A Whale of a Problem

The Hump, an upscale sushi hangout at the Santa Monica airport, recently got caught serving endangered sei whale. Facing jail time, huge fines, television cameras, and daily placard-wielding protesters, the owner tried to quell the tsunami of fury by emailing a series of apologetic announcements, the last one stating that the 12-year-old business would close for good.

But press releases, excellent tools though they may be, cannot alone bring closure.

The revelation couldn’t have had worse timing from the restaurant’s perspective – or better, for conservationists and humanists (and whales). Just before the bust, “The Cove” won the Academy Award for documenting the herding and bludgeoning of dolphins in Japan.

The Marine Mammal Protection Act wasn’t enough to keep the creature off The Hump’s menu – unless you consider “off menu” to be the trunk of a Mercedes, from which the meat was reportedly doled out to wealthy gourmands on the sly. The p.r. mea culpas only came after the restaurant was harpooned in a sting operation.

Facing the inevitable, The Hump acted with prudence. It accepted full responsibility for its sneaky venality and greed (without using those words unfortunately). The owner even promised (beyond the possible fines up to $200,000 and a year in prison for the chef) to make a “substantial contribution to one or more responsible organizations dedicated to the preservation of whales and other endangered species.”

One of those endangered entities would appear to be another restaurant called Typhoon. It’s located just downstairs from The Hump, also operating on a lease from the City of Santa Monica. And owned by the same person.

Socially Communicable

Forget about coffee – social media is kick-starting the days of more and more people.

Of those using SM, half say they check in with Twitter and Facebook first thing in the morning, 18% before even leaving bed if they’re age 25 or younger. And regardless of age, 28% of iPhone users say they log in before getting up.

The study of more than 1,000 Americans, conducted by Retrevo and cited on Social Media Today (3/21/10), also found that:

  • More than half (56%) of social media users say they check Facebook at least once a day — 12% every couple of hours
  • Almost half (48%) check in bed
  • A third (32%) say meal interruption is no problem — and 7% said they would even check out a message during an intimate moment

… An intimate moment? Really? How do you handle that?  Excuse me, my Sweet, I’m getting a tweet on what Ashton and Demi are having to eat!

The Passive Aggressive Press Release

“Real American Stories features uplifting tales about overcoming adversity and we believe Mr. Smith’s interview fit that criteria. However, as it appears that Mr. Smith does not want to be associated with a program that could serve as an inspiration to others, we are cutting his interview from the special and wish him the best with his fledgling acting career.”

— Fox News statement issued after entertainer LL Cool J (born James Todd Smith) complained that an interview he gave in 2008 for a show to be called Real American Stories would finally be aired – by political figure Sarah Palin, the show’s newly appointed host

PubArts.com Says Hello

PubArts.com has hereby joined the worldwide web. Yes, it’s April 1, and no, it’s not a joke. Not intentionally anyway.

Still, it’s always nice to have a hook to hang your news on. So here are some other reasons why today makes sense for the launch. For one thing, it’s the first day of the year (on the Julian calendar, but still…). And honoring the Last Supper, it’s Maundy Thursday, “maundy” being an old English term involving the washing of other people’s feet.

We’re all for hygiene, but that’s really not a service we can provide. So we’re going to stick to what we do best: professional writing and communications. And we’ll just go with the season as our reason for today’s debut — springtime, birth and rebirth, darkness yielding to light. A little over the top maybe, but memorable.

So here we go. Join us as we blog on topics that strike us as noteworthy from a writing, marketing, or communications perspective. You’ll be in good company. And feel free to tug on our electronic sleeve anytime if you need what we provide unlike anyone else: professional writing and communication services.

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