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Posts Tagged ‘Viacom’

Roll Call: FRHI Hotels & Resorts, MWW and Viacom

FRHI Hotels & Resorts announced the appointment of Alexandra Blum as vice president, public relations. Blum will be responsible for developing and leading the company’s global public relations strategy and will also have complete oversight of the hotel group’s external communications activity.  Additionally, she will provide leadership, guidance, and direction to hotel, regional and corporate PR teams, while also establishing and maintaining a global public relations agency structure including agency selection, oversight and focus. (Release)

MWW announced that Alison Cox has joined the firm’s technology industry practice as vice president, enterprise and technology. Cox, who will be based in the firm’s Dallas office, brings deep experience in B2B marketing, enterprise technology, corporate communications and consumer education. As part of her role within the enterprise technology group, Cox will craft and execute integrated communications programs designed to drive demand in key enterprise markets. Cox comes to MWW from Oncor, one of the largest electric transmission and distribution utilities in the country, where she oversaw customer education programs to complement the rollout of 3.2 million smart meters across the service territory and address erroneous health concerns with consumers and legislators. In addition to serving as the media spokesperson, she launched Oncor’s award-winning blog, giving voice to employees who typically see little customer interaction. (Release)

Also at MWW, Alan Cohen has joined the firm’s human resources department as vice president, talent acquisition. Cohen brings more than 25 years of business experience in the areas of public relations, marketing, human resources, leadership training, recruiting and talent development. As an executive coach, trainer, author and speaker, Cohen specializes in leadership development, team building, employee communication and events to shape positive culture, drive engagement and increase retention. In his new role, Cohen will work to grow and strengthen MWW’s talent pool of prospective employees, help in external branding efforts to potential new hires and help build corporate culture across the agency. Cohen is the founder of Acts of Balance Executive Coaching & Training, where he developed and implemented executive coaching and training programs related to communications and conflict resolution, leadership, presentations skills, new business, management and creativity. (Release) Read more

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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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Why Nickelodeon Can’t Kid Around with the Nutrition Debate

No one in the PR industry can resist a story that involves high-powered U.S. Senators, the health of American children and a juggernaut entertainment brand focused on profits. Indeed, the current health debate surrounding Nickelodeon contains drama of Shakespearean proportions.

Regardless of one’s view on the role of government, the dynamics of the family unit or society’s responsibilities to protect its children, from a public relations perspective, Americans see health as an important and challenging issue. We love the freedom to make personal decisions unfettered by the government or outside organizations. And we also love our children and want to protect them from those who seek to profit from selling our kids unhealthy products. And that is where the PR battle lines are being drawn with Nickelodeon right in the middle.

Nickelodeon generally has a clean, wholesome image. Chuck E. Cheese and junk food brands, which advertise on the Viacom-owned network, have a more complicated relationship with the public, particularly parents whose job it is to raise healthy kids. But now groups such as the Prevention Group, Center for Science in the Public Interest and the Berkeley Media Studies Group are teaming up with four Senators in an effort to convince Nickelodeon to stop running ads that market sugary, salty and greasy foods to kids and tweens. Read more

PR Fail: MTV/BET Twitter ‘Hack’ Was a Promo Stunt

Twitter hacking is the big thing this week! After hackers turned Burger King into McDonald’s yesterday (and did their best to promote rappers T-Shyne and Chief Keef), the same team hijacked Jeep this morning and turned it into another joke-fest with tweets like this one, which we can only present to you in RT form:

This afternoon, reports and tweets named MTV and BET as the latest victims of the hacker wave. One problem, though: they were faking it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Roll Call: NBCUniversal, Bloomberg LP, and Viacom Inc.

NBCUniversal executive Lenore Moritz was promoted to the position of vice president, communications, digital and integrated media, in NBCUniversal’s Entertainment & Digital Networks and Integrated Media (E&DN/IM) division. Most recently, Moritz was VP of Communications for Integrated Media and iVillage, which recently moved to the digital portfolio in NBCUniversal’s News division. In her new position, Moritz will oversee corporate messaging and media outreach, as well as work closely with and advise the leaders of the businesses she supports. (Release)

Josh Rucci, a former Getty Images executive, joined Bloomberg LP as global head of content sales, a new role at the company. Rucci had been with Getty Images for the past five years, most recently serving as senior director of media and broadcast for the company’s London office. (FishbowlNY)

Wade Davis was appointed CFO of Viacom Inc. Mr. Davis previously served as Viacom’s executive VP, strategy and corporate development. Effective immediately, Mr. Davis will be responsible for the company’s accounting and financial reporting, planning, tax and treasury functions. He will also continue to oversee the strategy and corporate development functions across Viacom. (Release)

Can a New Programming Chief Save MTV?

