Gini Dietrich

CBS Issues Fake (and Totally Awesome) News Release

By: Gini Dietrich | June 21, 2012 | 

Did you hear the news that CBS sued ABC over their new show called The Glass House?

Apparently CBS thinks it’s a direct rip-off of Big Brother, the reality show that follows a group of strangers living together in a house where they’re recorded and filmed 24/7.

And, to be fair, The Glass House also follows a group of strangers living together in a completely wired and state-of-the-art house. The only difference? The audience gets to vote on who stays and who goes.

But CBS lost a battle last week when a judge denied the restraining order which would prevent ABC from airing the show.

The Fake News Release

But CBS wasn’t finished. They issued a news release announcing the development of a new show called Dancing on the Stars.

See for yourself:

Subsequent to recent developments in the creative and legal community, CBS Television today felt it was appropriate to reveal the upcoming launch of an exciting, ground-breaking and completely original new reality program for the CBS Television Network. Moderately famous and sort of well-known people you almost recognize competing for big prizes by dancing on the graves of some of Hollywood’s most iconic and well-beloved stars of stage and screen.

And in follow-up interviews, a CBS spokesperson added:

This very creative enterprise will bring a new sense of energy and fun that’s totally unlike anything anywhere else, honest. Given the current creative and legal environment in the reality programming business, we’re sure nobody will have any problem with Dancing on the Stars or our upcoming half-hour comedy for prime time, Postmodern Family. After all, people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

I personally like the “honest” at the end of the first sentence. The sarcasm gives me great joy!

Too Far?

But did CBS take this too far?

I know there have been certain situations where I’ve wanted to do the same. Heck, we have a former client that we haven’t worked with for nearly two years that I still want to call out in writing…maybe even in my weekly Crain’s column.

But I don’t know if I’d have the cajones to do this (clearly I don’t in the case of the former client).

My take? Bravo, CBS! Bravo! After all, they’re right. Those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

What do you think?

Update: I was playing with VoteIt and decided to add a poll here. Now you can have your say with multiple choice!

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!

  • burgessct

    Bonus points to CBS for the use of creative humor
    Calling out egregious behavior – life’s too short
    And my mother would say – “Never wrestle with a pig, you both get dirty and the pig enjoys it”
    Nice post Gini.
    All the best,

    •  @burgessct And for great writing, too! I love they did this…we’ve all been there.

    •  @burgessct OK, but isn’t CBS choosing to wrestle the pig here? Why would they engage in this? Now they are both, indeed, dirty as heck. 

      • burgessct

         @RebeccaTodd precisely- I still enjoyed the creative humor – even if it was watching the creature (CBS) wallow

        •  @burgessct  @RebeccaTodd Ohhh! Maybe that’s why it’s so funny! It’s like a train wreck…you just can’t look away.

  • M_Koehler

    As far as going too far? Maybe. I’m not a communcations or PR expert or even very professional at times. But I do know funny, and that was funny. And I know ice cream.

  • When I was in entertainment publicity, we had a lot more leeway – especially when I was promoting comedians and could be quite outrageous and funny in our releases – and media generally loved it. This seems to be a similar approach. and CBS wrote what would normally be The Onion’s take on the situation.  They were creative about their position (and bitterness). However, there is a tinge of sour grapes to it. And I’m not crazy about that.

    •  @martinwaxman Yeah…I suppose that’s human nature. I’d be bitter, too. But I still think the sarcasm outweighs the bitterness. 

  • I love it. I think a sense of humor, even about yourself, is one of the most important things any business can have. Using it in this way is brilliant because it gets to the point, without making you look like you swallowed some sour grapes. 

    •  @KenMueller And look what it’s done…the whole world is talking about it now. And The Glass House opened to very poor ratings. Serves ’em right.

      •  @ginidietrich If I were a network, heck, if I were a big business, I’d make a practice of hiring a comedy writer for the communications team. The networks should tap into the talent they have with folks like Jimmy Kimmel, Conan, Letterman, Jimmy Fallon, and let those guys, and their writers, have at it, every once in awhile. Heck, i’d hire @joey_Strawn to write the occasional piece for me. Like anything else, though, you can’t go to this well too often.

  • PattiRoseKnight

    They are probably both working together to get everyone talking.  You know the media 😉

    •  @PattiRoseKnight Ha! That’d be even better!

  • ElSnarkistani

    @_KatherineBrown @ginidietrich @spinsucks Unlike the @NYTimes, which issues real, totally not awesome news releases. Thanks, @NickKristof!

  • Smart. Brilliant. Nanananabooboo, haha! Cheers! Kaarina

    •  @KDillabough LOL!! 

      •  @ginidietrich @KDillabough Kaarina got it right- this is so public school.  “I’m telling the teacher that you copied me!”.

    BRILLIANT is right.  It seems to real to be true!

  • asreynolds

    @JustInTheSouth @ginidietrich very nice.

    • JustInTheSouth

      @asreynolds Funny Right?

  • I’m not sure if that’s what I would do, but man, is that release clever and funny! I’m with you, the honest line is hilarious. It’s like they through that in there just in case someone wasn’t sure this was meant to be sarcastic. It’s brilliantly written, for sure!

