Amy’s Baking Company, and the Coyotes

ComPost - Alexandra Petri Washington Post

ComPost – Alexandra Petri
Washington Post

You can’t make this stuff up. The latest craziness discussion will require YOU to do some work, I’ll wait while you Google (or Bing) “Amy’s Baking Company” and read some of the results. Click here if you’re REALLY lazy and want one sample.

Wow, huh? Yup, wow.

So, how do you “fix” such a nightmare? There are a few ways.

You could recognize your mistakes, modify your behavior, apologize to the appropriate parties and try to make amends, and move on in hopes people recognize your sincerity.

Or you could hire a PR firm and work a deal for a reality show. The reality show thing is just a guess.

It just so happens that Amy hired the same PR guy that tweeted the following snark about the Coyotes less than a week ago:

Barometer For Weiers

The barometer comment is aimed at somebody and certainly with the approval of Jerry Weiers. While Jason might not have any official capacity with the mayor’s office, he was certainly involved in his campaign and conventional wisdom has him on the mayor’s speed dial. Jason is good at his job and would have cleared his tweet with Weiers before hitting the send button. So, it’s the mayor talking.

Facebook Images Being Removed (click to embiggen)

Facebook Images Being Removed
(click to embiggen)

Records requests for the mayor’s calendar entries came up pretty short with ANY proposed candidates visiting his office, so maybe Jason is talking about private meetings nobody outside of the “inner circle” would know about. We may craft a different request one of these days to find the magic combination.

One should always consider motive and credibility when examining issues like this. Motives are always debatable and are often pure speculation, so let’s leave that alone to save some time and deal with the credibility thing.

That tweet is from a public relations guy. The credibility of a PR company is never in question, they have none. If they’re working for somebody, that’s the story they will legitimize regardless of reality. If the company happens to actually believe what they’re saying, it’s a bonus but it’s not a necessity.

Secondly, that tweet is from a PR guy that is promising to tell the “real story” of Amy’s Baking Company, demonstrating how badly they were treated by Fox and the “hackers” of their social media sites. Okay.

Own It, Man is the site for Jason’s new client. It’s owned by them (click here for WHOIS or here for a printed copy) and hasn’t yet been changed to a private registration.

Others are now buying up other similar domains, that will probably be spun as “hacking”.

Their site is a fairly standard WordPress site. Let’s agree the likelihood of THAT site being “hacked” (as the cyberbullying spin may soon allege) is relatively low. Even if you don’t buy that premise, let’s continue.

Hey Martha Can I Borrow A Cup Of Sugar?

Amy's Page - Martha's Page (click to embiggen)

Amy’s Page – Martha’s Page
(click to embiggen)

This page on the Amy’s site has a photo from Martha Stewart’s site. Amy’s page was originally published nearly a year ago on July 7, 2011. There’s no attribution of the source of the image, the text implies it’s Amy’s work. It’s not. While both Amy and Martha are convicted felons, you’d have to go with Martha’s credibility in this case. The photography is professional and Martha doesn’t want to spend any more time in the crowbar hotel.

The bottom image was also from elsewhere (click here). Many more were also on the Amy’s Facebook page where somebody had commented on a BUNCH of images with the original source. Those images are being scrubbed as I write this.

There are plenty more examples, but it doesn’t seem worth it to continue with this argument. The fact is, before the spin starts, Amy has been implying (if not actually stating) other people’s work is her own.

Is it possible that somebody else was contracted to build and maintain the Amy site? Of course it is, but the layout of the pages has the look of an amateur web person. And, of course, the ultimate responsibility lies with the owner of the web site.

The point here isn’t borrowed images, it’s credibility. A professional PR guy should have, before even accepting the gig, examined what all the fuss was about. In this case, the fuss is about Internet “hacking” and nasty comments going both ways in the controversy.

I’m not a PR guy, but it seems pretty basic to FIRST clean up the public sites of my client before blowing air that said client was being wronged by “the man”. Having a clean or even nonexistent site would be a better way to restore the faith of the community in a business with a severely damaged reputation.

Shouldn’t those pages have been corrected immediately? They haven’t yet, although SOMEBODY is busy removing images from the corresponding Facebook page so maybe the web site is next.

