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Posts Tagged ‘The Hollywood Reporter’

PRSA-LA Invites You to a Virtual Happy Hour with Top Tech Journalists

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We don’t know about you, but we’re quite ready for happy hour!

The “happy hour” in our headline doesn’t involve discounts on cocktails, but that doesn’t make it any less interesting: the Los Angeles branch of PRSA will launch its own Google+ hangout next Tuesday in order to better connect PR pros around the country with West Coast tech writers.

The facts you need to know:

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Starbucks Finally Responds to Comedian’s ‘Dumb Starbucks’ Stunt

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The curtain has been lifted, but the mystery remains—and the coffee is no longer free.

After the Internet pulled a collective WTF this weekend over L.A.’s brand-new “Dumb Starbucks” outlet, comedian Nathan Fielder officially claimed responsibility for the stunt yesterday just in time for the Los Angeles health department to go all “Dealbreaker” on a pop-up more viral than the West 4th Street McDonald’s.

Seems Fielder created the fake outlet for a skit set to appear on the second season of his Comedy Central show Nathan for You, which apparently features the Canadian helping ”struggling small businesses to make it in a competitive market” by giving them the worst possible advice.

He claims it’s all real in the straight-laced video after the jump.

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Amy Poehler Didn’t Seem to Enjoy Her Hollywood Reporter Interview

shutterstock_123075118Disclaimer: we love Amy Poehler. Love her.

We also understand why celebrities generally don’t care to answer certain questions that we might call “leading”, which is the Old Media word for “trolling.”

That said, she seemed a little uncomfortable during this Hollywood Reporter interview about Sunday’s Golden Globes, leaving most of the heavy lifting to Tina Fey.

Some of her less amused responses to writer Marisa Guthrie after the jump:

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Lots of Animals Were Harmed During ‘No Animals Were Harmed’ Movie Shoots

shutterstock_143067433Here’s some great investigative reporting via The Hollywood Reporter that should inspire more diamond tears from Miley’s digital kitty: turns out that the “no animals were harmed” disclaimers you see on so many blockbusters might just be dramatically inaccurate.

Big reveals include:

  • A monitor for the American Humane Association tried to downplay injuries suffered by animals on the set of Life of Pi (presumably due to her personal relationship with one of the film’s production managers)
  • A member of the AHA’s advisory board also happened to be CEO of a media company broadcasting movies about animals
  • A former AHA member was fired for pushing the now-cancelled HBO show Luck to be more careful with its horses
  • The AHA “covered up” the death of a horse on the War Horse set “to protect Steven Spielberg”

So it’s terrible publicity for everyone mentioned in the story.

Key quotes below:

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James Franco’s Publicity Campaign Urges Oscar Voters to ‘Consider This Sh*t’

Hollywood publicists are coming up with new and innovative ways to push their clients’s projects during awards season, aren’t they? We find it interesting to consider the fact that some in the industry work as “Oscar publicists” pushing clients’ movies to Academy voters six months a year—and that star PR man Warren Cowan claimed to have created the Oscar campaign in 1946 when he pitched The Los Angeles Times to support Joan Crawford for best actress.

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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:

Fox News Chief Roger Ailes Cans Top PR Rep

Today The Hollywood Reporter brought word that Fox News chief Roger Ailes had given “right hand [PR] man” Brian Lewis his walking papers. That’s not all: the THR headline asserts that he was “…escorted from the Fox News building” this morning. Kind of an unnecessary detail, but we get the point.

Lewis worked as “a top executive” to Ailes since the network began 17 years ago. His latest official title was VP, corporate communications, a role that required him to manage PR duties for all the Fox properties. “Insiders” claim that “financial issues” forced Ailes to make the decision while some media observers think this move portends a bigger shakeup (especially when paired with the recent re-shuffling of on-air personalities Sean Hannity, Megyn Kelly and Shep Smith).

We don’t know about all that, and we’re absolutely sure that Mr. Ailes would never turn to us for advice, but we think he might want to consider Shep as a replacement for Lewis. The world’s biggest True Blood fan might not be a PR pro, but he’s certainly not afraid to let everyone know how he feels about that “V.”

Should Brands Always Follow Suggested Standards?

When a company’s primary audience is under the age of 12, will the public expect that company to promote only products and behaviors deemed “healthy” by third-party standards or trust it to develop its own?

To put it another way: does Cookie Monster really need to eat vegetables?

Senators and advocacy groups pushing to limit snack food ads on kids’ programs celebrated last year when The Walt Disney Company, partnering with Michelle Obama‘s “Let’s Move” anti-obesity campaign, promised to stop running spots for foods that don’t meet suggested federal nutrition standards by 2015. Disney’s chairman said the decision was “about smart business.”

Despite pressure to follow suit, Nickelodeon has chosen to continue using its own internal benchmarks—which earned praise from the same senators and advocacy groups—when deciding which food ads to run.

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Taylor Swift Shows the World How Not to Take a Joke

Note to Taylor Swift: if you’re looking to improve/maintain your reputation or get more sympathy from the public regarding your perpetual boy troubles, engaging in bitchy spats is probably not the best way to go about it.

Responding to Tina Fey and Amy Poehler‘s (completely appropriate) Golden Globes joke warning her to “stay away from Michael J. Fox’s son” lest he turn up in thinly-veiled caricature on her next album, Swift dropped this bomb on her Vanity Fair interviewer:

“You know, Katie Couric is one of my favorite people, because she said to me she had heard a quote that she loved, that said, ‘There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.’”

Yes, those two are such Regina Georges, aren’t they? Oh, and that quote was from former secretary of state Madeline Albright, who doles out wisdom in between her free jazz drumming sessions.

Poehler and Fey’s responses displayed their superior media relations savvy.

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Oscar Voters Don’t Care for PR Pros or Their Swag Bags

The fact that Crash, The English Patient and Forrest Gump beat Brokeback Mountain, Fargo and Pulp Fiction for Best Picture should be evidence enough to convince anyone that the Oscars are all about industry politics and aggressive PR/marketing campaigns. But this week’s interview with a nameless senior Academy Awards voter (you know, one of the guys who actually picks the winners) in The Hollywood Reporter confirms everything you thought you knew. Here are his revealing, highly opinionated thoughts on various topics:

On PR pros and swag bags:

“I’ve gotten books, cookbooks and just about everything short of Lincoln condoms. It’s ridiculous”.

We assume it was a Beasts of the Southern Wild cookbook containing nothing but gumbo recipes.

On Best Original Song:

“This is no-brainer city: If ‘Skyfall’ does not win I will fillet my next-door neighbor’s dog.”

We like Adele; we also like dogs. We’re conflicted.

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