    •  @lauraclick I’m pretty sure I’d never have the cajones to do this, but man! I just think it’s great.

  • John_Trader1

    I’m not so sure that this release was all that awesome, and I personally wouldn’t have endorsed it. Realizing that network TV ratings and “coming up with the next big creative programming idea” are cut throat, this is the best they could come up with? Part of me understands their motivation and is sympathetic to their cause but how about using ABC’s actions as motivation to fasten the creative caps on tighter and blow everyone away with a can’t miss show? I understand both points of view on this, but I err on the side of this was not awesome.

    •  @John_Trader1 I was reading the Facebook comments on this and some people said the same thing you did. Maybe it’s because I’m jaded, but I’d really love to do this to some people/organizations. 

      •  @ginidietrich  @John_Trader1 But Gini, as we discussed yesterday, there is a big difference between thinking it and wanting to do it and putting it out there publicly.  I think this is an instance where they could have written that for fun, all had a laugh, then acted like professionals.

        •  @RebeccaTodd  @John_Trader1 Yeah…that’s a good point. We’ve all written stuff that shouldn’t have been released. But this is funny and not angry (maybe a tiny bit sour grapes). And I think it got their point across (The Glass House did terrible in ratings).

        •  @ginidietrich  @John_Trader1 Wouldn’t it have done poorly anyway? Aren’t audiences wise enough to see that ABC is ripping them off?  I felt it came off as completely angry and juvenile. Actually turned my stomach. Reminded me why I don’t teach public school children. CBS and ABC both need to have a time out.

        •  @RebeccaTodd  @John_Trader1 Ha!

        •  @ginidietrich  @RebeccaTodd  @John_Trader1 I just see it as a nice, snarky little jab. I have no problem with snark in this situation when used sparingly. And remember, this is coming from an organization that is not known for it’s sense of humor. And I would bet they have lawyers involved in vetting a lot of their press releases. Networks are notorious for their lack of creativity on the business side of things. 

        • John_Trader1

           @RebeccaTodd  @ginidietrich Well said Rebecca. Isn’t the bigger thing to do here use this as absolute motivation to kick ABC’s ass all over the ratings instead of acting like fighting in the sandbox?

        • John_Trader1

           @KenMueller  @ginidietrich  @RebeccaTodd I see your point but in my opinion, snark isn’t the answer to a situation like this. The answer is in churning out even better programming. Don’t think this helps them in that effort.

        •  @John_Trader1  @ginidietrich Exactly! All I can hear is my mother…”CBS! Eyes on your own work!” I am not a big TV watcher, but I have now taken agin CBS for assuming that I am so dumb that I would not notice what ABC has done.

        •  @John_Trader1  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich Exactly, John. What a waste of resources.

        •  @John_Trader1  @RebeccaTodd  @ginidietrich But, let’s assume they are trying to kick some ABC butt in the programming realm, i.e. ratings. It’s never been all about the programming. Since we’re here on Gini’s blog, let’s talk integration. Marketing and communications are a big part of the overall picture, not just the product. 
          And it’s not the job of the PR and communications people to churn out better programming. That’s the programming departments job.

        •  @John_Trader1  Did you just swear in the comments?!? Policy police are coming!

        •  @RebeccaTodd  @John_Trader1  @ginidietrich Haha, you clearly don’t watch much TV. This goes on all the time. 

        •  @KenMueller  @RebeccaTodd  @John_Trader1 I watch no TV. When I wrote this post, I had to look up what the shows were about so I could accurately define the issue. 

        •  @KenMueller  @John_Trader1  @ginidietrich Fair enough. To me, what they have communicated here is they think their audience is too stupid to see this obvious rip off. I do not patronize companies who have told me they find me stupid. Ask any teacher- “He copied me!” is one of the most commonly heard complaints in public school. I can just see CBS stomping their feet and folding their arms like the 5 year olds they apparently are. 

        •  @KenMueller  @John_Trader1  @ginidietrich …which is why I don’t watch it. 

        •  @RebeccaTodd  @KenMueller  @John_Trader1 I don’t see it that way, at all. I think they know their audiences know they ripped them off (as is evidenced on their FB page). I think they were just so pissed off, they wanted to have the last say. And, to use my former client example in the blog post, sometimes that urge is so overwhelming even a good night’s sleep doesn’t separate you from it.

        •  @ginidietrich  @KenMueller  @John_Trader1 Not to go all Jill Bolte Taylor on everyone, but CBS needs to be responsible for the energy they are spreading here.  Blasting negativity and pettiness is never the correct course of action in my books.  

        •  @RebeccaTodd  @KenMueller  @John_Trader1 To be fair, I’m the one spreading it. They simply just wrote a news release (that got picked up by TV Guide and Entertainment Tonight and then was scraped by local newspapers). 

        •  @KenMueller @ginidietrich @RebeccaAmyTodd Which goes to my comment – seems they write better “snark” – maybe they should be!  AMC has their PR show “The Pitch”…CBS could try “The Snark Tank” 

        •  @RebeccaTodd If audiences were wise, 99% of the garbage on currently on TV would never have ended up there in the first place!

