When you’re a publicist and your client is a brand as innocuous as Airborne – the immune-boosting “fizzes in water” product that our significant other insists we take before boarding a plane – it might be a tough sell to attach The Celebrity Factor in your pitches.
You know what we’re talking about: Embedding your product in celebrity culture and lifestyle so all the kids will read about it in Us Weekly and want to buy it. We’ve seen tough sells try to go this route before, with Stride Gum, to mostly embarrassing results. We’ve also given publicists tips on how to go about pitching blogs in the hopes that they’ll learn a trick or two.
Guess what? It didn’t work.
There’s a new TV Guide out there! Sure, maybe you haven’t picked up the Gemstar title in weeks or decades, but they do more than just listings these days. In fact, they barely even doing listings anymore, given their attempt to be half-Us Weekly, half-Entertainment Weekly.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves — and the talking points spit out by the magazine’s publicist, who has a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!
You see, TV Guide “today it launched a breaking news initiative that harnesses the vast editorial resources from across the company???s platforms to break news stories first on its Web site, TVGuide.com (www.TVGuide.com), with additional coverage in TV Guide magazine and at TV Guide Channel.”
Contrary to what David Pecker might actually think, this press release is not doing good things for him. From the just-issued missive by American Media Inc.:
WORLD EXCLUSIVE: STAR MAGAZINE AND NATIONAL ENQUIRER SOLVE ANNA NICOLE???S MYSTERIOUS DEATH
Star magazine and the National Enquirer have demonstrated the strength in combining newsgathering resources under Enquirer editor-in-chief David Perel, who also leads Star???s West Coast news operations and newly appointed Star editor-in-chief Candace Trunzo. Just days before the medical examiner will announce the cause of death, Star and the Enquirer???s joint reporting reveals that the former Playmate died with a toxic level of the sleeping medication chloral hydrate in her system. Also, contrary to speculation, tests show she did not have methadone or any other painkilling drug in her system at the time of her death.
So, Star and the National Enquirer had to team up to put this one together? Granted, the release sounds as if Perel wrote it himself – it’s time to stir things up, Candace! – but it points out the obvious flaws in The Case For Two Tabloids: If these rags are doing each other’s homework, why keep them both around when those outrageous printing costs get in the way of paring down billions in debt?
From a mouthpiece of Coburn PR, who needs to fire one of those ambitious interns who volunteered to fact check outgoing releases:
Oscar-Winning America on Success
February 22, 2007 (New York, NY) ??????Oscar-winning America Ferrara tells how in just four years, she catapulted herself to stardom in an exclusive interview in the March issue of Latina Magazine, on newsstands now.
Naturally, we’re rushing to the newsstand now to grab a copy of Latina. To read about the Golden Globe winner.
Full release, after the jump.
Beginning today, Verizon Wireless customers can access content from Seventeen magazine on their Verizon Wireless phones. With Seventeen Mobile, Verizon Wireless customers can get the latest information on health, fashion and beauty reports, horoscopes, daily tips and daily “traumas” ??? one of Seventeen’s branded and most well-read sections ??? right in the palms of their hands on any Mobile Web 2.0SM-capable phone.
Or, in other words, ex-EIC Atoosa Rubenstein could’ve had Hearst paying for all her digital adventures. Though, likely, Cathie Black would’ve put the kabosh on Psychic Kitty. But it would make a groovy wallpaper.
It’s not every day Time Out New York gets to gloat. In fact, we can’t recollect any moment in recent history where they did get to puff out their chest. Sure, they’ve got the TONY 100, but their niche – food and nightlife – manages to get trumped each year by New York’s Taste of New York, even.
Cue today’s press release, where it’s all about the big-headedness. Time Out New York, at last, has reason to stand on a pedestal.
In a happy reversal of an oft-seen scenario, Time Out New York (TONY) has raided the ranks of Cond?? Nast as part of a spate of new hires that also includes that nabbing of a high ranking Metro NY staffer.
Too bad our attention span stops there.
After all, it’s not like the WSJ stole an editor from Portfolio — rather, Time Out snagged a mid-level Lucky staffer. Oooh, we’re shaking in our Awe Boots!
Over the Bloomberg wire comes word that PR Newswire – that nifty little service that fires off one press release after another .. to our spam folder – is guilty of, egads!, distributing fake press releases. When third-party service eReleases sent PR Newswire a filing supposedly from call center and warehouse services operator Innotrac that boasted of a multi-million dollar contract, the release was promptly distributed, sending investors into a buying fury and hiking up Innotrac’s stock.
Except there was no contract. And Innotrac didn’t release anything.
The release, posted at 8:31 a.m. New York time, originated with Baltimore-based eReleases, a press release services company that works with PR Newswire, which is owned by London-based publisher United Business Media plc.
Atlanta-based Innotrac, which manages warehouses, shipping and customer service call-centers for retail and wholesale companies, distributed a release at 11:13 a.m. characterizing the original release as “totally false.”
All of which has caused us to lose all faith in the press release factory. If we can’t trust real publicists not to spin their client’s bullshit into pandering babble, however can we be expected to trust fake publicists?
