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Trumping the Media

Regardless of your political beliefs, Donald Trump is unlike any “politician” in recent memory. He’s never been one to pull verbal punches, which is why I say “politician” in quotes, because he’s far from your stereotypical elected representative.  From his racist terms against certain demographic groups and objectifying phrases towards women, it’s no secret Trump doesn’t hold back. His most recent contretemps came when he had Univision reporter Jorge Ramos ejected from a press conference.

From a PR agency’s perspective, the Donald’s approach is a nightmare. While being “politically correct” is not Trump’s MO, it should be for the rest of normal human society, and Trump’s style and approach are definitely not the way a potential President should behave. To make matters even worse, many of his remarks are not supported by facts, which make them even more outlandish. His comments towards women are uncalled for, and he’s leaving a wide trail of very angry people – and media stations – in his wake.

donald time magazineThat said, his approach has led to a media craze, including the cover of Time this week. What was once a circus now has to be taken more seriously. It’s a unique stance that, from a purely objective angle, is refreshing, considering the election is more than twelve months away. It’s provided some buzz in the dog days of summer, even if it’s for the wrong reasons.

Meanwhile, the news media can’t get enough, and I’m sure the funny folks at Saturday Night Live hope Trump mania continues for their upcoming season. We’ll be following Trump over the next year to keep up with his words – and media buzz – and be sure to share our thoughts here on The Hit Board.

Truth and Privacy in Advertising – Is it ‘Mission: Impossible?’

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As the advertising world continues to collide with the digital age, issues of consumer privacy and truthfulness in marketing are at the forefront of everyone’s minds. These were the topics addressed in an Advertising Week event Thursday evening hosted by MediaCom, Davis & Gilbert LLP, and Idevoita at the Liberty Theater in New York.

Following an introduction by MediaCom U.S. CEO Sasha Savic, Jonathan Salem Baskin – who co-authored the newly-published Tell The Truth with MediaCom’s own Sue Unerman – shared his views on the relationship between transparency, purchaser data, and the emergence of “brand truth” as a basis for effective customer relationships. He discussed why it is so important for brands to be honest and forthcoming with consumers, especially in today’s world where brands don’t only talk TO consumers, but also WITH them via social channels. The consumer has more power now than ever before, and advertisers can use this as an asset when they correctly – and honestly – engage with the buying public.

Also part of the presentation was a conversation between Ronald Urbach, Chairman of the law firm Davis & Gilbert, and FTC Commissioner Julie Brill. They addressed a wide range of topics critical to the advertising industry, from privacy to data collection and security, citing specific examples and particular responsibilities of the government agency.

The packed theater was addressed by the real life Frank Abagnale, who was famously portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio in the big screen classic “Catch Me If You Can.” Abignale told his life story from teenage runaway turned identity thief to convicted criminal and FBI informant and academy instructor.

Following the event was a cocktail reception at Lucille’s (inside B.B. King’s Blues Club) sponsored by MediaCom and Evidon.

What do you think are the biggest issues regarding privacy and advertising? What brands do you think “tell the truth” the best? Or the worst? Share your thoughts below.

Chummy Rummy

Like any good politician, Donald Rumsfeld is making the rounds with a speaking tour on the heels of releasing his memoir. Recently he stopped by the Russian Tea Room to speak to the Hudson Union Society and tell his story.

Politics aside, from a PR perspective, Rumsfeld did an excellent job. During the hour long one-on-  one interview he was charismatic, easy going and even made a few jokes at his own expense. He  engaged the audience with interesting off-the-cuff remarks, while still staying very much on point  with his agenda to plug his book.

And while there was technically someone interviewing him, Rumsfeld was running the show. He answered questions with ease, telling stories of Nixon and Eisenhower and only briefly touching on sensitive subjects like 9/11. When a “hard ball” was lobbed his way, he answered the question directly, but made sure to end on a lighter note.

Whether you love him or hate him, and with Rumsfeld there’s no in-between, many walked away from the interview with at least one good laugh because he was quite the humorous raconteur throughout.

So, to Rumsfeld’s communication team, we here at DGC tip our hats to you for a job well done in making a polarizing figure a little less controversial for at least an hour

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