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Category: Bad Stuff

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“Lou, You Know What Your Problem Is?”

Years ago we resigned a big brand account in the consumer electronics space. I think the statute of limitations has run out, 10+ years, so I can share the name. You’ve probably heard of them. Sony. At the time we supported their consumer electronics business in the U.S. handling their video camcorders, cameras and laptops. …more

What Happens When a PR Agency Chooses the “Wrong” Client?

The agency ends up in the New York Times with a bad look. That’s what happened to Edelman last week. The NYT devoted 29 1/8th inches — I counted using the hardcopy version — to Edelman landing a private prisons company called The GEO Group and then deciding to not move forward with the client. …more

Kevin Durant Airballs Brand-building Moment

Today’s professional athletes cultivate their brands with attention to detail that would make a product manager at P&G proud. Certainly Kevin Durant fits into this category. That’s why his “Thank You to Everyone” ad published in the San Francisco Chronicle last week was disappointing. The creative could have come from a summer advertising workshop for …more

Business Insider Is OK with Flawed Dot-connecting in the Name of Click Bait

People gravitate toward extremes. Extremes make for interesting reads, which is why the media devotes so much energy to skyrocketing darlings and train wrecks. Of course, the best story is the skyrocketing darling that becomes a train wreck. Meet Theranos. The media spent months building up the startup as the best thing since sliced rye.Then, …more

Micro Moments in Brand Building: The Good, the Bad and the Unattractive

Companies underestimate the power of micro moments in brand building. As the world and specifically business communications increasingly tilt toward the digital sphere, . This holds true for all companies, whether B2B or consumer. Starting with “the bad and unattractive,” an interaction with LinkedIn last week reminded me of this point. I think I’m on …more

What Happens to Journalism When It’s All About the “Bass”

A “turn-the-crank” mentality to generate a relentless stream of articles shapes journalism at many media properties. Of course quality suffers. While you can find a slew of articles in which journalists lament the issue in theoretical terms, here’s an example from a major publication that makes it all too real. Check out “How Chick-fil-A’s Restaurants …more