"What the hell is 'Wild Animus'? It's a book with a story big enough that I could write an entire column about it without describing a single plot point. With the exception of religious texts, has anyone, ever, given away this many copies of a book in physical form?" [more inside]
Modern public relations has, in its own parlance, an image problem. As an investigation copublished by the Columbia Journalism Review and ProPublica put it, the industry was literally birthed from a train wreck.... In stark contrast to newsrooms, in which women have never exceeded 38 percent, public relations operates as a solidly pink-collar sector of the creative industries and comprises a labor force that is currently over 85 percent female. The palpable distaste for PR practitioners that continues to swell — spearheaded by the very same members of the media with whom publicists theoretically enjoy a symbiotic relationship — requires, then, a deeper look at how gendered assumptions about work continue to shape our contemporary notions of creative labor under capitalism.
Her image was built on the infrastructure of the status quo — a straight, white, doting mother engaged in a long-term monogamous relationship — but made just extraordinary enough to truly entice but never offend. [SLBF]
I came to Twitter because I had a book to sell, and my misgivings about the whole enterprise meant that I would never be any good at it. A phrase comes to mind: I was “pissing into the void.” For 1 year, 4 months and 22 days—or 508 days total—Twitter became part of my daily thinking ritual. Writer Benjamin Anastas says Goodbye to Twitter Village. VQR editor Jane Friedman comments.
The Secret History of Privacy. "Something creepy happened when mystery became secular, secrecy became a technology, and privacy became a right..." [Via]
Anne Helen Petersen, the voice behind "Scandals Of Classic Hollywood" (previously) and "doctor of celebrity gossip" gives us an academic rundown of the hows and whys of the last hundred years of Hollywood Star Making, celebrity, PR, marketing, fandom, and scandal management.
By late May, more than ten million copies of E.L. James’s Fifty Shades trilogy, an erotic romance series about the sexual exploits of a domineering billionaire and an inexperienced coed, had been sold in the United States, all within six weeks of the books’ publication here. This apparently unprecedented achievement occurred without the benefit of a publicity campaign, formal reviews, or Oprah’s blessing, owing to a reputation established, as one industry analyst put it, “totally through word of mouth.” [Grey Area: How ‘Fifty Shades’ Dominated the Market]
"...for the next tour, I’ll either be calm and collected or nervous with a dangerously out-of-control boner."
Skittles’ new level of fame has quickly become a kind of marketing crisis that is threatening to hurt the company even as sales improve.
Horror Scans: Images from classic horror magazines, lobby cards, ads and pressbooks.
The second annual National Go Topless Protest Day will be held this Sunday, August 23, in various American cities. It happens to be run by Raelians, members of a UFO religion founded by Rael, a former French sports-car journalist and test driver born Claude Vorilhon. (Coverage of last year's protest in New York City, which is, as one might suspect, NSFW.) Though the current "Go Topless!" site talks more about women's rights than Raelism, in 2004, Raelian women were marching topless not for the legalization of bare breastedness, but against "the repressive Myth of God." Don't remember the Raelians? This is just the most recent stunt by the publicity-hungry group that capitalizes on media-friendly controversy: in 2002, during the slow news week between Christmas and New Year's Day, they announced the creation of the first human clone, gaining what Rael estimated at over $500 million of free media coverage. In an interview, Rael unabashedly discusses his passion for publicity. [more inside]
The videogames industry's not known for its subtlety when promoting its wares. Controversy has often been a successful part of their marketing campaigns. But is this a step too far? They'll have to go some way to cause more chaos than these guys
GM has been touting the Volt as it's triumphant entry into green transportation, but 2011 is a long way off and the big three aren't doing so hot and neither is the Volt, it would seem. Meanwhile, Dean Kamen shows off a working Hybrid Electric/Stirling Engine car based off the TH!NK, a car Ford canceled over a half decade ago (and shipped to Norway where they still live on). The full Frontline Documentary, Heat, which is about the current state of energy policy, implementation, and the climate (which is not good!) is online and well worth watching. [more inside]
Ever have a job working for a record label on a street crew. And yer puttin up publicity posters on lightpoles for an artist like Rocko and some asshole won't stop takin yer picture. Whadda you do then? Break his friggin camera.
Ayten Ahmet is a 16 year old girl who wants to win the Miss Teen Australia Beauty pageant [some links here possibly NSFW]. The problem is some of Australia's Muslim leaders, such as Melbourne cleric Sheik Mohammed Omran, have branded her entry into the competition as a "slur on Islam". Ayten doesn't know what all the fuss is about, saying "As long as you present yourself well, respect yourself and respect others, that's what's important. Religion's not an issue." [more inside]
Sherri Finkbine --as reported by BBC News, on this day in 1962 (video clip too)--her travails and travels, the law, publicity, and what happened afterwards. (more here from American Prospect in 05: ...A Gallup Poll taken that year showed that the majority of Americans supported Finkbine, and her case was a turning point ...)
