Posted by Amanda Chapel
Apparently, the CEO of the fastest growing agency thinks so.
As you recall, this last Friday, Phil Hall wrote a piece here titled, “Thou Shalt Happily and Shamelessly Promote Thyself!” Hmmmmm... I wouldn’t characterize that as totally aligned with the spirit of Strumpette. But we love Phil dearly and gave it a pass.
That said, it did make me a little sensitive to the topic. Then yesterday I got one of those regular blast email releases from Ronn Torossian’s firm announcing that O’Dwyer’s had named 5W the fastest growing independent agency 3 years in a row. Of course, connecting the dots, I remembered our recent article, “PR Firm Cashes in On Hot Girl-on-Girl Action.” Well, hell! Who wouldn't grow fast?!
Anyway, we subsequently wrote a little lampoon. It's a satire of Ronn's firm announcing themselves as their own agency of record. We shared it with Ronn for comments. Comment he did. Ronn’s threatened to sue us for “slander.” He said, we’d “need to spend thousands and thousands of dollars defending it.” In Ronn’s words, “And I'll sue you just for fun... put a lien on your home... I'll enjoy spending the money just to make you squirm...” He added, “I could care less about spending $100K just to get you... May not be libel... but I have the money to spend.”
Well, in that case... hell... this could become a running series! So without further ado... here's what has Ronn's short hairs in a twist.
Now for all you looking for the BIG FIGHT, don't get you hopes up. It would make for great Strumpette copy but frivolous lawsuits aren't something judges much care for. Maybe next time.
One last thought: Technically speaking, is it even possbile to defame a PR guy who helps market porn to youth?
UPDATE 03-08-07: Just got an email from Ronn. He promises to file a slapp suit within 72 hours. I responded that since we published the story, we’ve gotten another lead about Ronn. That said, I am reluctant to do more than one Torossian story a week. So as a practical matter, I asked Ronn if he could please move his frivolous claim until the week of the 18th. :)
Also, apparently, he’s retaliated by publishing our webmaster’s contact info on his blog. He also says that he’s sent that info “to the CEOs of every PR firm in the U.S.”
Ya know… ya just can’t find many firms that practice PR that aggressively.
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Oh, I could tell this is fiction by the following passage:
"Described by a leading PR trade magazine as 'aggressive in a way that clearly resonates with clients looking for a firm staffed with type A-plus personalities,'"
Puh-leeze -- no PR trade magazine could write something that professional!
Strategic lawsuit against public participation
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation ("SLAPP") is a form of litigation filed by a large organization or in some cases an individual plaintiff, to intimidate and silence a less powerful critic by so severely burdening them with the cost of a legal defense that they abandon their criticism. The acronym was coined in the 1980s by University of Denver professors Penelope Canan and George W. Pring.
Many states have anti-SLAPP statues, which allow defendats to collect costs if the suit is termed frivolous.
Yep. Classic case, if he does it.
With regard to costs, apparently Ronn is not concerned. “I could care less about spending $100K just to get you... May not be libel... but I have the money to spend.”
I hope this isn't indicative of how he conducts business generally.
Reminds me of the old Harold Burson axiom -- "cut my client, and I bleed..."
I was thinking more, "You are the company you keep."
I got the Ronn Torossian email with the strumpette contact information. I couldn't help but wonder what the fuss was about.
I get a lot of emails from Ronn Torossian, so what's one more. Most of them tout his agency's success. The rest either ask if any of my staff can be hired away or if I'd like to sell my agency. They are all blast emails.
None has ever been followed up by a phone call.
Unable to contain my curiosity, I visited strumpette.com for the first time. I was shocked, I tell you, to read the article purporting to be a lampoon of a Torossian email blast. I was sure that Ronn had written it, himself. It had every element of self-promotion characteristic of a Torossian email. I cannot see why he is upset about it -- unless, of course, he is really not upset and this is just one more promotional stunt.
Maybe he doesn't like his picture on the strumpette site.
I have a suggestion. Instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars suing strumpette.com, why not just buy it, Ronn?