Mimesis Law
28 February 2020

Buzzfeed’s Epic Fail

Apr. 27, 2015 (Mimesis Law) —

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So to understand this story, you need to come to grips with the profound change happening in journalism and media today. Many organizations, Mimesis included, now employ a business model that blends sponsored content with non-sponsored content in a variety of ways. There are all kinds of qualifiers and labels floating around to mask everyone’s discomfort with this basic reality, but the facts are the facts. This is happening.

Gawker and Buzzfeed have levered this model to grow impressive audiences and profits in a very short timeframe. In addition to being direct competitors, they have some stylistic and philosophical differences that cause them to often butt heads. Things got really good this week. Gawker was smacking Buzzfeed around for what seemed like months for deleting posts critical of advertisers. Buzzfeed since reversed course and apologized. Damage control meant Buzzfeed’s editor-in-chief Ben Smith and CEO Jonah Peretti agreeing to sit down for a lengthy interview to explain what went wrong. Great idea, but it turns out they were not well prepped. Gawker came at them like an investigative journalist from a time long past and Team Buzzfeed just couldn’t keep its story straight. Also, we learned that Buzzfeed ran Pepsi’s social media account during the Super Bowl. Completely took it over. Interesting, right? Anyway, it’s long, but this interview is worth the time.

Lesson: Agreeing to do interviews in a crisis management scenario is a good thing. Failing to prep for them can turn a problem into a nightmare.Now read that lesson back to yourself in David Bowie’s voice so you don’t forget it.

Palate Cleanser

So life in NYC totally sucks today because it’s completely freezing outside. This amazing short film of CGI giraffes at diving practice makes things marginally better. Go and watch this.

Hot Links…stuff we are thinking about this week

  • Cozen O’Connor has agreed to merge with Chicago’s Meckler Bulger Tilson to create a 635 lawyer firm.
  • Playboy is suing Sheppard Mullin over a $7.6M malpractice claim. The firm allegedly gave the client a 75% chance of winning the case. They didn’t win.
  • Arnold & Porter just picked up an 8 lawyer IP litigation team for its Silicon Valley office.
  • Adams & Reese has a new managing partner.
  • Axoim’s outpost in Belfast is posting solid returns and continues to grow.
  • DLA Piper is now up to three offices in Saudi Arabia. I feel like we’re mentioning growth in the Middle East quite frequently…

Work Product…stuff we published this week

From Scott
Scott wrote about the stunning realization that much of the forensic evidence used in our criminal justice system is highly problematic. The Cost of Reliably Unreliable Evidence
From Gaston 
Gaston caught us up on the biggest developments at the intersection of IP litigation and investing. The Markman Note: Activists at Qualcomm’s Gate
From me
I got to sit down with Amanda Brady from Major, Lindsey & Africa to talk about the market for executive level talent in BigLaw. Fascinating view of things. MBAs Wanted: How BigLaw C-Suites Are Bulking Up

Full Screen Friday

Stoner rock seems appropriate this week. Check out Kyuss on Italian TV back in 1995. Such a great set.

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