Category Archives: Pop Culture & PR

Is Silence Golden? The Curious Case of Jeremy Scott

Happy Friday! If you’re like me and follow the news (and Heaven-help me, I hope you do!) then you might have heard about designer Jeremy Scott lately. Short story: Jeremy Scott is a pop culture designer who collaborates with Adidas on some pretty wild (and sometimes controversial) designs. His Fall 2013 collection, was par-the-course for this ecletic designer: ghoulish cartoon prints, bright colors, punchy prints; but someone (or rather, several someone’s) noticed something “off” about Scott’s prints: they closely mirrored those of Skateboard design legend Jimbo Phillips, as illustrated in the now-infamous photo below (which Jimbo posted to his own Facebook page with the caption, “this is crazy!”):

Photo belongs to  Jimbo Phillips, Jeremy Scott

Since the release of the damning images, Robert A. Denike, President of NHS, Inc./Santa Cruz Skateboards (which sells Jimbo’s iconic designs) released a statement admonishing Scott and saying (in no uncertain terms) that they were seeking “legal options”.

Now the thing is, this is a serious crisis situation for Jeremy Scott’s people; there is a lot of damning evidence that Scott duplicated a number of Phillips’ designs and plenty of publications have picked the story up (with images EEK!). But Scott has yet to release a single statement, and in fact, one look over their social media pages, it seems business as usual; whats going on?! We’re often taught that  in crisis situations, we should get out in front of it and develop a strategy and release a statement and so on and so forth, but what can Scott say?

With so much evidence and Phillips’ heavy following (apparently the skate subculture is stronger than ever), what could Scott say that wouldn’t make himself look worse than he does now? The answer is: probably nothing. “Oops, my bad” ain’t gonna cut it here folks, and with the introduction of legalities, well it’s probably best that both parties keep their statements at a minimum. As the public, we can only  speculate what either party is thinking or will do as they move forward. What we do know is, this might just be one of the rare cases where silence is indeed golden.

What do you think? Should Jeremy Scott make a statement or is he right to keep quiet? What happens when plagiarism is done between two professionals? Is this even plagiarism? Let me know what you think!

Until next time, XOXOXO

Jess_AsPRing

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Were the Oscar’s a PR “Win”? The REAl winners and losers.

Hello ladies and gents, last night was supposedly the “biggest night in Hollywood” and the stars were out in their finest; the entire cast of Les Mis performed after a powerhouse by Jennifer Hudson (she really stole the show), it was the night of the ingenue (Both Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence won in their respective categories, although I’m still #TeamSallyFields) and it was a night of good suprises: the great Barbara Streisand graced the Oscar’s stage for the first time in almost 30 years, Michelle Obama showed up and Seth MacFarlane didn’t piss anybody off. But who were the REAL winners and losers? I picked two and here they are:

BIG Oscar Winner: Real-time Marketing.
I’m serious you guys, real-time marketing won, hands down. Brands were working over time to make relevant, witty and engaging posts, images and tweets in a bid to lure fan engagement. One brand that always wins on that front is Oreo, they scored a big win with their  Superbowl Blackout Tweet and they continued last night with a few spots (here and here) with a few other brands jumping in, including: Sharpie, Starbucks, JcPenney’s, Visa and Stella Artois, among many others. Real-time marketing is here to stay people, yet another tenet in our “instantaneous/gimme now” culture. The Oscar goes to you RTM, now keep your acceptance speech short, because I hear they are playing Jaws music to get people off stage these days (which is hilarious)

BIG Oscar Loser: The Onion.
The Onion is an alternative cultural icon; the spoof newspaper has been churning out ridiculous and satirical headlines for decades skewering everybody from Presidents to pop culture cuties. At approximately 8:04PM last nigh, in the middle of the Oscar’s telecast, they tweeted the following, “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a cunt, right? #Oscars2013” and they lost every cool point they ever had. Like, ever. First of all, Quvenzhané Wallis is nine years old and her personality is still developing and have you ever met a nine-year old? They can be a little self-involved and cocky (for lack of a better term), so lay off, who comes for a nine-year old, really? And, she is the youngest person EVER to be nominated for an Oscar, Mr./Miss Tweet Writter, what have YOU done lately? When was the last time you broke a record? Don’t worry, I’ll wait…

Exactly. People are so busy trying to be “edgy” on Twitter that they are over-stepping their boundaries and saying things that are uncouth and down-right mean. Manners are still in people, don’t forget.

Well, those were my winners and losers from last night’s (pretty boring) Oscars…BTW, Sally Fields should have won, I mean…Anne Hathaway? Really. Ugh. Whatevs. Until next time.

XOXOXO,

Jess_AsPRing.

DON’T Call Me Maybe: What Carly Rae Jepsen Taught Me About Succeeding in PR

I feel like I am adult enough to admit that I like Cary Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe and there’s a kitty drawing I particularly like based on the song (I swear, check it out here) and I like kittehs…so there.

But when I was listening to it, I realized that the lyrics would just be awful advice for a PR pro (aspiring or not), so I decided to do a little blog with 4 lessons CRJ (inadvertently) taught me about PR:

Lesson #1: “I threw a wish in the well, don’t ask me I’ll never tell” Please don’t base your career future on hopes and dreams: go out and MAKE it happen! No wishing well is going to make your PR career happen. Only YOU can.

Lesson #2: “…it’s hard to look right at you baby…” What?! How can anybody take you seriously if you can’t look them in the eyes: clients, journalists, TV producers, interviewers, etc. they ALL expect you to be able to look them in the eye!

Lesson #3: “You gave me nothing at all, but still you’re in my way…” Okay, so there are 2 lessons here: someone gives you nothing? Then what is their purpose? The same goes for you PR newbie, if you offer NOTHING then who will want to work with you? Nobody. 2nd lesson, nobody should stand in your way. Ever.

Lesson #4: “But here’s my number, so call me maybe” This is the line that made me think twice: “call me maybe?” Oh ye, of little faith: PR is not the career for the timid and an agency CEO isn’t going to want an unsure PR newbie on their team. You know you are awesome, capable, educated and hungry, so let them see that! With direct answers, eye contact, and confidence (not cockiness, those are 2 different things). No “call me maybe” instead, “what day can I expect a call back from you? I’m available at XX times on XX days”

See? Pop music does more than melt your brain…it also teaches you a thing or two about the PR industry (or maybe I am so PR-obsessed I can find it in everything -_-) and how to succeed in the business. Remember, the PR industry is more than a degree and a smile, I got some really GREAT advice from the head of my firm, Mary Shank Rockman (20+ year PR vet), the other day, “It doesn’t take any number of degrees to make it in this business, it takes good judgement and hard work. If you have those, you’ve got a career ahead of you.” and I believe it. So, call me maybe? No, call me for sure.

XOXOXO, Jess_AsPRing