Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The man who can talk his way into any job

Isaac Mizrahi's new partnership with QVC: "The show...will be a significant departure from the standard sell of cable shopping channels. Part pitch, part reality television, it will follow Mr. Mizrahi around as he pitches items like a $200 handbag or $80 shoes while he engages in his other activities, riffs extemporaneously about his life and takes questions from callers." And this is how he got the job: "Doug Howe, chief merchandising officer of QVC, says he was fascinated by the way Mr. Mizrahi spoke, leaping from tea patterns to sheets then rain boots. 'We were just sitting there watching him talk, thinking, "My God! On air, you are going to resonate so strongly with our consumers!"' Mr. Howe says." I assume by "resonate" he means "grate on their nerves." Oh! Am I being too hard on Mizrahi? Yes. That is my way. But Mizrahi is no Ellen. And didn't everyone all ready get their fill of an Isaac show?

Friedman or TMZ: Whose anonymous sources are less crazy?

Even though TMZ broke the news of Michael Jackson's death -- what shocked me that day was hearing CBS radio refer to TMZ as a "reliable news source in the past" -- their post-death coverage has been a little iffy. At least that's what Roger Friedman would have us believe. Hmm. I watch Larry King so I know this is the most critical event in our nation's history. But who to trust? TMZ has sources inside the LAPD, which the department itself confirmed when they announced an investigation into the leaked Rihanna police photo. Harvey Levin used to be a KCBS investigative reporter. It's logical he'd have police connections.

But Friedman has been covering Michael Jackson for years. Even when no one wanted to talk about it, Friedman scanned mind-numbing financial records and served up insidery Jackson family news. Who are his sources? Impossible to tell. Although he's always complimentary of Debbie Rowe and seems especially taken with Jermaine's singing.

If only Friedman had his own TV show, then I could decide who to believe!

"Agencies Gird for Rough Round of Meetings After Exec Trashes Their Work"

That's news? Even by AdAge standards?

Look, there's plenty about Bob Lutz to criticize but this article just seems so goddamn petty: "GM's new marketing top gun, Bob Lutz, met with the automaker's brand teams on July 14, spent 10 to 20 minutes critiquing the work for each brand and, in the words of someone in the know, 'crapped all over the advertising.' Then he jetted off to the Caribbean island of Montserrat on holiday, leaving some scared individuals in his wake."

I can't decide if AdAge wants me to be upset that agency work got rejected or outraged that someone's taking a nice vacation during a recession. Sympathy? Class envy? And here I was, just looking for some insight. I can't get worked up about any of it other than to wonder who, since only two people actually agree to provide their names and comments to AdAge, supplied the crap quote which is the only attention-getter here. It'd be pretty funny if it were Lutz himself, imagining himself to be a Mad Men badass.

Maybe the real purpose of this article is to confirm that the new GM is actually "the same old management...shuffling the same old players." "Moribund corporate culture" and melodrama! And all of it funded by taxpayers, 41% of whom "expect the quality of GM cars to get worse now that the federal government is the company's majority owner" and who are turning to Fords.