        •  @DebraCaplick Exactly.  How are they getting so self righteous about a reality show?

        •  @RebeccaTodd  @DebraCaplick Maybe their lawyers were bored and they were just trying to kick up some summer dust?

  • Ooo I don’t know- it comes off as really snarky to me. As usual, my mother said it best- two wrongs don’t make a right. This is really immature- he hit me first!-school yard antics. To me, it is also a discredit to their audience- do they really think that we are so stupid that we won’t see that ABC has ripped them off? They feel they have to point it out to me? Treating me like I have no capacity for critical thought is the quickest way to turn me off…or in this case, turn CBS off. Sorry, Gini, big disagree here. This is the same as all those people concerned over “he stole my tweet!” over on favstar. The world does not need more petty negativity.  

    •  @RebeccaTodd Funny…I didn’t read it that way at all. I read it as snarky and sarcastic (the sense of humor I love). Not to say I would do this, but I do think it’s pretty darn funny. And it’s OK…we can disagree. It doesn’t happen that often.

      • I can hear my mother again…”CBS! Stop whining and do your work! Don’t worry about what ABC is doing!”…and she taught kindergarten.

  • Brilliant is right. I love the biting Onion-esque humor. 

    • Oh wait – there are Canadians in the room. “Humour”. 🙂 

      • belllindsay

         @jasonkonopinski “Oh wait, there are Canadians in the room” – EH! Sheesh. Get it right. 

    •  @jasonkonopinski I love The Onion.

  • belllindsay

    This made my morning. The “honest” made me laugh OUT LOUD!! 

    •  @belllindsay It made me laugh out loud, too!

  • jonpilon

    @RebeccaAmyTodd It depends on how you take it I think. On first read through it looked to me like a clever way to poke fun at the issue.

    • RebeccaAmyTodd

      @jonpilon Reminds me of teaching primary school- HE copied me! I did that FIRST!-2 wrongs never make a right.

      • jonpilon

        @RebeccaAmyTodd Only if you consider that response a wrong. It’s nice to see creative respond rather than just a legal team.

        • RebeccaAmyTodd

          @jonpilon I find it whiny and snarky, not to mention highly insulting to their viewers. Two wrongs never, ever make a right.

        • jonpilon

          @RebeccaAmyTodd I don’t see it that way at all myself, I think it was a clever, witty response. So I don’t think it’s a “wrong” at all.

        • jonpilon

          @RebeccaAmyTodd All depends on your point of view and sense of humour. It wasn’t derogatory, or mean even. Just a joke.

        • RebeccaAmyTodd

          @jonpilon “He copied me! I did it first! Me, Me, Me!” Sounds just like a first grader to whom I would give a time out.

        • jonpilon

          @RebeccaAmyTodd I didn’t read it as that at all, didn’t even think of it that way until you said it even.

        • RebeccaAmyTodd

          @jonpilon I don’t abide snarkiness or sarcasm. It isn’t tolerated in my home. It is mean spirited and petty.

        • jonpilon

          @RebeccaAmyTodd Right, but just because you disapprove doesn’t make sarcasm wrong. Many people enjoy sarcasm as a form of comedy.

        • RebeccaAmyTodd

          @jonpilon And many people are very mean spirited. I believe humanity would be better served by rising above petty squabbles.

        • jonpilon

          @RebeccaAmyTodd Agreed, I still think it was an attempt to poke fun at the situation rather than just deal with it all legally.

        • jonpilon

          @RebeccaAmyTodd They’re obligated (due to crazy IP laws) to respond otherwise they could be sued themselves, this is just a fun way to do it

        • RebeccaAmyTodd

          @jonpilon How are they obligated to reply? They lost the law suit. Take the high road.

        • jonpilon

          @RebeccaAmyTodd No they were obligated initially to respond, they lost, they made a joke about it.

        • jonpilon

          @RebeccaAmyTodd Haha but we can just disagree.

  • belllindsay

    Also, as a former TV producer, who was used to hearing/reading non-stop public bashing of my network (CBC) and the various shows I’ve worked on – through the mainstream newspaper media, which owned competing networks, I might add – I find this kind of outreach brilliant. Instead of getting all righteous and bloviating about how  they lost a lawsuit they (probably) rightfully should have won, they created just enough snark and allowed seriously witty writing to make their points. Knives hidden. They win. 

    •  @belllindsay I know others disagree (which is good – I want people here to disagree!!), but I also think it’s brilliant. The whole world is talking about them now and, to @KenMueller point, it’s the job of the communications department to do just that. That said, if you’re in @RebeccaTodd and @John_Trader1 camp, this is PR for PR’s sake. But I think it’s good PR…in this instance.

      •  @ginidietrich  @belllindsay  @KenMueller  @John_Trader1 So two wrongs do indeed make a right?

        • belllindsay

           @RebeccaTodd  @ginidietrich  @KenMueller  @John_Trader1 I hate to say cliched things like this, but in this case it’s true: the TV/entertainment world is brutally cutthroat, dog eat dog, insert whatever big biz cliche you can think of. This isn’t a world of touchy feely “we’re all in the same industry let’s all be friends”. Any one of the execs at ABC would kill a man and watch him die if it meant publicity and/or a ratings grab. Hunter S. Thompson said it best: “The TV business is uglier than most things. It is normally perceived as some kind of cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.” So, CBS did what any self-respecting TV corp would do – they fought back, but they did it in a creative, hilarious way – and still made their points. 

