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I'm visiting the Vatican in three weeks. Maybe I can get an off-the-record comment:
I think it's a great idea. My only caveat is that such programs emphasize the danger of taking "humor" cues from Gilbert Gottfried, 50 Cent, Michael Bloomberg and virtually anyone famous with a Twitter account. If it doesn't go well for public figures, it's bound to be worse for the rest of us.
No question that the Fourth Estate has become both vulnerable and craven. At the same time, hasn't the PR industry sometimes but rarely used that to its advantage? Here's an interesting take from a former FT reporter who went to work at Edelman:
Toggle Commented Mar 17, 2011 on America needs a man like Chris Atkins at RepMan
There have been more than a few journalists whom I've wanted to take to the woodshed over the years, starting with that nssty POS Michael Wolff and working my way down. Still, this is pretty limiting. Yes, it's always nice to see your tormentors get their just desserts. But aren't these little "gotchas" are just a little too much schaudenfreude after awhile? Instead of finger-pointing, can't we all just focus on doing our jobs better? Final question: do I sound too much like Rodney King?
Toggle Commented Mar 15, 2011 on America needs a man like Chris Atkins at RepMan
Eat the rich?
Toggle Commented Feb 24, 2011 on Wretched excess at RepMan
I'm actually not surprised this happened at all. Almost 20 years ago, I was amazed at the lack of foresight and vision of the top three people running the mid-sized agency where I worked (Ed spent some time there too). It led to my first real-world insight into how the business world worked: too many times, the boss surrounds himself (and yes, it's usually him) with people he feels comfortable with. Boards go along with it and don't want to rock the boat. I know it's not that simple; it's hard for me to believe Jeff Bewkes pushed for Griffin because he likes having him around. But what do these examples tell you? - GM goes through bankruptcy via taxpayer, and then installs "Lieutenant Dan" Akerson, a Carlyle Group money guy with no manufacturing experience as its CEO. By all accounts, he's destroying what little ground they gained with his hubris and once again the Board of Bystanders does nothing. - There's a horrible, nasty little story going on here in NYC over the venerable Gramercy Arts Club, run since 1985 by an autocratic little twit named Aldon James and his mentally unfit twin brother John. They have a long history of suing, intimidating, threatening and badmouthing people. They're also the modern equivalent of the Collyer Brothers: Yet the Board and its members, who include Martin Scorcese and Uma Thurman, is too scared of them to take control. - Finally, there's billionaire NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, whom I used to admire for his astute talent judgment. First, he picks the former Indianapolis mayor as deputy mayor, who decides to cut back on sanitation spending before the big blizzard, plus no one is around and in charge when it hits. - Bloomberg's even more pathetic decision is Cathie Black, the former Hearst publishing head. At first I was angry at how corrupt the process was that handed Cathy Black the job without any due diligence. Now it's become pathetic watching her get kicked around as she feebly attempts to run the NYC school system without any qualifications. Every time I see her picture in a public meeting, I almost feel sorry for her. That has to be the most miserable existence. What's she trying to prove? Sadly, I know there are thousands of other examples. Isn't the better business decision when your top people think differently, and make you just a little bit uncomfortable at times?
I enjoyed the article on the Mannix Dart GTS convertibles. Do you anything about what happened to the '70-'71 "Cuda Convertibles used for three seasons? I'm pretty sure they were stock, without any Barris-like work. Until Rockford's Firebird, Joe's green '70 'Cuda is my best TV automotive memory. The fact that my dad's friend owned a yellow '70 Barracuda convertible (which rusted to smithereens) plants it even further in my consciousness. All I know about the Mannix 'Cuda convertibles is that the '71 models were updated to look like '72s during the '71-'72 season, even though the convertibles went out of production. I'd be curious to know if anyone got to buy any of those cars after the show stopped using them? Do any still exist? I'd be interested in the '73 Challenger too.
BomberpeteNY is now following Jim Suva and The Suva Files
Feb 19, 2011
Thanks. I'm still a few years away from the AARP card, but clearly the sands of time dim those precious memories.
Toggle Commented Feb 15, 2011 on The Maritel bucket at RepMan
Sorry to hear about that. It does happen. There are variations on the times that we should see who win business with is going to shank us in the back anyway. My favorite goes back to when Ed Moed won a consulting firm client whose tough-guy mantra was squeeze vendors on price, get results, then fire them and use someone else. We got them great press and sales results. So what did they do? Exactly what the book said. It was hard to get outraged over being canned, though, as anyone could have seen this coming.
Toggle Commented Feb 12, 2011 on The Maritel bucket at RepMan
I've been pressured by egotistical owners/management to create such self-serving ads in the past, only to have them fall flat. I can only agree that they're a complete waste of time unless the client's needs are addressed PERIOD.
Robert's right. We stayed thin(ner) because we ate at home from a stove, our sugar and fast food were limited to rare treats, and we were made to run around outside, to the point where the TV (now the Wii, etc.) were turned off. Those things aren't in effect with obese kids, who often have obese parents. Also, better fruit and vegetable options are becoming more prevalent in poor communities through farmer's markets, CSAs which allow participation by income and local community programs. Parents have to take responsibility and learn about nutrition. I know that many are stressed from working several jobs, but saying fast food is the only option is being being way too easy on oneself.
I never notice -- I'm so used to UES accents they're just part of the landscape.
