"Unless your roommate specifically asks you to throw butter at their ankles, you should probably abstain," my mom always used to say. Collier County, Florida resident Dawn Elizabeth Rhash allegedly didn't follow this popular rule of etiquette, either because her mom told her otherwise, or because vodka.
Last week Starbucks' ad agency, Wieden & Kennedy, quit the Starbucks account. As you can imagine, it's pretty fucking rare for something like that to happen, especially with a company of that scale. At the time, the agency just mumbled something about how it was "time to move on." But now the truth has come out: Starbucks is a notorious headache. Thanks largely to "mercurial" CEO Howard Schultz. Wieden & Kennedy (also behind this Nike campaign, incidentally) spent four long years working for Starbucks, and, according to an excellent Ad Age story today, none of that time was particularly happy. But Schultz was pals with Wieden's founder, so it went on and on. The conflict can be read either as a case of a prima donna client, OR the case of prima donna ad agencies not feeling "appreciated" for their brilliance:
Belmar, NJ mayor Kenneth Pringle pissed off all of Staten Island a couple weeks ago when he called its residents—in a good-natured way—a bunch of stupid guidos. Now Pringle is paying the price. In order to avoid an all-out boycott of the Jersey town by belligerent, tight-shirted, spiky-haired clubgoers, Pringle has to go on a "Discover Staten Island" tour tomorrow. And pretend like he likes it. Haha, man, we feel for you, Kenneth. Harsh. [Previously]
Super-rich guys who work in private equity may be the masters of the universe, but it's remarkably easy to get under their skin. All it takes is some crappy "street theater" mocking them as mean, heartless wealthy elites, and they run back into their corner offices and cry into their monogrammed handkerchiefs. The huge union SEIU has, for the last year, been staging little theatrical protests of the private equity industry's greed, featuring puppets and megaphones and whatnot. Which you would think would be as effective as sitting across the street from the White House with a "No Nukes" sign. But it really gets the rich guys worked up! Now the SEIU is taking their campaign international, with help from grumpy comedian Lewis Black, and it's making the titans of finance so upset they want to run out and buy the Kleenex Corporation. It's not fair!
Suge Knight, CEO of Death Row Records, intimidating former football player, and certified gangster, somehow got himself knocked out at a club on Saturday night. Odd! Even odder: the guy who did the knocking allowed TMZ to take his picture, although "he didn't want us to use his name." Message to that guy: Run, you fool! Run for your life! Message to Suge Knight: we are on your side in this and all other disputes, and don't let anyone tell you any differently. But seriously, Mr. Punchy: Run. Below, two pictures of Suge Knight laid out unconscious, which should not be construed as disrespectful to him in any way:
Glenn O'Brien is so sick of celebrities! Glenn O'Brien is co-editorial director for Brant Publications, overseeing magazines including Interview, the historic celebrity... interview magazine, founded by celebrity aficionado Andy Warhol. Glenn O'Brien says he "he avoids new movies and TV, shuns reading living authors, has no interest in commercial music," and only listens to really old comedians. Glenn O'Brien is conflicted. [WWD]
"Where friends and neighbors are also newsmakers, journalists must guard against giving them extra access or a more sympathetic ear," reads a section of the New York Times' online "Ethics in Journalism" document. "When practical, the best solution is to have someone else deal with them." Makes sense! Which is why we found ourselves stroking our nonexistent beard over Times war guy Dexter Filkins' review today of New Yorker war guy George Packer's new play, "Betrayed," based on an insanely long story Packer wrote last year for the magazine. Turns out the two of them are close pals, which explains so much about both the above photograph and Filkins' (left) review.
Today the Observer takes the most critical stance out there, from what we can tell, regarding the decision to keep Wall Street Journal editor-at-large Paul Steiger in charge of the paper's coverage of Rupert Murdoch's attempt to buy their parent company, Dow Jones. It's not crazy criticism though: Steiger could stand to make as much as $5 million if the deal goes through. And he might get a seat on the News Corp. board! As one Journal employee put it: "He shouldn't have been directing coverage since the get go... He's got to recuse himself. There are 15 other people who could do the job."