Pumpkins to sue Virgin Records!

March 26, 2008 at 12:05 pm (PR) (, , )



The Smashing Pumpkins are suing Virgin Records for using their name and music in promotional deals that they feel with hurt the band’s credibility with fans.  From CNN.com, “Virgin has used the band in a ‘Pepsi Stuff’ promotion with Amazon.com and Pepsi Co.”  According to their current contract, Virgin’s only permission is to sell digital downloads of the band’s songs.  The agreement does not give Virgin the right to use the band in promotional campaigns to sell outside products.  The Smashing Pumpkins said they would “never grant such authority to Virgin, or any other entity.”

From a publicists’ point of view, I feel the Smashing Pumpkins were very proactive at attacking Virgin.  I think this shows that they are passionate about their artistic intelligence and want no one to disrespect that.  Yes, being associated with Amazon.com and Pepsi Co. may lead to more money, but the loyal fans of Smashing Pumpkins don’t want to see that association.  If Smashing Pumpkins were to let Virgin throw their name around wherever they so please, it would make Smashing Pumpkins come across as selling out.  Selling out is not the kind of action Smashing Pumpkins takes.  I think what they are doing is very appropriate, in regards to nipping this in the butt earlier rather than later.  The lawsuit demands that Virgin pay with the profits earned in the promotion and asks for an injunction against using the Pumpkins’ name or music in the future.


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Man vs. Wild? Really?

March 20, 2008 at 9:06 pm (PR) (, , , , )



Bear Grylls, from The Discovery channel adventure show “Man vs. Wild” has apologized for misleading viewers on his program.  He was allegedly staying in motels and it is claimed that scenes of wilderness were set up.  The secret was blown when survival consultant Mark Weinert revealed to a newspaper that Bear would stay in a Hawaiian motel when he claimed on the show to be stranded on a desert island.  Other instances of building a raft, lassoing mustangs, and catching fish were also fabricated to a degree.  The Discovery Channel confessed “isolated elements” were not “natural to the environment,” and vowed the next series, which hits Channel 4 next month, would be “100 percent transparent.”


After viewing Mainstream Media Coverage (MSM) articles referring to this specific event, I found most of them to be understanding.  The MSM articles include information about Bear Grylls’ background of working in the Special Ops.  I think the MSM wants to point out that not everything shown on the television is 100 percent real.  In summation, I think the coverage was neutral to Grylls.  A majority of the headlines go on to say “Grylls apologises for ‘fake’ show” and “‘Survivor’ Bear Grylls is sorry” from BBC News and The Sun respectively.  The MSM photos portrayed Grylls as either looking apologetic or as his rough mountain character from the show.


Throughout all the articles from MSM sources, Grylls is often quoted along with  survival consultant Mark Weinert.  Because Grylls is the only on screen talent of the show, it is very appropriate for him to make statements referring to the realness of the episodes.   After reviewing news stories from around the Web, I see the media framing this incident in a humbling way to Bear Grylls.  These articles poke at the value of the show and give insight to the viewers that not everything he did was real.


Upon reviewing the blogs posted, I found them divided by who was a fan of the show and who was not.  Those that dislike the show basically summed up how this incident confirms why they don’t like the show to begin with.  Unlike the bloggers who favor the show, they went on to protect Bear Grylls and know that what he does is truly amazing despite some fabrication.  All the bloggers titled their posts with a variation of something like “Bear Grylls is a fake.”  The bloggers clearly emphasize the fact that Grylls was not a 100 percent real to the audience and now they are venting.  However, very few people actually went on to say that they would watch something to substitute “Man vs. Wild.”  Photos posted of Grylls were still positive and never left a bad taste in ones mouth.  The bloggers frame Bear in a neutral light with the slightest   negative thing said that the show is more entertainment than true life.  


I think this crisis has not had an incredible impact in the blogging world.  This will only inform people that in the original Grylls’ season, he was not 100 percent true to his audience.   When comparing the MSM articles and the blogs, I found the biggest difference in that the MSM articles pay a lot closer attention to details and usually give the whole story.  In contrast to the bloggers that take one fact and just run with it.  The attitudes are relatively equivalent in that they both portray Bear in a neutral light, not necessarily bashing him.  


As Bear Grylls publicist, I would say that what he did was perfect.  He came out and apologized for apparently misleading his viewers and said that in the future episodes it will be a lot clearer as to what and where he is around the clock.  The only difference I would suggest for Bear is that he comes out and describes what exactly was fabricated.  I think he should address the points that Mr. Weinert spoke of, and talk about how he will fix this in the upcoming series.   


Mainstream articles were from The Sun, BBC News, Digital Spy, The Daily Green, the Daily Mail, the New York Post, and Times Online. 


Blogs were from The Beckner Blog, The Adventure Blog, Memoirs on a Rainy Day, and Survival Shows.  

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