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Shoot the Messenger

Sonic Drive-In Feeds Chiefs and Redskins Fans Some Crow via Twitter

SonicSignIt’s no secret that I loathe politically correctiveness. People get too offended about too many things these days. In the words of a villainous philosopher, “Why so serious?” However, when it comes to the NFL, well … I’ll let you be the judge of this ballyhoo.

Full Disclosure: Sonic Drive-In is sheer greatness and I would adore to do PR for this company. (Call me?) However, to paraphrase a marketing slogan, “This is not how you Sonic.” Just look at the sign outside a Missouri Sonic, soak it in and more after the jump…

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IBM Gets Aggressive in Countering Bridgestone Lawsuit

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In case you missed it (yeah right), The Healthcare.gov debacle just provided the entire world with a painful reminder of the challenges inherent in IT projects.

On that note, here’s an interesting case we missed last week: IBM, a company known for keeping its cards as close to its chest as possible, has gone all out to address a lawsuit filed by former partner Bridgestone Tires.

ZDNet calls it “PR finger pointing“, and it goes a little something like this: after hiring IBM to help install SAP software, Bridgestone blamed the company for a “failed” launch and sued for $600 million to cover “fraud” and other expenses.

In the wake of such accusations, IBM chose to go on the offensive, calling the claims “exaggerated, factually wrong and without merit” and writing that Bridgestone “failed to meet critical commitments upon which the performance of IBM’s obligations were predicated.”

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PS4 Gamers Get a New Friend: Pornhub

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Yes, that’s right gamers. Thanks to Pornhub trying to be relevant during the holidays, GTA/MAFIA fans now have two definitions for the phrase “get whacked.”

(Thanks. I’m here all week.)

So, once this tweet went out, gamer websites and publications determined they had to talk to someone about this um, good news. But who? Whelp, not like hoo-ha NSFW (or anywhere) websites are making much news, but yes, even Pornhub has a flack to talk for it. The website’s VP of marketing Corey Price offered an interview to International Digital Times about this dazzling partnership. And this is why my son will never have a PS4 as long as he lives in my humble abode.

More about that…oh hell, I can’t say “after the jump“…just click to read more. Damn.

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U.S. Airways Shows Blind Man and His Dog the Terrible ‘Unfriendly Skies’

This bitch caused a flight to be cancelled. No, not the dog.

This rude bitch caused a flight to be cancelled and this man to be kicked off a plane. No, not the dog, silly.

MEMO to American Airlines: Before you kids get the confetti ready and fill up all those helium balloons to celebrate your merger with U.S. Airways, you may want to pay attention to this story about your bunk mates and their attitude toward the disabled.

Meet 49-year-0ld Albert Rizzi of Long Island, N.Y. And his dog, Doxy. 

Albert is blind and Doxy is a registered service dog. Brutal looking, isn’t she? Anywho, Rizzi flies once each month, and every time he gets on a plane, there’s his faithful companion by his side. Only this fateful day on US Airways Flight 4384, Rizzi and Doxy were escorted off the flight by gun-toting security after a heated exchange between Rizzi and some ne’er-do-well flight attendant.

According to CNN, this lively conversation in which said stewardess asked that Doxy be “placed under the seat for safety reasons,” caused such emotion among the 35 passengers on board that everyone walked off the plane with Rizzi and Doxy causing the cancellation of the flight.

Yeah, there’s more after the jump…

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Home Depot Blames Agency for Deleted Tweet

So Home Depot sent this image out yesterday to promote its College Game Day campaign:

If you see it and ask yourself “what the hell is that all about”, then you’re not the only one. Complex called it “the most racist tweet of the day“, but we’re more confused than anything. We get how the pic ties into HD’s “Bucket U” theme, but we have some questions: What was the point of the promo? Why ask the question? Why is one (white) dude wearing a monkey outfit?

There’s really no satisfactory answer to these queries, and anyway we’re more interested in Home Depot’s damage control efforts, which currently amount to “it was our agency’s fault.”

