Tag Archives: payola
Those of us in the airlock/apologizing industry noticed an unusual blip on the radar this week shortly after the death of Whitney Houston. The epicenter was traced and determined to be sourced in Minato (Tokyo), Japan.
Ah, Sony! What have you done this time?
A lot of you may be under the impression that Sony makes overpriced electronics that break shortly after their warranty period. Yes, that’s true, but that’s only a small fraction of what they do.
MINATO, TOKYO, JAPAN — The motto, “Be Prepared,” is one famously associated with the Boy Scouts movement. It also encapsulates the thought that you should be ready to “do the right thing at the right moment.”
It’s a philosphy shared by Sony Music Entertainment (SME) company and their secretive elite unit known as the Death Immediate Response Team (DIRT). When a big name celebrity in the Sony music library dies, that’s when the deceased is designated a “featured artist” and the members of Team DIRT leap into action.
In order to be prepared, SME-DIRT has identified their artists who have achieved sufficient sales volume. They have then compiled detailed “death response plans” on those they artists they have identified as meeting their proprietary criteria selection scheme.
Whitney Houston was one of these artists. Her death on February 11, 2012, came as a surprise to most. But as the news spread like wildfire across the internet, plans were already afoot in Minato. Like most death response plans SME-DIRT has on file, there is a three-pronged approach:
- Have an office party complete with cake (in the likeness of the artist) and ice cream and party hats. During this symbolic process they literally eat their artist.
- Immediately jack wholesale prices on albums in the library.
- Summon high-level Sony executives to a summit in New York City to discuss strategy to capitalize on the artist’s death.
Within hours of Whitney Houston’s death, a faceless operative on a nameless Tokyo street walked away from his noodles, pulling an Xperia ™ Ion LTE (Long Term Evolution) smartphone from his coat pocket, dialed a number from memory, waited three seconds, said, “Operation Bodyguard. Initiate. This is not a drill.” He then faded away as he side-stepped into street level sewer fog and disappeared into the noises of the murky city at night.
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