Monthly Archives: August 2011

Don’t Wear Our Clothes

This Jersey girl is not happy with the situation. No, not that Situation. The Abercrombie & Fitch situation. Isn’t it just a tad bit, um, racist, to tell a nice Italian boy from New Jersey NOT to wear your clothes?

Or, is this a PR stunt gone terribly wrong? I’m referring to their stock going south on the news today.

So, let me see if I get the strategy: you announce to the world that you are going to pay a celebrity to toss the t’s just to get a little media attention? The media bites, of course, and you have press hits all over the globe.

Negativity builds the brand. Is that what squeaky clean Abercrombie has become?

Professor PR needs a glass of good Italian Chianti to mull over today’s grade. How would you score it?



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Seeing Red

The judge has ruled: a brand based on color will not fly. The crayon box is for all to share. Didn’t we learn this in kindergarten?

Shoe designer Christian Louboutin – he of the red sole shoes – lost his bid to trademark the color when Judge Victor Marrero of Federal District Court in Manhattan ruled that it was “overly broad.” The sharing of colors in the fashion industry promotes “robust competition” and thus, if Yves Saint Laurent was to continue making red shoes, he has every right to do so.

What this legal ruling makes clear is that brand decisions must go beyond design and color, which although paramount to identity, can’t be the sole focus.

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Let Them Eat Cake

What was the Mayor of my hometown thinking when he asked the Cake Boss to make dessert for the city’s 150th birthday celebration this weekend…instead of going to any number of local bakeries?

Vineland, New Jersey’s “Cake War” has been grabbing the media spotlight this week, rightly so, because bad PR moves like this one are, um, baked to perfection for today’s easy access to public discourse. Residents and former residents alike are cooking up a commentary storm on Twitter, Facebook and other digital media outlets.

Apparently, the food fight has been resolved and the local bakers have been invited to display their tasty wares alongside the Boss. Like the wacky King Mango Strut in Coconut Grove, which started as an alternative to the Orange Bowl parade in downtown Miami and today is a beloved annual tradition, let’s hope the good folks of Vineland can figure out how to turn this lemon into lemonade, year after year after year.

NEWS FLASH: The Daily Journal is now reporting that the Mayor crumbled and cancelled the Cake Boss. Overlooking your local businesses, especially for an occasion such as this one, is always a recipe for disaster. Too bad the City couldn’t figure out how to turn this fiasco into a sweet PR opportunity.

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