        •  @belllindsay  @ginidietrich  @KenMueller  @John_Trader1 Thoughtful answer, except for the misplaced “self-respecting”. If they respected themselves, they would have the confidence to stand strong. To me, this shows complete insecurity. 

        • belllindsay

           @RebeccaTodd  @ginidietrich  @KenMueller  @John_Trader1 Great convo here, and Rebecca I totally understand what you’re saying – in a perfect world of hearts and flowers one would wish – nay, FIGHT to achieve that kind of perspective in your business dealings. But sadly, that isn’t the case. It’s do. Or die. Also, note that I said EX television producer! LOL I spent 20 years in the trenches and was worn out and beaten down. So I jumped. It’s not for everyone. And it’s a brutal industry in which to work. 

  • First off, I find the response to be hilarious from the point of view that it probably had people dying in the office while they were brainstorming a response.  
    Well it is pretty funny, I can’t help but feel that it makes CBS (#1 Network) sounds more like NBC (#4 Network).  It’s a little catty for the Network that has had a ratings stranglehold on for nearly a decade. ABC isn’t going to beat CBS for the number one spot anytime soon – Not with shows like GCB and Charlies Angel, so CBS should leave it alone.  Those at the top shouldn’t find themselves with the question of whether their being petty.  Let ABC have Big Brother, it’s a decade old beast with slipping ratings.  

    •  @HeatherTweedy Exactly Heather! This would have been fine as an office joke. Why sink to their level?

    •  @HeatherTweedy Is CBS really #1?

      •  @ginidietrich Yup!   It’s  the only network to renew nearly all of it’s schedule for 2013.  it has more Top 20 hits than any other “Big 4” network.  
        This is what happens when you used to work for a Cable company, you become a bit of an accidental TV junkie.  🙂 

        •  @HeatherTweedy Wow. I’ve always favored NBC so this surprises me. Of course, this is coming from a woman who doesn’t watch TV and is using her TV watching experience from college. 🙂

        •  @ginidietrich  @HeatherTweedy Just remember, this goes in cycles. Each of the networks has dominated at various times. I’ve been in this industry since the 80s. 

        •  @ginidietrich  @HeatherTweedy I stopped watching ABC on principle when they scrapped the soaps (shhh – don’t tell anyone!)…tried to ban the Disney Channel, too (part of ABC – or vice versa I get confused) but was overruled by the little people in my house…

        •    @ginidietrich  Amusingly, it was Reality TV (like Big Brother) that helped CBS become the number one network.   So perhaps there are a little more protective over them.  
           @KenMueller  Definitely.  Just look at NBC’s fall from grace.  
          It just seems that while you’re in the Big Boy chair, you should act like you belong there.  Though we’ll see what TV and networks even look like a decade from now! 

  • Mr.D

    I think it is brilliantly funny, though it cannot be a regular occurrence. It is a one and done deal.
    What really I wonder is for whom do you think the press release was written and for what point? It isn’t for news coverage or mass appeal – unless maybe Joel McHale (
    Was it just to jab and embarrass the executives, producers and others at ABC? Do you think that is effective? Maybe some behind the scenes politics to which we are not privy?
    I don’t know the answer, so I leave it to the PR pros here. For a candidate, I would only agree to a release like this once in a great while to make a point, or else you start to sound too snarky.

    •  @Mr.D There are a lot of questions from my husband. Who cares?! YOU ARE READING THE BLOG!!! WOO HOO!!
      It was definitely a jab at ABC. I’m not sure they meant for some PR blog in Chicago to pick it up…or for it to make its way to Twitter. I think they just meant it as a “we’re watching you, you jerks.”

      • belllindsay

         @ginidietrich  @Mr.D Mr. D needs a picture. Gini, haven’t you taught him the ropes!!! LOL 😉

        •  @belllindsay  Oh trust me, Lindsay. It’s the bane of my existence. He does it just to screw with me.

        •  @ginidietrich  @belllindsay So…if he were on twitter, he’d be an egg?

        • belllindsay

           @KenMueller  @ginidietrich HAHAHA! My husband’s a *plumber* and *he’s* not even an egg! 😉 

        •  @belllindsay  @ginidietrich wow. bet the view from “behind” is great…

        •  @belllindsay  @KenMueller Oh it’s an egg. He’s @dietch on Twitter. He told me he’s going to have an avatar up that is a photo of a fried egg. Just for you.

        • belllindsay

           @ginidietrich  @KenMueller  @dietch It’s up!! LMAO! But apparently, my ‘follow’ is ‘pending’. You’d think the guy was in politics or something! 😉 

        • Mr.D

           @KenMueller  @ginidietrich  @belllindsay  Why are people so negative to eggs? I don’t use my Twitter account very often (@dietch) but it does have a pic, so there!

        • belllindsay

           @Mr.D  @KenMueller  @ginidietrich Actually, I love the fried egg! 

