Mr. Whippy at the ...


Today brings a grab bag of business storytelling for easy consumption.

Here goes —

Incredible Product Placement and Mr. Whippy Didn’t Pay a Quid

It turns out there was more than one winner at the Ryder Cup.

Not only did the Euros trample that happy-go-lucky bunch from the U.S.A., but Mr. Whippy — Scotland’s famed purveyor of ice cream — managed to dominate a New York Times photo that was part of the per-Ryder Cup coverage without paying a bloody quid.

Mr. Whippy at Ryder Cup

It’s a shame Mr. Mickelson didn’t make a stop at Mr. Whippy. While there’s no correlation between the consumption of ice cream and being able to stick a seven iron, at least Mr. Mickelson wouldn’t have been so grumpy.

Lest you think Mr. Whippy’s free pub was a case of being in the right place at the right time, check out this section on its website that shows a dash of PR savvy.

Mr. Whippy Services

 Update (10/15/14)

I am a fan of HARO, the service that puts journalists in touch with sources.  While I can certainly be a rule breaker as my Mom will attest — feel free to post a comment, Mom, and let the good folks at HARO know this isn’t the first time — I found their cease-and-desist email a bit harsh.

From: Kathryn Gaab, Senior HARO Editor, HARO Publicity From Vocus []
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2014 10:55 AM
To: Lou Hoffman; ‘’
Cc: Alyssa Banks
Subject: HARO Warning

Good afternoon Lou,

Thank you for using HARO. A fellow HARO user has brought to our attention the fact that you have reposted HARO queries on your blog ( ). Please note that this violates one of our Five Rules of HARO  (found here: as well as our Terms of Service (found here: ). We ask that you kindly remove this information from your website. Please note that this is a warning. Continuing to post queries on your blog or failing to abide by our other rules or Terms of Service will result in further action.

We thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter.

Best regards,

I guess asking nicely isn’t as effective as the threat of legal Dobermans.

I have blacked out the offending copy (below), but for the record a simple “Hey, we don’t allow HAROs to be published so would appreciate you removing the one in your 10/12 post” would have had the same effect.


Financial Times Trigger-happy at the Keyboard

I sent out this tweet on the first Thursday of the month in the morning.

Financial Times Email

A few minutes later this arrived in the mail.

Financial Times email

Actually, I wasn’t wondering.



  • Frank Strong

    Mr. Whippy is definitely unconventional. Not exactly the core business. “So, what do you do when you’re not selling ice cream?”

    • hoffman

      Hard-hitting question.

      I did reach out to Mr. Whippy for the story behind the story. Unfortunately, I didn’t hear back.

      Suspect the company’s PR team told the execs to “steer clear of that Hoffman guy.”

  • Frank Strong

    I’ve got to hand out an award — because turning an advocate into a detractor is an acquired corporate skill. But is it marketable in Chicago? That is the million dollar question.


Leave a Reply