Posted by Amanda Chapel
Remember my favorite Leopard Pony-Haired Heels? The Jimmy Choos? God, I love those shoes. I slept in 'em. They went with everything, from cocktail dress to jeans. Probably the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned. Absolutlely. Well, a few days ago while taking a shortcut through Connors Park, I stepped in dog doo. RUINED. $735 gone, just like that. Dammit.
Well, maybe it's due to the full moon but it looks like it might be twice in one week. Ogilvy PR, another one of my favorite old shoes, stepped in it, too. Bugger.
Wednesday it was announced by PRWeak that The Interactive Media Entertainment and Gaming Association (iMEGA), a nonprofit that lobbies for online gambling, hired Ogilvy PR. Shit.
According to the announcement, the firm will assist with brand awareness, as well as with IMEGA's primary objective, i.e. backing various pro-online-gambling legislation in Congress.
IMEGA president Edward Leyden said: "They'll help us craft our public message. We think there is a brand to be built for our association. We're new and trying to build our name." Leyden added, "One prime goal is to stop the enforcement of the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act."
I gotta tell ya, this is really hard. We really like Ogilvy. Stellar brand with a stellar portfolio. But this? This ranks right down there with Torossian's getting in bed with pornographer Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wild. No it's worse. Online gambling is uncontrolled pornography that can ruin lives in an instant.
Anyway, other than the tune Torossian's whistles on the way to the bank that "everybody deserves representation"... why? Smoking, heroin, prostitution... there's a world of social carcinogens. All of 'em have money. All of 'em would like to improve their public image and further their evil agendas.
I don't know. Where Girls Gone Wild fits in with Torossian's portfolio, does the scourge of online gambling fit with Ogilvy? Ogilvy?! We asked the Head of their D.C. office. Robert Mathias had this to say:
Oh, God. It’s not coming of. Arrrrrgh.
Posted by Amanda Chapel
The man pictured on the right is not a croupier, cabaret crooner, or even effete sommelier; it’s Text 100 EVP, Georg Kolb. Georg, as you are probably aware, is the guy whose claim to fame is that he spearheaded Text 100’s “seminal move into SecondLife,” i.e. the total debacle that’s still an embarrassment to the agency's CEO Aedhmar Hines. Well, he’s back.
By way of background, Georg is in PR “By accident!” (his words). According to Georg: “I was holding philosophy seminars at a German university when a friend of mine asked me to mediate between the new management of a small firm and its employees. As a leader of philosophy seminars, I was used to facilitating ‘difficult groups.’ The meeting turned out to be a huge success. People not only thanked me, but my friend also threw money at me!” Georg has since parleyed that into EVP and head of Text 100’s “Practices and Methodology Group” (“Worldwide,” no less). He presently oversees “the development of the company's service offering;" and is touted as the company’s "futurist." Specifically, "his work focuses on models that consider influencers in a company's ecosystem and reflect the importance of new peer-to-peer platforms like blogs or wikis.” (Apparently, English is not his native tongue.)
Anyway, Georg is apparently again confident and ready to stick his neck out. Maybe not. The following are excerpts of a recent interview with The Lapdog Reporter.
GEORG OUT ON A LIMB
Warning: The following statements by Georg may be a little startling to some.
Posted by Amanda Chapel
"As the Goliath moved closer, David ran quickly to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on his forehead. Mortally wounded, Goliath fell facedown on the ground." - I Samuel 17:48-49
John Stauber, founder and executive director of the Media and PR Industry watchdog group, the Center for Media & Democracy (CMD), just might be a modern-day David. And with one stone, he just may have delivered a fatal blow against an industry. In response to a joint complaint by the CMD and the Free Press, the FCC has levied the first ever fine for "fake news." All things considered... in PR?!, THAT'S HUGE!
Specifically, the FCC is fining Comcast for the use of a video news release (VNR) without disclosure. A video news release is a popular PR tactic. A sponsored video sets out to mimic actual news reports and is offered to broadcasting stations for free. In this instance, the cable company had aired a pitch for a sleep aid without telling viewers that the spot was financed by the maker of the product.
According to the FCC filing on Sept. 21, 2006, the Comcast-affiliated network CN8, aired portions of a VNR on behalf of "Nelson's Rescue Sleep," a natural sleep-aid product, without saying who paid for the spot.
In a statement release yesterday by the CMD: "To meet the FCC's own benchmark -- that "viewers are entitled to know who seeks to persuade them," as it stated in its April 2005 Public Notice on VNRs -- all VNRs should be disclosed, whether they promote policies or products, and regardless of the level of overt promotion."
The Center for Media and Democracy said it hopes the FCC "will soon address the nearly 140 other undisclosed VNR broadcasts" that the group has documented.
David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head. - I Samuel 17:51
Posted by Amanda Chapel
This just in from a reliable source... the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) is changing its name. We’ve just learned that the group is considering a new name in order to distance itself from the taint of “behavioral manipulation” and the looming potential of government oversight.
By way of background, on November 1-2 the FTC will be holding hearings on Behavioral Marketing. The purpose of the investigation is to address the consumer protection issues raised by the practice of tracking consumers’ behavior for the purposes of marketplace manipulation.
In a statement released late Tuesday, WOMMA Interim CEO Pete Waldheim was emphatic that his organization does "zero work with behavioral manipulation." However, he later contradicted himself admitting that the issues the FTC is focusing on “are germane to some forms of online marketing” and conceded that these “are related to certain practices in the word-of-mouth marketing industry.”
On the condition of anonymity, one insider said: "Well, unless they change their name and forego a huge chunk of member dues from companies like Edelman... they're dead meat. The public is far more sensitive to manipulation than it's ever been. If the FTC doesn't start looking into their members' practices now, they will soon."
New names currently under consideration include: the Chit-Chat Club; Shel Holtz' Coffee Klatch; The Group Formerly Know as WOMMA; the Happy Talk Facilitators Union (HT-FU); and the Unemployed Marketing Executives Association (UMEA).
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