Awkward: AdAge/AWNY’s Women to Watch Event Got Weird (For a Second)

By Matt Van Hoven 

Yesterday AdAge and Advertising Women of New York (AWNY) hosted the “Women to Watch” luncheon. We went last year, but weren’t invited back this year. Aww. Too bad, because we heard this year’s event was splendidly awkward, thanks in part to an allegedly nervous Jonah Bloom.

According to sources at the event, Bloom was visibly nervous. One claimed he decided to have a drink before heading up on stage to introduce Yahoo! CMO Elisa Steele and before long the situation got a little tense. According to a source who was there, it went like this:

“[Things got interesting] after [Steel was] asked the following question (paraphrasing here) by Jonah:

‘Google is known as search, Microsoft is known for technology and Facebook is known for social networking. Where does Yahoo! fit in?’

Elisa replied with a canned sounding one sentence reply that was along the lines of ‘Yahoo! provides the consumer amazing experiences.’

After she said that, the audience was silent waiting for more, then when nothing else came, clapped half-heartedly. Jonah could have moved on but he called her out on it! He said something like ‘nice mission statement you wrote down there.’ and then after an awkward couple beats, she replied ‘what does everyone want me to say more or something?’ Jonah said no and moved on &#151 very awkward situation!

Nothing else was memorable!”

We emailed Bloom to ask for his take of the events mentioned.

“I’d say you’ve got it roughly right, but it pretty much amounted to ‘minor awkward moment at industry event,’ which seems like more of an Onion headline than a news item. I guess I’d say my response was meant to be lighthearted rather than ‘calling her out,’ but maybe I should put the comedy career on hold.”

Touché. But on an August Thursday, awkward moments are gold!


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