The Rendon Group -- covert perception managers using our taxpayer money to start wars. ... the product of a clandestine operation -- part espionage, part PR campaign -- that had been set up and funded by the CIA and the Pentagon for the express purpose of selling the world a war. ... it was hired by the CIA to help "create the conditions for the removal of Hussein from power." Working under this extraordinary transfer of secret authority, Rendon assembled a group of anti-Saddam militants, personally gave them their name -- the Iraqi National Congress -- and served as their media guru and "senior adviser" as they set out to engineer an uprising against Saddam. ... Rolling Stone thoroughly documents the way we pay to be lied into war and one of the people who do it. From Noriega and Panama through to Chalabi, Miller, al-Haideri, Bush, and you.
Jack Cafferty pulls a Jon Stewart --Cafferty, CNN's resident curmudgeon, goes off live on the coverage of the BTK killer. (video here at Crooks and Liars) ... This is a ghoulish exercise on the part of the news media and if ratings are the reason, then I’ll say it again, we ought to be ashamed of ourselves. There was no reason to give this guy a platform to talk to everybody in the country ... With cameras in courtrooms almost everywhere nowadays, what is the media's responsibility?
Dr. Macro's High Quality Movie Scans... high quality scans of famous screen stars and their movies, mostly from the 1940's and earlier, as well as a collection of film clips and movie summaries from the golden age of Hollywood.
"I, for one, welcome our new alien overlords" - in what looks like a thinly-veiled attempt at viral marketing, a company claims to be giving bloggers the opportunity to send a piece of their lives into space to potentially connect with extraterrestrials. Let's just hope that future generations will not have to endure this kind of thing, next time a blogger decides to quit ranting on about themselves.
How are the San Francisco 49ers trained to handle the media? Apparently with a film involving naked lesbians, jokes about gay marriage, and offensive asian stereotypes (complete with buck teeth). The San Francisco Chronicle has the whole video online. The owners have apologized for the video (even though they could have put a stop to it when they saw it 5 months ago) , but the players are comparing it to Chapelle's Show.
Firefox ad on the NY Times. The long-awaited 2-page ad for the open source browser is finally out, complete with the 10,000 names of donors.
This turns into one of those cases where researching a story gets weirder. The documentary Super Size Me centers on a documentary filmmaker's 30 day experience eating nothing but McDonalds. The film is doing amazingly well as a limited release documentary grossing more per screen than high-budget Troy. Here is the weird part, Reuters has picked up on a distributor press release claiming that MTV is refusing to air advertising for Super Size Me because the film is "disparaging to fast-food restaurants". The Reuters short seems to have quite a bit of legs. However a Hollywood Reporter article details MTVs side of the story placing the blame on the film's distributor. Is this really a case of a network getting cold feet? Or is it a case of distributor trying to pull the "too edgy for MTV" moneymaking ploy? And what is with the continually morphing Reuters clip that is just now being tossed onto doorsteps and stuffed into newsboxes across North America? (The film was previously discussed on metafilter back in January.
Bush directing Homeland Security to Stage Photo-Ops? This article from next week's Time is in itself a well-detailed examination of the campaign strategies for both sides in the 2004 race, but some bloggers have caught a disturbing paragraph in the middle of the article: "As the Bush team sorts out its internal mechanics, it will press the advantage of incumbency. Administration sources tell TIME that employees at the Department of Homeland Security have been asked to keep their eyes open for opportunities to pose the President in settings that might highlight the Administration's efforts to make the nation safer. The goal, they are being told, is to provide Bush with one homeland-security photo-op a month. "
"The Media vs. Howard Dean." Salon (subscription or Flash ad viewing required) observes that the media have been doing everything in their power to attach negative labels to US presidential candidate Howard Dean. Will the adage that "there's no such thing as bad publicity" prevail? Meanwhile, the Internet is increasing in relevance as a news source, according to a recent survey. Which websites do you peruse for political coverage, if any?
Pink Bunny’s LiveJournal Pink Bunny is a character in a film beginning principal photography this month, Crypto-Candida. If she isn’t real, how can her LiveJournal be?
Linking to hate. Do links to hate-filled websites help to promote hatred or do they help to combat hate by exposing these sites to broader scrutiny? How does Google fit into the picture? (No direct links to hate groups)
Acclaim's Turok plublicity stunt. Video game maker Acclaim is allegedly attempting to convince five poor saps to change their name to Turok for a year to promote their video game. However, none of the information on the about page checks out. For instance, there really is a Marketing Science Centre but the name "Simeon Cantrell", appears nowhere on it (nor do related links in a google search.) Is it a stunt or reality? The AP seems to have bought into it. Do you?
I must admit, I've always had my doubts about some of you... Corporations hire viral marketing firms to spread misinformation and bogus votes of support for their products on internet message boards. With all the front page entries about new movies, new records and new colored cola drinks, are we all being manipulated and duped by the marketing weasels even here on Metafilter?
A garbage can full of lightbulbs? Does anyone else think that the newish picture of Bill Gates on his Web site is a bit...odd? At least Mr. Monopoly has moved away from the standard corporate publicity picture that's on his biography page, but still...