        •  @belllindsay  @Mr.D  @KenMueller OMG, Kelly. You’re nuts. That is actually really funny!

        •  @ginidietrich  @belllindsay  @Mr.D Gini, you need to let Kelly out more. I like him. 

        •  @KenMueller  @belllindsay  @Mr.D He’s free to come out. He just chooses not to…he prefers his Axis & Allies buddies.

        •  @ginidietrich  @belllindsay  @Mr.D Ohhhhh. He’s one of those. Saving the world from fictional enemies while you’re saving the world from destructive spin?

        •  @KenMueller  @belllindsay  @Mr.D Exactly.

  • First off, I agree that this release is really funny, clever & most importantly – EFFECTIVE!  Look at all the buzz.  Secondly, given the amount of “reality” junk on TV these days, I’d like to see CBS pull their PR writers in to write a sitcom – They could call it “Honest”!!  😉

    •  @lizreusswig Seriously great idea! I wish I had a comedic bent to my writing. I’d totally do this…maybe redheadwriting can go write for TV!

      •  @ginidietrich HAH! Well, having worked in Hollywood for a bit, I’d say that from what I know about the life of a TV writer, I’m not game for the neverending days. But it’s always something I’d love to try – especially for the likes of The Daily Show 🙂

        •  @RedheadWriting  @ginidietrich Got it…short days and we need to get in touch with Jon Stewart…

        •  @RedheadWriting You’d be sooooo good at it!

    • belllindsay

       @lizreusswig Omygod. Let’s create that show!! RIGHT NOW! 

      •  @belllindsay  @lizreusswig SHHHHHH! Let’s take this offline so no one steals the idea!

      •  @belllindsay @ginidietrich  – or my other suggestion below…The Snark Tank?

  • JulieLech

    @acraKA I am going to visit ‘the mitten’ state this weekend! I will think of you 😉

    • acraKA

      @JulieLech awesome!! where you headed?? Lake MI 🙂

  • Gini – I kn w they’re not network but have to ask were you inviting the Bravo channel into the frey?
    The fake press release sounds like something Liz Lemon would have written – made me LOL bu then I like snarky too.

  • Gini – I know they’re not network but have to ask were you inviting the Bravo channel into the frey?
    The fake press release sounds like something Liz Lemon would’ve written – made me LOL but then I like snarky too 😉

  • Amazing the number of people who don’t recognize satire when they see it – somewhere Jonathan Swift is in mourning. But does satire belong in a press release? That is the question (with a nod to Mr. S).

    •  @DebraCaplick If they did this all the time, I’d say no. But I do love it this once.

  • MichaelBall1

    Sad. This would have been brilliant if Big Brother was an original idea to start out with. For a network to call out another network for gleaning ideas from them is utterly ridiculous. It happens every season.
    Someone needs to instal a mirror in their glass house.

    • belllindsay

       @MichaelBall1 Hmmm. Based on my experience, CBS would have bought the rights to Big Brother, the rights to create it in North America. The right to use the name, and format etc.. 

      • MichaelBall1

         @belllindsay  You are very correct. But let’s face it, the concept was stolen from another *cough* “sector” of the entertainment industry to begin with.

        • belllindsay

           @MichaelBall1 Which sector….?

        •  @belllindsay  @MichaelBall1 Yeah! I want to know, too!

        • MichaelBall1

           @ginidietrich  @belllindsay  @MichaelBall1 Starts with p, ends with orn. Not popcorn, although it rhymes with popcorn…. I believe there was a creepy website in the early 90s called “Sorority House” or something like that… And an equal opportunity version for ladies and dudes who fancied fellas…
          Not to mention, it didn’t exactly take an Edisonian leap of creativity to take MTV’s Real World (that premiered nearly 10 years earlier) and vote people out. Who didn’t want to vote people off Real World?
          Don’t get me wrong, I love the idea of injecting humour into press releases, or making “announcements” more creative, engaging and provocative. But this just came across to me as bitter and totally void of self-awareness.
          I think a short statement like:
          “We at CBS are truly flattered that our dear friends at ABC have decided to air Big Brother: The Glass House”, I think I got that name right? We are excited to see where they take one of our flagship brands and hope they enjoy the same successes we have had with Big Brother. WE’LL BE WATCHING…” would’ve been slightly less smarmy….
          It just reads like they put a “funny” conversation they had at the office on paper.
          Eager to see if ABC fires back. This could get fun!

        •  @MichaelBall1  @belllindsay Ohhhhhh! Popcorn! Of course. Duh. And your version of the release is equally as funny.

        •  @ginidietrich  @MichaelBall1  @belllindsay OMG – this just made me laugh out loud. That was completely unexpected. 

  • Farking awesome, bout time these ninnies got a sense of humour.

    •  @MarkCRobins I love the words “farking” & “ninnies”!

      •  @lizreusswig  @MarkCRobins He knows better than to use the swear words here!

        • KevinVandever

          @ginidietrich No swear words nor jeans on stage? How are we even friends?

        • KevinVandever

           @ginidietrich No swear words nor jeans on stage? How are we even friends?

        •  @KevinVandever We both like wine?

