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Updated: Cosmopolitan Welches On AIDS Bet

By Chuckmonster on Thursday, 2nd December 2010 9:17pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 11


Two days ago, the Cosmopolitan and CEO John Unwin hopped on the 'Digital Death' bandwagon being driven by pop star Alicia Keys. The plan was for various celebrities to "digitally die" - no Tweeting, Facebooking etc - until their followers coughed up $1,000,000 for Alicia Keys' charity.

Two days into the project, they've raised a whopping $160k (update, now $180k). To add insult to injury, the tote board said $190k last night... they lost money.

When I saw this (thanks to a tweet tip by blackjacker1979) I wondered how long Cosmo would remain "digitally dead" with their grand opening uhm... less than two weeks away! Would they stick with what they started, or is pimping their opening more important?!!!???!?

Today we got our answer.

We knew it was going to happen at one point. "It" being the unveiling of the "this is a business" face of Cosmopolitan's churning propaganda machine. Frankly, I'm kinda surprised it has taken this long.

I wonder how the meeting went when they realized - gulp - this digital death thing was a bad idea, particularly 14 days from opening. "But how do we welch on our commitment while retaining our curious class cred?" "Oh... I got it... we say that 'it wasn't our style.'" "Do it!"

It's kinda like telling someone that their wife looks like a rhino but tacking on "with all due respect" to the front or "eh, I don't mean that in a bad way" to the end. Eraser phrases.

The Cosmopolitan folks totally screwed the pooch here... first, by hopping on this bandwagon and then by jumping off it so quickly. By welching on their commitment they should rightly compensate all of their followers who made donations on their behalf by making a $100,000 donation to the charity they so dedicatedly didn't support.

I know they won't... it isn't their style. And I don't mean that in a bad way.

UPDATE: They "un-digitally deathed" themselves, not to post stuff about the charity or even about their property but instead more nonsense intended to stoke the flames of the curious class:

Tagged: cosmopolitan   


Comments & Discussion:

Yuck. So is Cosmo's Twitter page officially a "zombie" now? They were supposed to be "dead", but they're suddenly alive again?

The very least they can do is put their money where their keyboards are. This is a serious issue. I have friends and family living with HIV, so this honestly isn't too much of a laughing matter for me. And in fact, if Cosmo is really serious about this...


There are people right here in Vegas who need their help right now.

I like your perspective on how they should 'rectify' their situation, it was a bad move all around, even if it went quickly, to give up any time prior to the opening that you can utilize free social media systems is beyond stupid.

Some good articles out right now of how bad a promotion this is and all the reasons why it's likely not to get to their 1 million goal or take forever to get there. Although not a bad thing that some of the c level celebrities aren't posting for a while.

Shut up to raise money. What an incredibly stupid idea.

No disagreement that the cause is worthy. Why not have everyone tweet to raise funds instead. Stealth marketing doesn't work.

But they aren't. Serious, that is.

Cosmo is really worrying me because it seems like they have let the marketing team take over EVERYTHING there, and every sign thus far is that the marketing team has read way too many Richard Florida books at once while blaring NPR. I guess the "curious class" is Florida's "creative class" after they've earned enough money that they can sell out and/or stop creating. Because there's nothing about their product or their prices that is appealing to alt-art urbanauts that they are clearly pandering to.

They are targeting people who want indie-hipster cred so bad but are too rich and spoiled to go off to a bad part of town and work on gentrifying the place. The people who think their favourite obscure band is better than this Hollywood shit, but simultaneously think Gaga/Kesha/Bieber/Whoever is the exception and a musical genius. The people who are so concerned about climate change but fight mass transit in their own area because buses could shuttle "the wrong kind of people" into town (hello, Summerlin, and most Vegas valley HOA burbs.)

It seems for trust fund babies who want to look bohemian, and I know a thing or two about that having grown up on the other side of Marin County.

They have identified their market and played it fairly well, I guess.

M, you seem to be angry about everything. Is there anything happening at Cosmo that you like at all?

Shocking. Thinking about cancelling my res over this.

Disgusting is what it is. When you make a promise, you keep your fucking word or end up dead in the desert.

The Cosmopolitan Of Las Vegas: We kinda support defeating AIDS.

MinVegas, that was my impression too, but if the tech i recently heard about works, should be interesting.

big picture question - how serious is twitter, and what if the decision was made by one low level person, or even be a contractor.

IMHO - this wont blow up, and it will take a serious blow up for twitter to become serious.

The person who does their Twitter account is a contractor... BUT the sentiment and commitment was carried out on Twitter by their CEO John Unwin.

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