Blind Items: This Round Will Not Be on the House

By Patrick Coffee Comment

beer glass

Is SXSW still going on? Why yes…yes it is. We have never been, but many of our colleagues in media attended this year’s events, and they have written a string of reports on everything from VR Happy Meals to fake ads for Pied Piper and even–get ready for it–a panel on how advertising can advance the larger discussion of race relations in America.

OK, but we all know what SXSW is really about: the parties. We hear that a certain agency which has received some negative publicity in recent weeks was not the most gracious host at the festival. Its event at an Austin bar was very popular…so much so that the line around the block was too long for multiple reporters to get in. These lines were so insane that even “VIP” people could not manage to get inside and enjoy the festivities.

But wait: Things got a little complicated even for those who were lucky enough to make it past the invisible velvet rope. Many went to see certain headlining musical acts without realizing that they would have to pay for their own drinks…as well as any food they happened to eat. Keep in mind that this was a catered event with at least three sponsors who couldn’t find it in their hearts to feed the journalists rewarding their partners and clients with media coverage.

On the other hand, we hear the food was pretty good.

  • In other news…a certain holding company recently made a certain big announcement about a certain restructuring move. Two major parties, however, were not mentioned in said announcement, leading to some scratching of heads. We hear that there was a reason for this omission: at least one of those units–which happens to handle media buying duties for one of North America’s biggest advertisers at the moment–will be absorbed into the larger group. Very soon, all staff will have to update their LinkedIn pages with the name of their not-actually-new employer. We also hear that this means the affected offices will not be making any new hires or promotions anytime soon. And yes, there may be layoffs.
  • Finally, one particular story has captivated us and our readers over the past two weeks. It involves a person who wasn’t quite what he/she appeared to be…and it led to several agencies getting burned over a far-too-long stretch of time. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that this individual’s actions have harmed a lot of other people, and we hear that one of those unlucky parties was a person who played some minor role in helping him/her score a job in recent months. This junior executive was fired when the story went public due to embarrassment on behalf of the parent company, but we hear that he/she was really just a scapegoat. In fact, the person directly responsible for bringing the agency into this debacle just got a raise and a promotion.