Since we were just dying for a reason to jet off to Philly for the weekend:
R Family Vacations and the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) are proud to announce the ??R Family Philly Weekend,?? March 10-11, 2007. This excursion marks the first time the acclaimed vacation company has offered a family-friendly, gay-friendly getaway in a city. Packages, which go on sale on Wednesday, November 29, 2006, include luxury hotel accommodations and day and evening activities.
That’s “R Family Vacations,” as in Rosie O’Donnell and wifey Kelli’s gay cruise line. And while it’s embarrassing enough that they’re trying to push a holiday without the boat, is their “50s themed bowling party” really a bullet point to advertise? Perhaps we really need to take another diversity class; we’ve been thinking all lesbians collect art and sip lattes like those L Word girls.
We really hope she’s sitting down, because we have just found Laurel Touby’s online haven. The press release we were just sent was obviously meant for her, but we can share it with you guys, too.
Blinking boas are five feet long and available in purple feathers and pink and lavender feathers. Both include 10 LED red flashing lights that can be turned on and off. Boas come with replaceable watch batteries.
• It’s much easier for celebs to sue non-US publications. Hence, Bonnie Fuller’s natural migration to the States. [WWD]
• Jessica Simpson fires her agent for not explaining to her that “brownhead” is not a word. And for not loving her boobs as much as her daddy does. [Us]
• This is the gayest Clay Aiken press release we’ve ever seen. Even the gays think it’s gay. [Queerty]
• We say goodbye to City Slickers star Bruno Kirby. We’re sure we made out with someone at some point while that movie was playing in the background. Thanks, dude. [TMZ]
• Lindsay Lohan loves Sex and the City so much, she???ll sleep with every man possible just to have Charlotte???s experience with crabs. Maybe even a horny blogger who doesn’t care about STDs? Not us, not us! [Hollywood Tuna]
Normally, we’re not in the habit of running press releases for products … but this really is just sick. Just, like, flippin’ crazy. As though it weren’t bad enough that a museum full of wax celebrities exists in the first place, now they are actually promoting the products that are in this gross place.
This one is from KMC PR, who apparently reps the Stokke??? Sleepi??? bassinet that little baby Shiloh Pitt-Jolie sleeps in. And yes, little wax baby Shiloh sleeps in one too. (We’re cooing and puking at the same time.)
It’s bad enough that her parents whore her out, but does Shiloh really need these well-heeled PR princesses making commission off her baby powdered ass? Plus, what kind of crappy campaign totes: “a wax doll sleeps on our crib and she rests so peacefully. Go see for yourself.” We’ll do you a favor. Spare the wax museum trip, and just read the press release. We promise it’s much more entertaining.
The sad thing about this press release is that the event it’s promoting – 7Up’s launch of its new organic version – already happened or, for all we know, is still happening.
As part of its push to notify all would-be lemon-lime fizzy drinkers that all the unpronounceable chemical compounds will no longer be found on the ingredients label – unless they’re considered “all natural,” that is – the soft drink rounded up Ty Pennington to unveil a “2-3 story 7UP Natural Bottle” at Greeley Square (6th Ave and 34th Street).
Spectacle, we know. But after last year’s live billboard in Times Square, it takes a lot more to impress us. So that’s where these personalized notes from publicists come in:
A $1 donation will be made to the Fresh Air Fund for every bottle of 7UP 100% Natural sampled today???????Plus you can stalk Ty Pennington and gawk at a 24foot tree shaped like a 7UP bottle.
Everyday we’re inundated with press releases. “Tell your readers about some reality show they should be watching,” scream some, while others go for the more tactful, “Tell your readers about some exclusive A-list event they’re not invited to.” But up until now, we’ve never received one with such self-deprecating confusion. Presented exactly as it arrived:
So will the celebrity art auction actually take place at MOCA? And will LaTanya and Samuel L. Jackson be co-chairs and flanked by said “captains of industry?” We’re assuming yes, but we all know how those misplaced strike-throughs can reak havoc on reputations.
With kids these days going crazy over YouTube, Heavy.com, and Break.com (though not, we should note, OfficePirates.com), it was only a matter before the easily excitable cadets over at Nerve.com jumped into the mix. But don’t think the coming launch of Nerve Video means more ass plowing for Fleshbot to link to.
Nerve, the preeminent multi-media company devoted to all things smart and seductive will the launch Nerve Video: the definitive source for the funniest, sexiest and smartest in online video. Enhancing its already brash and brainy original content on Nerve.com, Nerve Video will showcase original programming, rather than video that????????s been spliced and diced from already existing footage.
Read the Funny Pages? No, not the Post’s other reason for reading the Sunday paper (the first, of course, being Page Six), but the New York Times Magazine’s attempt at illustrated humor. Don’t be afraid to say “no,” since that’s how we answered that question, too. And while we’re guessing a vast majority of Magazine readers will answer similarly, that’s not keeping the Times from taunting respected writers, comics, and illustrators from adding scarlet letters to their careers.
Bestselling author Scott Turow makes his debut in the next “Sunday Serial,” the popular feature in The New York Times Magazine’s “Funny Pages.” Readers can look forward to Mr. Turow’s legal thriller, “Limitations,” an original work commissioned by The Magazine, which begins on Sunday, April 23, and will appear in 16 weekly installments.
If by “popular feature” they mean “most popularly ignored,” then yes, this just might be an accurate press release. Not one that interests us very much, however. The full release Turow will come to regret, after the jump.