Association for Travel Marketing Executives’ Marketing Issues Forum on Thursday in New York, discussing her company’s Olympics efforts and plans for the next James Bond movie, Skyfall.

Britain has enjoyed extended time in the public spotlight this year, from the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebration in June to the Olympic Games in July, the Paralympics in August and London’s Fashion Week in September. As Clarkson noted, “It’s been an opportunity to influence information about London and beyond, and not limited to sports related content. For the Olympics, we established digital content partnerships with NBC, Yahoo, The Travel Channel, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today and Travel & Leisure magazine.” She said that these partnerships helped the company generated $600 million worth of earned media impressions.

While partnership marketing plays a key role in VisitBritain’s operations, “social is at the heart of everything we do,” Clarkson explained. She described a unique pre-Olympics project in which Britain worked with the U.S. Olympic Committee to “engage athletes and have them experience Britain firsthand before the Games.” They selected and sent seven American Olympics athletes to Britain in the fall of 2011 “to showcase the destination from a U.S. perspective and to appeal to a younger demographic.” The athletes generated visual content as they interacted with their fan bases on Facebook and Twitter.

Read more

Seinfeld’s New PR Strategy: Do Nothing!

I know that guy from somewhere...Well, not really. Despite the headaches and last-minute dramas that plague the PR industry, the best way to bring positive attention to yourself and your product is sometimes the simplest: Just do your thing and talk about it to anyone who will listen.

Of course, it helps if your name is Jerry Seinfeld. Most entertainers and media pros aren’t quite blessed with Jerry’s cache: Despite some dubious career choices, he will always be the star and co-creator of scripted comedy’s once-and-future-king, a show whose ratings will almost certainly never be surpassed in an era of splintering audiences and dwindling returns.

As Mediabistro’s newest property LostRemote reports, Seinfeld has apparently revived the struggling Sony Pictures venture Crackle on the power of name recognition alone by taking every opportunity to hype his new, extremely low-key project “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee” (with the help of a few obscure thespians like Larry David and Ricky Gervais). Is it funny? That doesn’t really matter: It has certainly led to new interest in Crackle, and Sony now plans to develop original scripted series for the site in the interest of competing with Hulu and Netflix.

Bottom line: Seinfeld seems to have made himself relevant again, and the workload involved so far has been light enough to make even George Costanza proud.

Missing Heads, Strange Tweets, and Other Questions about the ‘Girl With the Dragon Tattoo’ Leak

Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander in the new version of 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'

What began as news of a leaked trailer for David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo has turned into an Internet-wide debate over movie-marketing gimmicks.

Uploaded to YouTube on Saturday by a European user identified only as “dobvlvstiuwir,” the allegedly bootlegged trailer was at first taken at face value, its appearance breathlessly reported by the media’s most reliable sources.

But by Sunday, after random oddities and inconsistencies led The Hollywood Reporter and CNN.com to suggest that the “leak” was actually a Millenium Triology-inspired publicity effort by the film’s creators, Columbia Pictures/Sony Films, those same sources jumped on the bandwagon. Throwing around words like “conspiracy” and “hoax” — to describe a movie-marketing campaign — even those questioning Sony’s black-hat promotional methods were at the same time fueling its movie tie-in concept.

*Update! The official trailer is now available and it’s after the jump!

Read more

‘The Social Network’ Screenings Add to Pre-Opening Frenzy

For the past couple of weeks, it’s been impossible to boot up your computer without tripping over half a dozen stories about The Social Network. (I guess you can add PRNewser to the list of media contributing to the hoopla.)

The pre-release buzz was also facilitated by an outreach campaign by Sony Pictures, which set up 350 screenings and stopped at 25 college campuses nationwide to build interest in the movie.

“We also showed it to people who would be obviously interested in the subject, entrepreneurship, and innovation. We showed it at business schools, hedge funds, anyone involved in the financial business,” one of the film’s producers, Sony PicturesScott Rudin, told the New York Times.

The studio also worked with Mashable and the organization Girls in Tech for screenings. Members of the tech community have been particularly open about their skepticism and/or indifference to the film, with The Daily Beast publishing a story today about the film’s frenzy-free zone, Silicon Valley.

“When we first heard about The Social Network, I thought it was a ridiculous idea. But it’s come together,” Mashable’s editor-in-chief Adam Ostrow tells the Times.

The movie opens in theaters today. Good luck getting a ticket if you haven’t already.