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Archive for the ‘public relations’ Category

Banks think “different” business is bad and risky?

Posted by Janne Saarikko on October 14, 2008

I have to share with you an amazingly unbelievable story from US.

CITIZEN:Citizen, a company producing some of worlds coolest art and design products and having their works presented in MOMA’s of world, had their bank accounts closed by First Republic/Merrill Lynch due to unsuitability of their products. Copy-pasting the entire press release from CITIZEN:Citizen here:



The First Republic Bank has just issued notice that they are closing CITIZEN:Citizen’s bank accounts. The closure of the accounts was later discovered to have been activated by Merrill Lynch (owners of First Republic) whose legal department states that the type of products CITIZEN:Citizen produces are unsuitable for the bank and thus unsuitable for business with Merrill Lynch.
No comment was available from First Republic nor Merrill Lynch. Their representatives were hesitant to reveal any further details about which objects of the internationally recognized art and design brand were cause to close the business’ accounts. While the work may not seem suitable for Merrill Lynch, just 10 blocks away from the main branch of First Republic in San Francisco, the work of CITIZEN:Citizen is on display at the SF MoMA as part of their permanent collection.

Within the same week that CITIZEN:Citizen’s accounts were closed, their work was acquired as part of the permanent collection of one of the world’s premier art museums—the MoMA in New York acquired CITIZEN:Citizen’s Ballistic Rose, a corsage made from ballistic nylon designed by Tobias Wong, one of the firm’s signature pieces. 

The colliding worlds of art and finance seem to be more and more bizarre. Only a few weeks ago, on the same day as famed investment institution Lehman Brothers collapsed, infamous British artist Damien Hirst sold over $200 million of his recent work at Sotheby’s. Incidents such as these question the role of banks and commerce in art and how fluid, undefined and, at times, unwarranted those crossovers are.

Philip Wood, the founder of CITIZEN:Citizen, reflected, “It’s a wonder why a move such as closing the accounts of CITIZEN:Citizen should be made. Can it be that CITIZEN:Citizen is really so provocative  as to deem such an action? I really can’t believe that our very own bank is closing our account due to the design and art objects we produce. The collection highlights and observes the boundaries between art, design and culture. In that pursuit, I never thought we’d be highlighted by the likes of Merrill Lynch as an obstacle to their commercial success. Any sort of moral high ground seems out of order after the debacle of the last few weeks.”





This is unbelievable. Is this truly the state of banking industry? To me this looks like they think they rule the world, and can do whatever they want. I’ve always believed in banks to be reliable partners for all your financial troubles. As long as you take care of your part, they’ll be there for you.

Unless there is some real good explanation to this, I suggest we initiate innovation process for replacing the bank system. Maybe we should back to barter trade or start dealing in squirrel skins?

I’m really looking forward any good explanation of non-suitability of CITIZEN:citizen products.





Posted in Blog, first, Innovation, Internet, public relations, WOM | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Facebook constitutional movement

Posted by Janne Saarikko on November 19, 2007

Virtual networks have become utterly important for a large number of world citizens. Being a member of a virtual community is vital for so many nowadays. Facebook is one of the most popular worlds of networking, formed by people who bring in their own networks and trust of their close ones.

Recently, there has been a growing number of people who have been terminated from Facebook without any sensible reason. According to a former Facebook heavy user (now terminated one), Facebook adminstration claims that they have their own algorithms for determing unduly behaviour. Unfortunately they are not able to reveal what triggers the red flags.

I believe it’s not good to live in a community where the rules are unknown and you are under constant fear of being “killed”.

Being terminated from your own community is comparable to being sent to exile and having your property confiscated. If such thing happens, there should be reasoning and procedures that justifies it.

I have just joined a Facebook group called “Constitutional Facebook“. It drives rights of Facebook users, trying to stop the arbitrary conduct by the Facebook adminstration.

It is interesting to see how this takes off. I believe it’s time to stop exploiting the users that are the social network.

Posted in public relations, Services, Social Networks, WOM | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Helsinki Ice Park is Packed!

Posted by Janne Saarikko on January 29, 2007

Finland is also suffering from the climate change. Southern Finland had permanent snow only a week ago – a month behind the statistical first permanent snow.

This is bad for people visiting Helsinki. No snow in the winter wonderland? So why bother?

City of Helsinki has solved the problem together with some creative people from companies Image Match and Korjaamo Experience.

They created an ice park called Jääpuisto in the very center of Helsinki, right next to main railway station!

Now, the ice park is packed with people, both locals and visitors. Since it’s opening in late November, tens of thousands of visitors have had their moment of joy.

If you don’t believe, check out the video.

Posted in Blog, first, public relations, Social Networks, WOM | Leave a Comment »

Big Brother UK – Marketing on the Expense of Shilpa Shetty?

Posted by Janne Saarikko on January 18, 2007

British Channel4 has had a huge growth in viewer numbers for it’s Celebrity Big Brother show. This all was caused when an Indian Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty. Soon after she entered the house, some of the other inhabitans started calling her names and giving her really bad time. All this has caused public discussion on racism and there has even been demonstrations in India.

I’ve been thinking, whether all this is a marketing plot or not? It’s fairly easy to get another celeb to do something “shocking” in order to get better ratings.

And as we’ve seen the publicity created by this is huge. The story is all over the news, Shilpa Shetty is in the top ten topics of worldwide blog world. People talk about BB – and watch it, too.

If this is marketing, it’s beyond my ethics. If this is not marketing, the Big Brother producers should do something about the situation.

Posted in Blog, guerilla marketing, public relations, Social Networks, WOM | Leave a Comment »