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Archives: May 2011

‘IR Magazine’ Announces European Nominees

IR Magazine has announced the European nominees for the best of the best in investor relations across the Atlantic.

Winners are selected based on the favorable words of 700 institutional investors and analysts. The awards will be handed out at a ceremony at the London Hilton on June 30, hosted by writer and comedian Sandi Toksvig.

Among the nominees are Nestlé for best overall IR for a large-cap company; Sligro Food Group for best overall IR for a small-cap company; InterContinental Hotels Group’s Heather Wood for best IRO at a small- or mid-cap company; and UBS’s John Cryan for best IR by a CFO. Germany leads the pack by country with 41 nominations. And BASF leads by company with nominations in 10 categories, up from eight last year.

For a complete list of nominees, click here. The magazine named its U.S. award winners in March.

When Should Your Brand Get a New Mascot?

McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner took a stand on behalf of Ronald McDonald at last week’s annual shareholders meeting in the face of criticism that the clown mascot promotes unhealthy eating habits and childhood obesity.

“Ronald McDonald is an ambassador for McDonald’s, and he is an ambassador for good,” Skinner said. “He does not advertise unhealthy food to children.”

Still, people continue to take issue with the mascot, wondering whether Ronald should be retired. Today, food website Epicurious asks whether there should be a change.

Recently, we’ve watched Aflac turn their search for a new voice for its duck mascot into a news story. Old Navy finally bid adieu to its spokes-mannequins in recent months. Capital One has added Alec Baldwin to its commercials, so could the Vikings be soon making an exit? And Old Spice has toyed with the idea of an ad without man mascot Isaiah Mustafa.

So when is it time for a new face?

Read more

Get ‘Smart’ About Your Travel Pitch

“Value” became a keyword during these tough economic times, but it’s always been important to the folks behind Smart Luxury Travel. The magazine was rebranded late last year from Sherman’s Travel to drive home its mission.

“The magazine’s goal is to provide smart, usable advice to sophisticated travelers who appreciate value,” Darren Frei, editorial director for both Smart Luxury Travel and told mediabistro for the latest “How to Pitch for PR” feature story.

The magazine focuses on the ins and outs of four- and five-star travel destinations. How to pitch those stories? Meet the editorial staff or otherwise set up some interesting face-time.

For more info about to pitch — and what not to pitch — Smart Luxury Travel, click here. [sub req'd]

Sony PlayStation Hurt by Hackers, Still a Fan Fave

Gamespot recently surveyed 2,285 of its users, and found that 28 percent still trust Sony although they’ll be changing some of the info they’re willing to share. Nearly a quarter (23 percent) say they trust Sony more because now they’ll have to put better controls in place. The company is, in fact, now offering ID theft protection. And only 14 percent said they don’t trust Sony anymore.

With the company still reeling from a series of costly hacker attacks, this astonishing level of lingering trust may be the best asset Sony has right now for staging a business comeback.

Read more

Revolving Door:, ‘Roll Call,’, and More

Here are this week’s media highlights from Mediabistro’s Revolving Door Newsletter:

Anya Strzemien has been named deputy editor at She had been senior style editor at Huffington Post. (Business Insider)

Eliza Newlin Carney has been named reporter at Roll Call‘s lobbying and influence team. She had been contributing editor at National Journal. (FBDC)

Kurt Soller has been named style and grooming editor at He had been men’s fashion editor at Ralph Lauren. (mb)

Mitchell Alan Parker has been named editor at Austin Monthly Home. He had been senior editor and home and design editor at Houston. (release)

Jeanne Cummings has been named enterprise editor at Bloomberg. She had been assistant managing editor at Politico. (FBNY)

Click here to receive’s Revolving Door Newsletter via email.

With Stoli App, You Can Be An Obnoxious Drunk In Real Life and Online

Stolichnaya vodka has launched the “Go F Yourself” campaign. Something to accompany the evening story time with the kids? No. The “F” stands for “fan” (duh), and at the center of the campaign is a Facebook app that encourages Stoli fans to create an avatar that shows your “inner party animal.”

According to Stoli, this “alter ego” doesn’t say “please” or “thank you,” jumps on the dance floor to show off a moonwalk or some funky robot dance moves, and is just an overall “bad ass.” So in other words, go to the Stoli Facebook page and you can create a digitized version of yourself as every drunk idiot at the club last weekend. Cheers.

Two Executive Hires at Ogilvy

Judy Brennan, who had been an Ogilvy PR New York staff member in the 1990s is returning to the firm effective May 31 as EVP and Midwest director of the firm’s financial and reputation risk group.

Previously, she was the SVP and director of the Midwest corporate and healthcare practice at Ketchum. While there, she worked on issues related to recessionary TARP funding and with a number of health insurers, among others. She also spent 12 years with Sard Verbinnen & Co. working on IPOs, M&As, and corporate reputation management.

Also joining Ogilvy is Iain Bundred, who worked as spokesperson for former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. He will serve as director of strategic media relations in the London office, leading efforts in crisis, political comms, and reputation management.

Snapfish Stock Images Offers Photos, Image Licensing

Snapfish, the online photo developer, has introduced Snapfish Stock Images, an image and microstock licensing service. The service offers thousands of stock images to Snapfish members from Snapfish members. This includes event photos, product images, and pictures snapped by professional photographers. An alternative for all the publicists out there who organize a lot of events and need to send snapshots quickly.

Porter Novelli is helping with Snapfish’s outreach.

Jack Trout: ‘From Brand Differentiation to Entertainment and Emotion’

Jack Trout, president of Trout & Partners, offered his perspective on repositioning strategies in the current era of heightened global competition, change, and crisis during an event hosted by the New York chapter of the American Marketing Association on Wednesday.

Trout co-authored the 1980 book, Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, and he gave a quick recap of his earlier work. According to Trout, “Minds are limited, they hate confusion, they’re insecure, they don’t change easily, and often lose their focus.” His latest book is about repositioning, and he highlighted areas that have changed since then and the impact on brands.

Read more

The Ticker: Tobacco marketing; Local Google News; Sean Parker’s reputation; Morgan Stanley goes social; Apple’s iPhone PR