Sesame Street and Elmo Live On?

Elmo and Kevin Clash. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Bedder and Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL
Elmo and Kevin Clash. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Bedder and Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL
Elmo and Kevin Clash. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Bedder and Getty Images. Above Promotions Company. Tampa, FL

To the surprise of many who support and adore the Elmo character, Kevin Clash, the long time voice of the famous puppet, and his off-screen life placed some uncertainty over its fate. As of today, a third man, has come forward indicating he too had an inappropriate relationship with Clash when he was a teen. This accuser has also indicated he has a book that will be released soon that will discuss this period of time spent with Clash.

All of this reminds me of when Paul Reubens, aka Pee-Wee Herman, was arrested and CBS dropped his children’s show, Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. Paul’s career never rebounded from his child pornography scandal. In fact, one could say Reubens’ transgressions made it possible for people to take Clash’s with little surprise. Guilty or not, Clash will more than likely not re-enter the children’s entertainment scene. This incident has casted too big of a cloud over him that will more than likely prevent his career from flourishing again. The public seems to forgive and forget drunk driving, abuse and adultery, but sexual acts against a minor is etched in stone.

Sesame Street who originally stood by Clash even after the quick settlement with the first accuser, has managed to distance themselves from the man who brought in a considerable amount of money to the brand. With the resignation of Clash, Sesame Street has continued to move forward with operations not discussing who will be the new long-term voice of Elmo in the show.

Sesame Street has become quite the popular show this year thanks to former Presidential candidate Governor Mitt Romney. His comment during the first debate to cut funding to PBS sent fans of the network in a flurry. In fact, Governor Romney probably refueled the passion for the beloved children’s show, in particularly Big Bird. Now the question arrives, how will Clash’s scandals affect the Sesame Street or Elmo brand?

Many believe Sesame Street, especially with its prompt movement to address and accept Kevin’s resignation, will remain unscaved. Let’s face it. The show has been around for decades and has maintained a wholesome image through the years. Sort of reminds you of what Walt Disney and his legacy did for his characters and theme parks. Although both have faced concerning chatter regarding employees, both are considered iconic across generations and will probably remain that way.

So if Sesame Street is left standing with hardly a blemish, what about Elmo?

Hasbro probably has just as much if not more to lose if Elmo doesn’t rise from the scandals. Hasbro is the sole toy maker for Sesame Street. The Tickle Me Elmo doll and other Elmo items alone has accounted for half of sales for the Sesame Street toys. On top of Elmo carrying such a large weight of sales, his interest has seen a decline over the past few years. However, this Christmas season Hasbro released the LOL Elmo toy. So will Elmo be hurt by the scandal?

According to Gerrick Johnson, a toy analyst, the LOL Elmo toy has been flying off the shelves since Black Friday. Looks like Elmo will live on!

One would never want to be entangled with any scandal, but Sesame Street seems to have shown the world what to do if you are attached to one.

  • Move quick to provide concise statements to the public.
  • Keep it moving.

It will be interesting to see how Sesame Street and PBS handles their renewed popularity.

What do you think? Will you still support Sesame Street? Elmo? Have you already forgotten about Kevin Clash?

Comment below. Your reply may be used for an upcoming article.

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace. From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations. Visit http://www.abovepromotions.com today.

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Ebony T. Grimsley is the Creative Director and Owner of Above Promotions Company. She is also the recent author of “Because You’re Small: Effective Marketing Strategies for Immediate Implementation.” To find out more information on the book, please visit http://www.abovepromotions.com or purchase online at Amazon, Booktango and other online bookstore

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Firing an Employee Could Make for Bad Press

Bad Press: Sink or Swim. Above Promotions Blog. Photo Courtesy of Idea22.
Bad Press: Sink or Swim.  Above Promotions Blog. Photo Courtesy of Idea22.
Bad Press: Sink or Swim. Above Promotions Blog. Photo Courtesy of Idea22.  Not related to story.

If ever there were a reason to ensure you have a crisis communication plan in place, the story of Tomas Lopez, a former employee of Jeff Ellis and Associates based in Orlando, FL, would be a prime case.

