Did Amp Turn Up The Volume With #pepsifail?
As I’ve noted previously, good public relations sometimes means having to say you’re sorry. “Apology communications” is a PR buzzword these days. But, when is an apology something else altogether? (Hint: When it involves 18-year-old dudes, maybe?) What got me wondering was the backlash to the Amp energy drink campaign. Of course, I’m talking about the now-infamous iPhone app created […]Read More
Overspending Is So Last Season
Conspicuous consumption is officially dead – or, at least, it’s so…last season. For the first time in memory, the Neiman Marcus holiday catalog has discounted its fantasy gift items. This year’s flurry of stories don’t focus on the fantasy, but the downsizing. The priciest item in the 2009 catalog is a mere $250,000 – far below the […]Read More
The Merrill Lynch Bull Charges Back, More Softly This Time
One of many painful sidebars to last year’s Wall Street bloodbath was the swift death of seemingly invincible brands, including former financial powerhouses Lehmann, Bear Stearns, and Merrill Lynch. The human toll was so vast that no one gave much of a thought to the vanquished logos. But, as symbolism, their disappearance rubbed salt into […]Read More
Expense-A-Steak: Brilliant PR, Or Blatant Fraud?
We in public relations sometimes start our creative sessions with the mantra, “Let’s think up some ideas that could get us fired.” Part of what clients pay us for, after all, is to push the limits of what’s conventional. But, some concepts come really close to crossing the line. That’s why I laughed at the recent […]Read More
Is David Letterman A PR Genius?
PR agency and crisis management pundits are saying that Letterman’s handling of last week’s bizarre extortion plot against him was a public relations masterstroke. As the world knows, Letterman chose to recount his experience last Thursday in a ten-minute monologue – but not his usual kind. Somewhere in those ten minutes, the late-night host admitted […]Read More
Why Twitter Could Be Worth A Billion Dollars
The number sounds like pure froth. After all, you don’t have to go back as far as the dot-com era to come up with laughable valuations of Web-based companies (Skype, anyone?) And this is one that has yet to turn a profit, or even articulate a plan to do so, at least publicly. Like others, I’ve gone […]Read More
Top Social Media Sins
I’ve been seriously under the weather after attending a meeting in Mexico City last week. (No, it’s not H1N1, though I did hear an excellent talk by the top docs in charge of public communication around the epidemic.) To make it easy on limited mental energy, I’m using a part of today’s MediaPost‘s Social Media Insider. It’s a […]Read More
Etsy’s “Homemade” Ads Are A Hit
Just when I was about to write off the “crowdsourced” advertising trend as a fad…I happened to read about Etsy.com‘s consumer-generated commercial campaign in AdAge. The online crafts marketplace launched a contest among its own members for 30-second spots, and some of the entries are wonderful. You can view them and vote for your favorite handmade […]Read More
Marketing Isn’t Getting Any Easier
It’s tough being a Chief Marketing Officer nowadays. It’s always been a high-risk role. Management tends to find it hard to gauge the bottom-line contribution, yet easy to place blame. In a recession, many businesses view marketing as a cost center, and it’s often the first budget to be cut. Then, too, everyone (and his spouse) thinks […]Read More