She Said What? Celebs Are Uncensored Again

 She Said What? Celebs Are Uncensored Again

The PR Verdict: “D” (PR Problematic) for Lena Dunham (above) and Elisabeth Moss (below).

Blame – or credit – for the sterility of celebrity interviews and quotes goes to Pat Kingsley, the legendary publicist who allegedly controlled questions and answers for Tom Cruise at the height of his fame. Since then, only stars willing to take risks might speak off the cuff about failed romances or to make an unscripted quip. Lately, things are changing, and thanks – or blame – can be given to Girls star Lena Dunham and Mad Men actress Elisabeth Moss.

Dunham’s star has been on the rise since Girls, now in its third season, debuted on HBO. This past weekend, she hosted Saturday Night Live. The show featured a skit about Adam and Eve, during which the 27-year-old Dunham got naked; nothing new for her, as Girls features many a nude scene. When someone tweeted to Dunham, “You don’t always have to get naked!”, Dunham replied, “Please tell that to my uncle, mister. He’s been making me!” After a slew of criticism that molestation jokes aren’t funny, Dunham took the tweets down and apologized. 

 She Said What? Celebs Are Uncensored AgainMoss got naked in a different way, dishing to New York Magazine about her eight-month long marriage to Portlandia star and writer Fred Armisen. “It was extremely traumatic and awful and horrible,” Moss says. “I’m glad I didn’t have kids.” She takes tabloids to task for making up things about her while admitting she reads them and trashes celebrities who want fame and awards while asserting that her own level of fame means “If I do the movie, it will get made, and if I don’t do it, the movie won’t get made.”

THE PR VERDICT: “D” (PR Problematic) for both Lena Dunham and Elisabeth Moss.

THE PR TAKEAWAY: Get people talking about you, not against you. It’s hard for celebrities to stand out in this under-interesting time of overexposure, but being crass isn’t the way to go. Be funny and self-effacing, but don’t make fun of taboo subjects, and don’t talk smack about other celebs. No matter what anyone says, there is such a thing as bad PR.

How Upsetting is the Mad Men Billboard Advertisement?

madmen How Upsetting is the Mad Men Billboard Advertisement?

The PR Verdict: “C” for AMC PR and the media buyer who came up with this placement.

Just how upsetting is TV’s Mad Men billboard advertisement announcing its new season?  One advertisement is currently plastered high on a site on West 30th street in Manhattan. A tiny figure (we assume iconic Don Draper) is shown plummeting through the air with the show’s season start date appearing at the bottom of the poster.

The poster has generated unwanted headlines, as it is accused of reminding some New Yorkers of 9/11 and the sight of bodies falling out of the sky.  A sister of a firefighter who lost his life on the day, told the NYTimes the advertisement demonstrates that “Hollywood and advertising don’t care about the sensitivities of New Yorkers” while a man who lost his daughter says it “definitely evokes the memory of 9/11.”

AMC the network on which Mad Men appears, responded emphatically that the marketing image has been used “repeatedly since 2007, and bears no relation to 9/11″.

The PR Verdict: “C” for AMC PR and the media buyer who came up with this placement.  Isn’t this reaction entirely unsurprising?

AMC’s PR gave the NYTimes a full statement reiterating that the 2007 image is a metaphor for a man whose life is in turmoil and in no way references actual events.  Good point and clearly made. But what is the harm in going a little further and offering to replace the campaign advertisement on 30th street with another, to avoid any misunderstanding? Take it off tall buildings in NYC and save the image for print ads.

What’s your PR Verdict for AMC PR and its media buyer?

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