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Media Navel-Gazing: August 22, 2011

Mark Kollar  Follow

The dog days of summer did not extend to the markets last week, with the Dow losing approximately 4 percent to end Friday at 10,817, because of ongoing concern about Europe and the US economies. Volatility ruled again amid wide swings, with the blue-chip average now down almost 11 percent in August.  Focus, however, was at times elsewhere:

  • At press time, Gaddafi dictatorship was said to be toppling;
  • US presidential candidates were busy campaigning and eating corn dogs (it seems all were snapped eating food on sticks);
  • Warren Buffett called for higher taxes on the super rich;
  • Google moved to buy Motorola Mobility Holdings for $12.5 billion, which will be the search engine's (can we still call it just that?) largest purchase and is about what Kim Kardashian made on her wedding over the weekend;
  • Hewlett-Packard said it may sell its PC business (another redefining move in the tech world);
  • Miss China visited New York to learn manners (here?) ahead of the Miss Universe pageant;
  • Michele Bachmann celebrated Elvis Presley's birthday on his deathday (oops);
  • In other king news, Burger King is giving its mascot the royal boot (boy, private-equity firms used to be fun, right?);
  • New York Press, the free alternative weekly, is shutting down after 23 years; and
  • Amid controversy, President Obama is taking his PTOs.

The Fitchuation Benefits All Parties

One thing is certain: Abercrombie & Fitch's public call to pay "Jersey Shore's" Mike Sorrentino not to wear its clothes revealed who are the closet fans of the MTV show and who objected to the stunt. No matter where you GTL, the Situation gained a wider audience and A&F became even more of a household name ahead of its global expansion. Analysis of Twitter and Facebook traffic from Crimson Hexagon (as referenced in The Wall Street Journal) showed that 49 percent thought the stunt–or product unplacement–was a "good idea."  In truth, most efficient PR campaign: one statement by the A&F CEO and really nothing from "Jersey Shore" and gobs of publicity and exposure. CJP  

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