This week My Year as a Clown was part of a debut fiction list that included such books as The Yellow Birds by Kevin Powers, selected by the New York Times as one of the best ten books of 2012. Nice to be in such company! Kudos to my distribution company INscribe Digital.
My sister dug up a couple of old photographs of our Mom. The shot on the right is with my grandmother. We called her Nana. She lived to 97 and was born in 1910. Life is fleeting and these photos make me grateful that I’m here in the present and can appreciate everything that’s happening in my life.
The Super Bowl is as much about commercials as it is the game. Since they’re on our minds, I wanted to point out a series that really bugs me—the BP Gulf Tourism spots. These aren’t for the Super Bowl, but I wanted to vent about them anyway. I’m all in favor of BP paying for these spots. Their great as they are if the plug for BP was left out. This series should have been produced with not a single mention of them.
This was not only the moral and ethical thing to do, it was also the right business move. The folks down in the Gulf would know that BP was doing it. The various governmental authorities would know too. BP could even package the cost of the spots into other advertising to get a better rate from the networks for their regular spots for all I care, but each time I see these commercials, I’m reminded of how they mishandled this catastrophe. How does that help repair their brand?
We don’t need BP telling us that they are doing everything they can to restore the Gulf, that’s for others to say when that recognition is earned.
If you … Read the rest
HMV UK filed for bankruptcy this week, the last great record chain to throw in the towel. I spent ten years helping them expand worldwide during the 90’s, fueled by the growth of CDs. The news of HMV’s closing was like hearing about a death in the family.
I joined HMV’s UK headquarters in 1989. Within a few years, HMV exploded into France, Canada, US, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland, with ambition for much more. There were three international companies rolling out superstores at that time: HMV, Virgin and Tower. I was part of a team that raced around the world establishing HMV’s flagship locations.
The growth reached such a frenzy that at one point I recall just after the Berlin wall had fallen, a rumor that Branson had done a deal in Moscow, despite no means of repatriating profit. Word was, he would trade cash for gasoline to run his airline.
I jetted around the globe from Sydney to Paris helping establish a foothold for the company. At the pinnacle of HMV’s growth, it was holding secret negotiations with Tower. That deal, for almost $700 million, fell apart at … Read the rest