We told you earlier this week why music videos are no longer MTV‘s cup of tea (reality shows are king, iTunes and Pandora rule the music world, you’re old, etc.), but now it seems the network that once supplied a generation with its soundtrack is struggling against falling ratings. So far this season, ratings are down roughly 30%, causing some concern for parent company Viacom. To make matters worse, MTV is about to lose its grossly (emphasis on the gross) popular series Jersey Shore.

While Viacom’s earnings were up 13%, revenue was down 17% for the July-September period–and domestic ad revenue declined 6%. During a conference call with analysts to discuss the issue, Wells Fargo media analyst Marci Ryvicker said, “There is a fear out there that MTV is broken.” Philippe Dauman, Viacom’s chief executive, immediately came to the network’s defense: “It is not broken…MTV is very healthy. Indeed, we have a great development pipeline and we have just added one of the major talents in our business in addressing young audience in Susanne Daniels.”

Daniels, who was hired this week as the network’s programming chief, earned her stripes at the WB network over a decade ago by championing shows like Dawson’s Creek and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It seems MTV hopes she’s still got an eye for what appeals to America’s youth–and that she can breathe new life into the slumping network’s programming lineup. “She will bring with her some additional talent who will bring to bear more development in the reality and scripted area. We have a good pipeline and this will turbo-charge it”, Dauman said of his new hire.

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Budweiser Miffed Over Flight Product Placement

And now we bring you a very, very welcome respite from politics. Yes, it felt great to type that.

In the eyes of the average brand, product placement is a good thing–especially when the product in question plays a role in a hit feature film. But representatives for worldwide King of Suds Anheuser-Busch aren’t too happy with the fact that a bottle clearly bearing the Budweiser logo appears in the new Denzel Washington thriller Flight.

Why would any brand demand to have its logo removed from a critically acclaimed movie starring one of the industry’s biggest names? It’s fairly simple, really: his character has a drinking problem.

That’s right, Denzel stars as a commercial airline pilot who works an evening shift as a hopeless alcoholic–and that fact turns into a big problem after he survives a “horrific crash” for which we can only assume he bears responsibility (no spoilers please–we’re waiting for the DVD).

Turns out that DVD may well be missing a certain dark-brown bottle with an iconic red logo. This week, Anheuser-Busch asked Paramount and its parent company, Viacom, to remove all traces of the offending Bud from subsequent cuts of Flight. The company’s vice president issued a statement: “We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking…It is disappointing that Image Movers, the production company, and Paramount chose to use one of our brands in this manner.”

Really?

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Revolving Door: Jimmy Kimmel, the Top 6 Monthlies, Ryan Seacrest, and More

As we mentioned in this morning’s Ticker, the White House Correspondents Dinner Saturday night was filled with jokes. Here’s a clip from Jimmy Kimmel and coverage of President Obama’s bit. Separately and unsurprisingly, Keith Olbermann had something to say about a joke aimed in his direction. Olbermann took to Twitter.

MinOnline has a list of the top six monthlies for May, with Marie Claire on top.

Ryan Seacrest continues along his path to world domination with a deal that will put him on the Today show as well as NBC primetime news and the network’s entertainment specials. He’ll be cutting back on E!. TVNewser has the press release.

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Roll Call: Heineken, Viacom, and More

Heineken USA has named Stacey Tank as SVP of corporate relations starting January 3. Tank was previously the head of corporate relations for G.E.’s $6 billion “Healthymagination” program and led the company’s 2011 launch of a $1 billion international cancer campaign.

Entertainment publicist Scotty Dugan died suddenly on Wednesday as he was en route to the funeral of music exec, film producer, and event promotions exec John Atterberry. Atterberry was gunned down in Hollywood on December 9. Witnesses say Dugan collapsed while waiting for a train. Dugan started as a reporter, working his way up to editor at The Hollywood Reporter before launching his own PR firm. He was handling PR for Atterberry’s indie Christian film God’s Country. [via THR]

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