Better Call The Cops

According to the Phoenix Business Journal (did I actually just write that?), included in the high dudgeon being feigned by Mr. Rose in defense of his new client is a call to Scottsdale PD to investigate what they claim was hacking of their Facebook and other social media accounts. Apparently the complaint was confirmed by Scottsdale PD, we have no idea whether their spokesman was rolling his eyes while confirming the fact to Mike Sunnucks.

There’s no mention of hacking their company web site, which we’ve shown to contain questionable material that’s similar or exactly the same as what’s on their Facebook site. We’d be happy to share with Five-O as they delve deeper into this mystery.

Or not. Come on, we ALL know it’s just spin to get off the cray cray hook don’t we? Drop it, the cops have many better things to do than track down some non-existent nefarious hackers.

It’s all part of the spin to make it the little guy against the big guy, America loves the underdog and wants to see them win. Even the really nuts underdogs. To that end, Jason is going to market the rebirth as a “Amy Against FOX!!!!!!” Thunderdome match. Yet, Fox didn’t build their website or borrow images, did they?

Back To The Coyotes

I hope Amy gets her stuff together, really. Nobody is beyond redemption and those two deserve another shot at it. I don’t think many people would disagree that they should just apologize, stop their crazy actions, hire a chef and move on. It would work, plenty of people would go there and, if the food was good and the psychotic behavior was absent, they would probably return.

We’re interested in spin and credibility, not as it pertains to Amy’s but how it pertains to Glendale and the Coyotes. While Jason isn’t representing the City in any official capacity. it’s extremely likely he’s pushing the agenda of the mayor.

Over the past two weeks we’ve had Darin Pastor submit a bid to the NHL and to the City (through Beacon) for their consideration. The NHL has summarily rejected Mr. Pastor’s bid, despite the amount offered for the team being significantly HIGHER than the asking price. No other SPECIFIC information has been released, and the NHL has been mum.

So, is the mayor signaling people that Renaissance is the group that’s visited the mayor most often and is thus the winner? I don’t know, but the credibility of both the mayor and Jason is questionable, in this instance at least. Despite that, the signals being sent by the NHL, as poorly executed as they are, look like the nod will be going to the Renaissance guys.

Not The King

Council Member Norma Alvarez said something to the effect of “You’re just a ceremonial mayor” to Mr. Weires early in his reign. It was actually pretty funny. But, what Norma was pointing out is true. The mayor of Glendale is only ONE vote of seven in everything that requires a vote, like an arena management agreement. Beyond that, the RFP commissioned by the City specifically forbids contact between prospective bidders and any member of the City government. Such as the mayor.

So, despite the snarky comment from Jason, there’s no credibility attached. Technically, if people did contact the mayor after the RFP was published, they could be sanctioned and excluded from consideration for the arena management gig.

Jason has the ear of the mayor, but the mayor is significantly less popular around town and City Hall than his demeanor suggests. If Jason is willing to jump on the Amy’s bandwagon, perhaps as a challenge, do any of his comments really carry weight as regards the Coyotes? Has he jumped on the Weiers bandwagon for the same reasons as he did Amy’s? Where do his interests lie?

I submit they don’t lie within what’s best for Glendale or, of course, the Coyotes.

So, if you want to continue following the Amy’s story, keep in mind the spin that’s being applied. As the Amy’s story perhaps morphs into a small business being bullied by Fox and the entire Internet, remember that same sort of pressure is being applied to the Coyotes in Glendale. Remember the timing of newspaper stories and the followup social media hits we’ve seen recently. None of it is unplanned, and all of it is carefully timed.

Keep your eyes peeled for the spin and don’t fall for it.

PS: Jason is also working on something we should all be interested in, APS and the revision of it’s solar policies. Jason is on the right side of this one. Which side is the right side? Mine, of course.


  1. […] that of the nefarious “hackers” that controlled their sites and Yelped them ferociously. Click here to read about that, or just trust me for […]

  2. […] that Jason has retired from his brief assignment repping Amy’s Baking Company after their Gordon Ramsay meltdown, he may once again become more […]