When I pitched the NY Times "Vows" for our wedding announcement and they did do a larger story, I worked with a reporter named Vinnie. His Bensonhurst accent was as thick as the Sicilian pizza at L&B Spumoni Gardens. I was taken aback at first because he was from "The Times," but that was nothing but me being snobbish and reinforcing stereotypes. He was great, and it made no difference.
Wow, great segment! You guys really schneidered 'em.
Toggle Commented Jan 25, 2011 on What sets your organization apart? at RepMan
By opening her mouth about the Tucson tragedy, Palin only proved that she's a garden-variety bigot, this time complete with coded hate words. She squandered an opportunity to bring people together and instead made it all about her own victimization. There's no longer a reason to be fearful about her "growing influence." Before yesterday, Palin had something like a 23% positive approval rating. That's enough fans to make a great living, which is what she's been doing since quitting the governor job. It's not enough to even win a primary. Let's just call the Palin family what it is - a circus freak show. Hot Sarah is the chief attraction, a young Elvis, while the the First Dude plays Colonel Parker behind the scenes. Only this time, they probably went too far. While I expect the 24/7 media shit-stirrers will continue to prop Palin up because she's provocative and good-looking, the bloom is off the rose and now it's beginning to stink. Still, I predict that within months, Palin will be reduced to raving manufactured outrage like Ann Coulter or Michele Malkin. Perhaps the thing to do is ignore the Palins and let them flail about in their own irrelevance. It's not like we haven't done this before. Father Coughlin was popular once too until he pushed his limits:
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2011 on The differences couldn't be more striking at RepMan
I'm going to be a typical empty suit marketing guy and side both with Julie and Lia and RepMan. Lady GaGa is terrific, both in her music and in marketing herself. She may have stolen tricks from Madonna's Eighties guise, but so what? For the right brand, she may be perfect. I think she deserves lots of props for that. And we don't know if she's an Amy Winehouse-style ticking time bomb, are that's just another calculated part of the Lady Gaga image. But as dead-in-the-water and "me too" as the Polaroid brand is, this is bound to end in disaster for the reasons RepMan points to. It's simply not the right brand for her. It may end up as well as Lindsay Lohan's "creative" stint for Versace at the Paris fashion shows a few years back. But the what is the right brand? An energy drink, perhaps, where her antics aren't out of place. Two other things, by the way: - Those Garner/Hartley Polaroid ads really were terrific. Last year the Museum of Television and Radio did a retrospective with the ad agency talent. They were so realistic that people thought Garner and Hartley were married. When Hartley did have a baby, she had a t-shirt made for the kid saying "I am NOT James Garner's Baby!" I'm sure that made her husband happy. - I recently watched season 6 of my all-time favorite TV show, "The Rockford Files." An episode with Hartley called "Paradise Cove" had much of the same kind of banter. One of the writers on that series was David Chase; watching it, you can see where elements of "The Sopranos" came from.
Toggle Commented Jan 13, 2011 on Dynamic duo or desperate divas? at RepMan
Actually, it's Hell's Kitchen in Manhattan but Brooklyn as well. You got me on the "Jersey Shore" usage - I've never watched it.
Toggle Commented Jan 7, 2011 on Be still my heart at RepMan
I think the colloquially correct spelling is "youse" as in "youse guys ain't planning to bump me off, is youse?" (taken from the movie The Story of Owney Madden, Monogram Pictures, 1954)
Toggle Commented Jan 6, 2011 on Be still my heart at RepMan
It's always good when the boss knows how to keep hold of humility. Congrats to you RepMan.
Toggle Commented Jan 6, 2011 on My apologies to Andrea at RepMan
It sounds like a nice occasion, Ed. Many congratulations to your parents on their 50th. Steve, Ed's got it right on both counts. Reasonably comfortable middle-class families who watched their pennies in 2009, have work and stayed out of debt are now spending on a little on luxuries like a cruise. That has nothing to do with the miserable lack of opportunities in NY State counties like Delaware, Chenango or Greene. Or, for that matter, Wayne County, Michigan. Nothing has replaced the job erosion these areas have suffered over the last 40-plus years, nor should the current recovery -- if it's real -- have any impact either.
Lunchboy, I would indeed argue that the Mercedes-Benz brand has been weakened by its inferior (not more affordable, inferior) products. Pick a better example to back up your argument. When Lexus came along, Mercedes was broadsided and their ability to charge astronomical prices hurt. So what did they do? Cut away at their quality to build to a price point. While it boosted sales, and flashy styling attracted bling-bling crowd, Mercedes left behind the core values that made the brand great -- roadability, solidity and longevity. Today Mercedes is just another luxury ride. They're heavier than they should be, and much less reliable due to all kinds of electronics that fail. Consumer Reports will not recommend a SINGLE Mercedes model because their reliability has plummeted badly in the last 15 years. BMW has gotten worse too, but not to the same extent.
I like Atlantic City in spite of its sleaziness. I love the Borgata, taffy on the boardwalk and the honky-tonk atmosphere. My wife's never been there. I'd really like to go this summer, especially now that NJ Transit has installed train service from NYC. The problem is that she's allergic to smoke and would probably last 20 minutes there. And now, as Gaetano reports, they've lost the fight to keep out serious competition. Nice going, A.C. You're setting yourself back to the early Seventies.
Toggle Commented May 20, 2009 on You are now entering a killing zone at RepMan
I like the post, but Utah polygamy jokes are really cheap shots. The LDS Church outlawed the practice in 1890. Mormon religion has its faults, but they do a lot of good in the world; reinforcing those stereotypes is offensive.
Toggle Commented May 19, 2009 on Hey, you want a piece of me? at RepMan