Really?

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Brad Stone Responds to MacKenzie Bezos: Can an Amazon Review Double as Damage Control?

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Today in Shoot That Messenger Dead news: nobody likes unflattering articles written about their companies—much less unflattering books. As many hacks and flacks now know, Jeff Bezos‘ wife MacKenzie wrote a long, scathing one-star review of Brad Stone‘s The Everything Store, which claims to be a tell-all about the Amazon CEO and (we assume) his various ethical offenses.

It’s been getting a lot of attention online, and the fact that it’s transparent helps as MacKenzie Bezos makes sure to remind readers who she is:

…I have firsthand knowledge of many of the events. I worked for Jeff at D. E. Shaw, I was there when he wrote the business plan…and [we] have been married for 20 years.

Some of the review and the comments of others read like Amazon fanfiction by focusing on all the grateful employees who Stone declined to mention—and so far most who have read the book praise it. But her basic point is that the author sells his product as a look inside Bezos’ mind despite the fact that the CEO himself played no part in its creation:

…readers should remember that Jeff was never interviewed for this book, and should also take note of how seldom these guesses about his feelings and motives are marked with a footnote indicating there is any other source to substantiate them…Hollywood often uses a more honest label: “a story based on true events.”

One undeniable fact: the review has inspired more coverage than the book itself. So was it a successful damage control effort?

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Suzanne Somers Didn’t Fact Check Her WSJ Healthcare Op-Ed

"Sex And The City 2" New York Premiere - ArrivalsBlog world secret: typos are not a huge deal; we make like five of them every day. Errors in a high-profile guest article, however, will seriously damage your credibility. This week Chrissy from Three’s Company took a break from bragging about how many times she has sex with her 77-year-old husband every day to write an anti-ObamaCare piece for the Wall Street Journal‘s new “experts” feature under the super-scary headline “The Affordable Care Act Is a Socialist Ponzi Scheme.

She made the usual arguments about how this convoluted attempt to make healthcare more accessible would limit consumer choice and lead to dependence on the state before dropping two quotes that somehow escaped her editors:

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“Widely disputed” means the first quote has been used and corrected repeatedly over the past 60 years.

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Went Kind of Racist on Us Today

Cue the green slime—it’s time for another episode of You Can’t Do That on Twitter. Here’s the tweet that’s been burning up the Internet this morning:

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Yes, that’s pretty bad. And the fact that it’s an obscure joke (William Lynch was a fictitious slaveowner who supposedly made a famous speech about better “managing” slaves by turning them against each other) almost makes it worse. The AJC quickly took it down and issued an apology—and we assume someone is going to be out of a job by the end of the day.

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Do Tech Blogs Give Free PR to Silicon Valley? Valleywag Says Yes.

A couple of months ago New York magazine’s economics writer Kevin Roose asked whether tech journalists are generally afraid to write “objectively” and/or criticize their subjects. In other words, do the sites reporting on Silicon Valley residents—from Google-sized giants to tiny dorm-room startups—simply rework press releases penned by the companies they cover?

Interesting question; for one site, the answer is a resounding “yes.”

In a New York Times interview, blogger Sam Biddle of Gawker Media’s “tech industry gossip dartboard” Valleywag states that his goal is to make light of the digital world’s “lack of self-awareness” in the midst of so much overwhelmingly positive publicity. He specifically says that many other sites “[do] the bidding of the industry” they cover by hyping every single product rollout as the greatest thing since electricity and refusing to cast any related “thought leaders” in a less-than-flattering light.

Sounds a little dramatic, but he may be onto something here…

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Exxon Hates Journalists, Loves Paper Towels

Let’s play make believe: Imagine you’re a massive energy company facing a big PR headache over an oil spill caused by a broken pipeline right in the middle of Arkansas. Now imagine that you really, really don’t want everyone in the country to know about the terrible accident and your response to it.

What do you do? You convince law enforcement to threaten the journalists trying to cover your story with arrest and push your top lobbyist to call them liars!

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