  • IF you had real cajones, you would have said “huevos.” LOL!!!!
    This is truly ducking awesome. I have absolutely no idea how this made it through the bureaucratic approval process, but it’s definitely a bit of everyone’s professional dream come true. It accomplished very little, I’m sure, other than to give the team a good laugh and a great sense of satisfaction. 

    •  @Lisa Gerber I ALMOST wrote that and then decided it was only a joke the two of us got. But I seriously considered it. Ducking awesome.

      •  @ginidietrich Totally get it. Sometimes, we’re the funniest people we know. But others wouldn’t necessarily agree. 🙂 

        •  @Lisa Gerber We’re totally the funniest people we know.

    • mylefttom

       @Lisa Gerber That bureaucratic approval process may not have been consulted on this, which is usually how stuff like this happens – but if they were feeling a little giddy that day, kudos! That bureaucratic approval process is itself a whole series of posts for another time… 

      •  @mylefttom OOOOOO then I love it even more if they just went for it. I sure hope no one lost their job over it. 
        and if you’re offering to write a series on that topic, I’m all ears for when that time comes…

        •  @Lisa Gerber  @mylefttom I cannot imagine they sent this out without some sort of legal approval. ESPECIALLY over a restraining order battle loss.

  • TimRelates

    @KaitCox Funny in a tongue-in-cheek sorta way. Something marking it as satire should have been included at the end.

  • JohnnaV

    @KaitCox @CBS @ginidietrich I love it! I think we’ve all had those days were we dream up the press releases we’d actually like to write 🙂

    • KaitCox

      @JohnnaV Totally agree! That’s probably just my sarcastic side coming out, though. 🙂 cc: @CBS @ginidietrich

      • ginidietrich

        @KaitCox @JohnnaV I thought it was freaking hilarious!

  • MusicCityREO

    Great Story! @lauraclick CBS Issues Fake (and Totally Awesome) News Release – wow, what do you think about this?

    • lauraclick

      @musiccityreo I agree!

  • CBS blew it when they didn’t include “winning” in their release. That would have been the icing on the cake.
    I am glad they loosened up a bit. They made their point in a clever way. Doesn’t change anything, but they made it.

    •  @TheJackB LOL!! That would have been awesome. Ah man. Now I’m kind of disappointed. 

  • ginidietrich

    @cscottmoody @jeffespo Funny, right??!

    • cscottmoody

      @ginidietrich Very.

    • jeffespo

      @ginidietrich @cscottmoody I love a good cat fight here and there 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @AmandaOleson You and I have the same sense of humor – the best kind.

    • AmandaOleson

      @ginidietrich Obviously the best kind. 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @Steve_Law I think so, too!

  • NEMultimedia

    @lauraclick @ginidietrich I love CBS’s response! Only because it makes the point with such great humor. Laughing!!

    • lauraclick

      @nemultimedia @ginidietrich It was definitely well-written and extremely clever!

  • KevinVandever

     I LOVE this (though not enough to marry it, Gini). It’s brilliant! Not only is it a very clever slam at ABC, but CBS could almost certainly create a show called Dancing on the Stars, with their proposed premise, and it will be a smash hit, ABC will sue, ABC will lose, they can write a clever PR release in return, you can write a blog post about it and we’ll here this time next year. Talk about WINNING!

    •  @KevinVandever But do you love pistachios enough to marry them? Clearly they should have used #winning in the release. Or maybe that’s just how you LA people think.

      •  @ginidietrich  @KevinVandever LA people are among the finest in this great country of ours. I speak without any bias and solely based upon personal experience. 😉

      • KevinVandever

         @ginidietrich Maybe moon pies, but not pistachios. 
        We invented the no glass glasses fram,  and we wait for the walk signal even when there is no traffic for miles. I think we’ve shown we’re all about #winning in LA.

        • KevinVandever

           @ginidietrich frame, not fram, but we probably invented that, too, whatever it is.

        •  @KevinVandever Except cars have to stop for pedestrians, even if they’re jaywalking, in LA. So I’m not sure you’re telling the truth.

        • KevinVandever

           @ginidietrich I speak the truth! Always! I live in LA.

  • In one way it reminds me of the passive aggressive responses I used to get from old girlfriends about certain actions of mine. However, the fact that they had the stones (pun intended) to do this is commendable and I now have a new respect for CBS!

  • Rey_Carr

    CBS continues to demonstrate the ultimate in stupidity and triviality in their legal suit against ABC and now their attempt at being funny press release. If they really wanted to be funny they should have issued a statement about what they plan to sue the other Networks for.

    •  @Rey_Carr Ah darn. I thought it was hilarious.

  • This is totally awesome. I would vote but Im not on Facebook 🙁

    •  @C_Pappas hmmm

    •  @C_Pappas Oh shoot! Do you have to be on FB to vote? That’s good to know. I’m testing the app so thanks for that input!

      • belllindsay

         @ginidietrich  @C_Pappas What vote??? 

        •  @belllindsay  @ginidietrich You dont see the VoteIt app?

    • TaylorBeery


    • TaylorBeery

       @C_Pappas No worries, you dont need to be on FB.  Just add an email and you’re good to VoteIt!

      •  @TaylorBeery Where does my email go? Errrr. I like to just vote like you can on LinkedIn polls.