To briefly summarize the story. Lopez left his stationed area on Hallandale Beach in Florida to help a man who was drowning in a section of the beach not managed by the city nor the lifeguard company. Although the man survived and is currently in the hospital, thanks to the efforts of Lopez and a nurse, the company decided to adhere to their policy and fire Lopez for his actions.

Whether the company is in the right or wrong for their actions, it could be assumed they never expected to read or view this incident on a national scale.  It could also be concluded, they do not have a current Crisis Communication plan in place.  If so, the owner and a supervisor for their company would not be quoted providing different sound bites for the media.

According to the Associated Press and WFLA, supervisor Susan Ellis gives the quote below to the media.

“We have liability issues and can’t go out of the protected area,” supervisor  Susan Ellis told the Sun Sentinel. “What he did was his own decision. He knew  the company rules and did what he thought he needed to do.”

Meahwhile, owner, Jeff Ellis, is quoted by WPTV as saying:

“We are not a fire-rescue operation. We are strictly a lifeguard organization,”  he said. “We limit what we do to the protected swimming zones that we’ve agreed  to service.”

“If we find our actions on the part of the leadership team were inappropriate,  we will rectify it based upon the information that comes forward.”

City Manager Renee Crichton issued a statement Wednesday saying, “We do not have  all the facts in this case. We take the safety of all visitors to our beaches  very seriously. Whether they are in a protected area or unprotected area, we  believe aid must be rendered.”

Who would have thought firing an employee could make national news?

 

What do you think?  Should the company have fired Lopez?  Should the city renew their contract?

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Above Promotions is a full service publicity, marketing and promotions company, founded with the purpose to serve an array of clients that are looking to expand their presence in the marketplace.  From a local to international market, Above Promotions Company can provide the exposure that goes above your expectations.  Visit www.abovepromotions.com today.

Tiger Woods in a Stare Down… Not So Sure About That

Tiger Woods - Courtesy of the Associated Press via Golfweek.com
Tiger Woods - Courtesy of the Associated Press via Golfweek.com

Well it goes without saying, the press conferences athletes participate in provide nice sound bites for hours, days and even years to follow.   One recent example of this is the press conference by Tiger Woods held before the Honda Classic in south Florida.  (Take a look at this clip of Tiger Woods posted on ESPN and let us know what you think.)

Woods former swing coach, Hank Haney, has a tell-all book on the golf star coming out this month a week prior to the upcoming Masters golf tournament.  While curious to know if the coach ever signed a confidentiality agreement, we do know Woods, his sports agent and his attorney are denouncing the book.  Which leads us to today’s analysis of the press conference and the mention of a soon to be released book titled, “The Big Miss”, by Hank Haney.

We haven’t read the book, haven’t spoken to Woods’ agent  and do not know the validity of the statement, but what we can see in this clip on ESPN.com, is Woods clearly setting out to discredit it and announce no further discussions will be made on the book.

What some may have called a stare down with GolfWeek.com’s senior writer, Alex Miceli, we call a pause to gather one’s thoughts.  It is clear leading up to the question by Miceli, Woods was working his game face and attempting to stay composed in admitting and somewhat explaining the attention he’s receiving over his lack luster playing.  He’s on guard and clearly thinking about the words he will use to discuss and not dwell on his performance or other negative attention. 

In studying the interview clip and being aware of how clients are coached in media relations and how they perform in front of the cameras, the extended silence from Woods doesn’t necessarily equate to a stare down at the OK Corral as being projected by the media.  This just may be a moment of collecting his thoughts which probably contained words from his attorney, publicist, agent and the inner man who wants to just focus on his job.  Sure he wasn’t welcoming the off-topic question from Miceli, however, looking in a direction of the person talking to you while thinking isn’t the automatic formula for a stare down.

The “have a good day” from Woods was clearly a verbal indication he was not going to continue to talk about the subject matter as the words that probably came to mind should not be used.  Not necessarily the best way to end a press discussion with a reporter in our books as it shows immediate and uncontrolled frustration over the subject matter.  Woods has been in the media long enough and has a team whom will definitely coach him on these few seconds.

What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger, right?  What do you think?  Was Woods staring the sports reporter down?