For weeks now, the feeling around FishbowlNY HQ has been that Ron Burgundy should no longer be known as Anchorman. Rather, a more accurate moniker this fall-winter would be Shameless Pitchman.
Paramount Pictures has been completely overdoing the RB-placement thing. While some of Burgundy’s appearances have been cute and a few of those dozens of Dodge Durango commercials were chuckle-worthy, the novelty has largely worn off as RB pops up in a new PR location seemingly every weekday.
That’s why we were taken by the words of two journalism professors at Emerson College, whose august Communication wing has been renamed today in promotional honor of the mustachioed buffoon. From the Boston Globe partnered report by John King, posted by Nicole Leonard:
“I was opposed to it from the start,” says Assistant Professor of Journalism Mark Leccese. “I don’t see what the college gets out of it, other than having its name in the media for a day. I don’t see this Hollywood publicity stunt [enhancing] the reputation of Emerson’s School of Communication.”
Leccese’s discomfort was echoed by journalism professor Emmanuel Paraschos.
“We get calls from colleagues around the country asking if us if we lost our minds,” he said. “My college roommate called me and said, ‘What are you people smoking?’”
Hooray for Professors Leccese and Paraschos! In other words, Paramount and Burgundy are free to do all the product placement they want, and we as consumers can tune in or out. But we agree that a legitimate journalism school should not be one of the willing participants.
P.S. Since you can never quite be sure with all things RB-related, we felt the need to double check that these professorial comments were legit rather than tongue-in-cheek. Via Twitter, Leccese confirmed he is serious. The Ron Burgundy School of Communication goof is a 24-hour affair. Follow along, if you wish, via #ecburgundy. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues arrives in theaters December 18.
Update (12:45 p.m.):
Via Twitter, Boston writer Megan Johnson let us know that during this morning’s Emerson presser, Burgundy broached this topic:
“If anyone takes issue with me being here, I’m happy to take them out to a nice buffet lunch at the Union Oyster House for a $22 meal and a complimentary meal.”