        • TaylorBeery

           @C_Pappas Understood – VoteIt (full disclosure:  I work with the Company) is about an ongoing conversation.  Unlike polls/surveys, our participants share comments, attachments and new choices with each other and those who have left the app can be notified (based on their settings) of new info and can come back to review, comment, change their votes, etc.  Email is a part of that communication loop so we request it to identify the voters and keep them up to speed on the vote.  

        •  @TaylorBeery  @C_Pappas do they sell my data to third and fourth parties like all the other Facebook apps?

        • TaylorBeery

          Hey @HowieSPM No.  Think more of a surveymonkey model.  VoteIt will charge monthly subscription fees to enterprises for more advanced features and reports on votes they conduct.  privacy policy is here: @C_Pappas 

  • I am working on Almost Super Nanny.

    •  @HowieSPM define “working on”

      • belllindsay

         @KenMueller  @HowieSPM Under, Ken. Under. 

        •  @belllindsay  @KenMueller well I am conducting auditions with nannies at my place. If I find one that is Almost Super she will be cast. If I find one that is Super……you might not see me come out of my place for a week or three.

  • rjfrasca

    OMG Awesome. I love this. Go CBS.

  • I only watch CBS during football and Thursday nights at 9 for Person of Interest because, largely, I perceived them to be the “old person network.” But this is so money that it completely changed my opinion in 2 minutes. Now ABC needs to re-raise, and hire Charlie Sheen to star in 2½ warlocks!

    •  @SociallyGenius I perceive them to be the old person network, too, but heathertweedy says they’re #1!

  • As you can tell by the graph, I have now voted. Represent.

    •  @RebeccaTodd  I wrote that option especially for you.

  • Gini Dietrich

    Did you see his avatar? He’s a very funny boy.

  • Arment Dietrich, Inc.

    Did he add one? I’ll have to go back and look! > LG

  • Gini Dietrich

    Oh he did. He did to Twitter too:

  • Tyronetowiti
  • All rather good. Hopefully ‘Dancing On The Stars’ will be filmed in assorted celebrity graveyards, in a literal recreation of what caterwauling wannabes have been metaphorically doing to the work of original musicians for the past decade. I’m off to write a press release…

  • Let me be clear – I think this is hilarious. I like funny things. I also think it’s kind of childish. Ever try to tell a child to do something and they put their fingers in their ears and say “lalalalala” – that’s what this reminds me of. I don’t think I watch any CBS programming (not in their demo, I guess)  and while they are right that “glass houses shouldn’t throw stones”, it doesn’t paint the network in a positive light for me. 
    Besides – it’s “reality” TV. Most of these shows are all hybrids of another. (Totally unscripted, of course) ABC and CBS should do celebrity boxing with their PR teams. Now that – I would tune in to watch. 

  • EnergyMemphis

    @LizJostes @spinsucks We’ve all wanted to do this sometimes…

  • ginidietrich

    @NEMultimedia Totally funny, right??

    • NEMultimedia

      @ginidietrich Re: CBS press release. Brilliantly creative! CBS made their point beautifully, w/o sounding like whiners. Love it! 😉

  • mayashoucair

    @ginidietrich Disagree! I thought it was so immature and I couldn’t believe someone actually approved it.

    • ginidietrich

      @mayashoucair Something I find really interesting…Canadians all think it was immature

      • mayashoucair

        @ginidietrich Really? That’s kind of funny, I wonder why!

  • NickGilham

    @AMBabka I’m excited about Dancing on the Stars

    • AMBabka

      @nickgilham Ha! I’d watch that one, too! 🙂

    • nicksargent

      @NickGilham @AMBabka If only the writing on CBS shows was that good, or the concepts for the shows that creative.

  • That was awesome; that is one reality show I might watch…………

    •  @bdorman264 Which one? The fake one??

      •  @ginidietrich Yes, Dancing on the Stars………:)

  • AbbieF

    Gini — I’m surprised at you…you really think this is “totally awesome?” How does issuing a fake news release, albeit one that is meant to be a joke, awesome?  And to have it appear on their official news site? Is this an example of a strategic public relations move? Have some fun, sure, but don’t disguise it as a news release — buy an ad for this kind of thing.

    •  @AbbieF I rarely disagree with you, but in this case I must.  Respectfully. Our industry has a history of (clearly) fake releases, and in my view, this was one of those.  Why should CBS have to pay for an ad, when by distributing a (clearly) fake release which they believed would be shared over the Interwebz, they’re having others do the work for them?  They’re tapping into others’ sense of humor to thumb their nose at the competition, whom they believed stole their work. If it wasn’t obviously tongue-in- cheek, it wouldn’t have gotten any traction and we wouldn’t be talking about it.  Now let’s get back to agreeing. (And I hope you picked up my musical comedy reference, which I stuck in here for your pleasure.)

      • AbbieF

         @KensViews I’m not a big fan of stunts.  This is a stunt.

        •  @AbbieF  @KensViews Agreed Abbie! I felt it was so immature-Teacher, they’re copying!

