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Ad Age Media Guy Simon Dumenco is, as always, angry. This time it's at Jared Paul Stern — who else? — and, interestingly, it's not that Simon is mad at Jared for his journalistic ethics or his crudely miscalculated shakedown attempt or his subsequent spin campaign. Simon is mad at Jared for his clothes — which Stern claims was the real reason he was asking Ron Burkle for money:

Alrighty then, let's take a close look at the goods, which are marketed on a butt-ugly boilerplate Yahoo Stores site ( The copy is cringe-inducing ("Call it prep-punk if you will, wear it if you dare...") and the merch is nothing but little skull-and-bones logos embroidered on run-of-the-mill polo shirts, ties, "tennis sweaters" and so on. It's like learning-disabled Abercrombie, or Polo by Ralph Lauren as re-imagined by a junior-high student.

I mean, ooooh, a skull-and-bones logo! How edgy! The brand, of course, is supposed to call to mind dark Wasp Power — it's suggestive of the secretive Skull & Bones society that George Bush and generations of rich and powerful white men belonged to at Yale. As it happens, mummy and daddy actually sent Jared Paul to Bennington — the more-expensive-than-Yale college for coddled misfits who weren't smart enough or connected enough (or socialized enough) to get into Yale. There are lots of reasons to feel sorry for Stern, but chief among them is the fact that he thinks his Skull & Bones is a nifty brand.

But Simon's got a way to strike back. With his own offshoot fragrance brand:

The first in the line is "ENTITLEMENT by MEDIA GUY." It has base notes redolent of the inside of a Conde Nast town car, plus fresh linen infused with top notes of Maytag blue cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. Imagine, if you will, the Table 5 tablecloth at Michael's, "distressed" ever so artfully with the drippings of a $30 Cobb salad.

It's the perfect compliment, we're sure, to our prep-punk spring outfits.

A Hint of Jared Paul Stern? Media Guy's Got Brands Too [AdAge]
Skull & Bones by Jared Paul Stern [Yahoo Stores]