        •  @AbbieF  @KensViews I think I love it because we’ve all been there. And I love that they poke fun at the whole thing instead of whining that they lost. It’s very Onion-esque, which I also love. If they had a habit of doing this, I would read it as sour grapes. But, in this one case, I think it’s quite funny. 

    •  @AbbieF Well said, Abbie! I think my concern is the precedence it sets.  I think it’s funny and awesome to us because it’s about two TV companies fighting over reality television.  This is the CBS response when they think they are “right” and ABC is “wrong”.  It’s about Big Brother, so we’re all rolling our eyes anyway – what if the same thing happened in a different context? Would it still be funny? That’s my biggest issue. This is a great debate you’ve created here @ginidietrich  – see, like I said you’re out of control! 

      • AbbieF

         @Maranda  @ginidietrich Right, if we replace ABC and CBS with two other nationally recognized brands, would we still say this is awesome and consider it funny?

        •  @AbbieF  @Maranda  @ginidietrich  I don’t think it’s setting a precedent, not was it designed to.  There have been (obviously )  fake releases for years.  And there will be, perhaps, for years to come, particularly now that we all are publishers.. I don’t think we’re going to see this done by corporations regarding anything serious. If they do, they’ll get called out on it. I think those of us who think it’s awesome (not that I speak for all of us/them) think it’s so because it worked for the specific situation, and the specific brands involved.

  • Perfect diamond cut by the Tiffany Network…I can hear the glass shatter over at ABC. Perhaps ABC should reinstitute their old slogan ‘Start Fresh’ because CBS usurped their ‘The Fun Starts Here’.

    •  @annelizhannan We’re getting all sorts of great ideas for new shows in the comments here. The Tiffany Network. LOL!

      •  @ginidietrich Yes, I think you have found the new creative team right here! Road trip to NYC?

  • I see both sides. I laughed when I read this, and yeah, it’s a little childish, but come on. It’s funny. If a big network can roll out something like this with sarcasm, that’s just awesome. It’s better than cut-and-dry, whiny legalese language explaining why it’s not fair that they lost.

  • newsle

    @ginidietrich Funny! Some PR manager they’ve got. (Perhaps ABC needs to setup a Newsle account to track their brand:

  • aileenabella

    @ginidietrich So cool they can laugh at themselves!

  • rdopping

    Post modern Family. A bunch of gay designers arguing over the aesthetics of 1950’s architecture. I love it more than I am letting on.

    •  @rdopping It’s really funny. You can say it!

  • ladylaff

    I loved it.  It appeals to my (acquired) British sense of irony, but it also makes an intelligent point.  Score!

    •  @ladylaff I like your British sense of irony!

  • heathercoleman

    @Frank_Strong Thanks for the list add!

  • Oh, poo. See what happens when I come late? 215 already and that’s not nap time.
    That said…when you’re CBS, you can get away with this. Long live the press release! The press release is not dead! Contrary to what @dannybrown might think or write about. And, as per the Project Eve member who said it’s no longer called a press release, rather it’s a “media” release? Really? Never heard of such a thing in all my decades of being a purist (no longer).
    There, did I say something different than any of the other 150 jamokes? (‘Cuz I know the other 65 are one liners from the banterrific Gin Blossom.)

    •  @Soulati | B2B Social Media Marketing  Even though I also don’t believe in the news release, this is an example of one that worked really well. I think it’s hilarious!

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  • rose.diaz23

    I think it is pretty funny for CBS to come out with a press release like that. It might have been a little wrong but it was very funny. I could see why they were upset about it; the show is very similar to Big Brother. Since I love Big Brother, a co-worker at Dish told me to check out this show. It was automatically recorded using PrimeTime Anytime on the Hopper, so I was able to watch it this morning while I was getting ready for work. I enabled the AutoHop feature and was able to skip right over the ads, which saved me 20 minutes this morning to do other things. The show was good, but I could wait for Big Brother to come back.

    •  @rose.diaz23 I wonder if this whole ruckus caused other people to watch The Glass House too?

  • Luzidoodles

    @burgessct @spinsucks Ha! I’d watch Postmodern family hehe. The show was interesting and pretty funny but I couldnt take that obnoxious guy

  • UZMPhantom

    @eric_andersen @cbs bravo CBS!!!

    • eric_andersen

      @UZMPhantom I know, and clearly they’re not thrilled about the situation 🙂

  • ginidietrich

    @proofbranding Funny, right??

  • db

    @ShellyKramer @ginidietrich It’s childish. They lost the lawsuit. It’s sour grapes and doesn’t look good on them.

  • EricGross

    Whether or not you agree with it (as I certainly do), this ‘news release’ resulted in stories on,,  Huffington Post, Business Insider and blogs all over the web. If CBS could get that much free press when the Big Brother season actually starts I’m sure no one would question the validity of such a snarky press release.  Two thumbs up!

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  • ginidietrich

    @daveegauthier I still think that was hilarious.

    • daveegauthier

      @ginidietrich priceless – bravo indeed.

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  • Juliwilson789

    thought you were going to chip in with some decisive insigth at the end
    there. Not leave it with we leave it to you to decide

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    implement your solution but i am getting a stack overflow error at line 403,
    I presume this is in the jester.js file but I am not sure why it is

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