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Tony Bourdain, brought to you by Michelob


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Looks like you know...not much.

I receive exactly zero compensation--from Bravo, from Michelob, from anyone--not one dollar, not "any thing of value" --for blogging Top Chef. I'm a fanboy and occasional participant on the show (certainly not for the money--cause they pay shit). I like the show. I like watching the show. I like hanging out with Tom and Ted and assorted chef cronies and tasting food.And I enjoy dishing about the show on line . Period.

And I don't drink Michelob. Cause it tastes like crap. You can quote me.

Aww shit. Look what you did. You made me post here.

I thought you were only on there to try to get closer to Padma

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So, where is Tony's blog?

Travel Channel. I have to wonder if that is why he has no blog on Top Chef?

Well, if one doesn't get on there soon somebody's gonna owe the real A-B (Anheuser Busch) some money back. Or some other exposure elsewhere in the Bravo site.

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So, where is Tony's blog?

Travel Channel. I have to wonder if that is why he has no blog on Top Chef?

Well, if one doesn't get on there soon somebody's gonna owe the real A-B (Anheuser Busch) some money back. Or some other exposure elsewhere in the Bravo site.

I guess it would help if I had read the link in the first post. :raz:

I just wish everytime they took a ride it wasn't in the "Top Chef Toyota Highlanders with the Glad family of roof racks."

Edited by Doodad (log)
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The word pitchman means someone is selling something for money. Whoever does so, does so at their own risk (and reward, of course). I don't see what the big deal is, everyone needs to make a living. But your logic is tortured, and I'm not sure what the difference is if a beer company gives you money; or a beer company gives your company money and they pay you out of that money. It doesn't really matter who signs the check. If someone is sponsoring you, you are a pitchman; either active or passive. You don't have to have Mr. Bourdain literally say,"Brought to you by Michelob." It says it right there on the page. It's the same thing. Endorse means to 'validate'; the idea that someone like Mr. Bourdain has no control over his sponsors, or that he rejects them even as they pay him, is somewhat disingenuous; or maybe he's just 'getting paid', as he was at the Food Network SoBe bla blah blah...where he was visibly using a bottle of Amstel Light as a prop.

And I think everyone got the OP's joke. Except Mr. Bourdain.

Edited by Miami Danny (log)
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Maybe I'm just feeling waggish, but to me, "passive endorsement" sounds a whole lot like an oxymoron. I'm not defending Mr. Bourdain particularly, but I don't know that it's reasonable to suggest that for him to not quit Bravo to protest the awfulness of Michelob makes him a "pitchman" for Michelob. I'm pretty sure that employees of a network don't get to approve or disapprove network sponsors.

"Life itself is the proper binge" Julia Child

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Maybe I'm just feeling waggish, but to me, "passive endorsement" sounds a whole lot like an oxymoron. I'm not defending Mr. Bourdain particularly, but I don't know that it's reasonable to suggest that for him to not quit Bravo to protest the awfulness of Michelob makes him a "pitchman" for Michelob. I'm pretty sure that employees of a network don't get to approve or disapprove network sponsors.

If you are going to claim the high ground, then you have to take the responsibilty, as well as the paycheck. Mr. Bourdain is not an 'employee' either, according to his own post.

I've worked for a TV network, and I wasn't too pleased with everything they did, either. But I shut my mouth and took their money. Meretricious? Perhaps. But then I've never made any claims otherwise. Mr. Bourdain, however, continues to protest his virtue.

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The word pitchman means someone is selling something for money.  Whoever does so, does so at their own risk (and reward, of course).  I don't see what the big deal is, everyone needs to make a living.  But your logic is tortured, and I'm not sure what the difference is if a beer company gives you money; or a beer company gives your company money and they pay you out of that money.  It doesn't really matter who signs the check.  If someone is sponsoring you, you are a pitchman; either active or passive.  You don't have to have Mr. Bourdain literally say,"Brought to you by Michelob."  It says it right there on the page.  It's the same thing.  Endorse means to 'validate'; the idea that someone like Mr. Bourdain has no control over his sponsors, or that he rejects them even as they pay him, is somewhat disingenuous; or maybe he's just 'getting paid', as he was at the Food Network SoBe bla blah blah...where he was visibly using a bottle of Amstel Light as a prop. 

And I think everyone got the OP's joke.  Except Mr. Bourdain.

No, YOUR logic is wrong. I once gave a lecture (unpaid), only to find, when I got to the venue, that the organization which asked me to talk got sponsorship - for the entire lecture series. It was for a good cause and I didn't particularly care, but at no time was I paid by the sponsor, or asked to endorse anything, or pose next to anything, or do ANYTHING. Sponsorship and endorsement are two different things. Second, the term "pitchman" means someone who PITCHES a product, service, etc., for money, which, again, Tony is not doing. And, third, asTony already stated, he doesn't get paid to write the Bravo blog, so no money from ANY source is going to him. His blog is being underwritten by Michelob, and he is neither receiving any money from Michelob or Bravo for it, nor is he "pitching" any good, product or service in connection with it.

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I'm not trying to play devil's advocate; I'm just not sure how all this semantics is working out and I am asking honest questions below, not trying to flame the fires here.....

What does it mean to have a blog underwritten by a company? Does it mean the blogger uses a computer or internet access provided by the company? Why would someone need or want a blog underwritten by a corporation?

Is it just the exchange of money that defines a relationship between a blogger and a sponsor/underwriter or whatever it is called? Should the blogger be asking questions about how the blog is presented to the public or is that not done? Is it like writing an article for a magazine and then the author doesn't get to see the edits made by the publication before it runs?

Again, I am asking because I don't know; I'm not trying to incite any riots here or ask any rhetorical questions. I really would like to know!

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I'm not trying to play devil's advocate; I'm just not sure how all this semantics is working out and I am asking honest questions below, not trying to flame the fires here.....

What does it mean to have a blog underwritten by a company?  Does it mean the blogger uses a computer or internet access provided by the company? Why would someone need or want a blog underwritten by a corporation?

Is it just the exchange of money that defines a relationship between a blogger and a sponsor/underwriter or whatever it is called?  Should the blogger be asking questions about how the blog is presented to the public or is that not done?  Is it like writing an article for a magazine and then the author doesn't get to see the edits made by the publication before it runs?

Again, I am asking because I don't know; I'm not trying to incite any riots here or ask any rhetorical questions.  I really would like to know!

My guess is to offset the bandwidth storm that occurs when Tony guest blogs. I bet the hit count goes up tenfold. And that is $$.

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I'm not trying to play devil's advocate; I'm just not sure how all this semantics is working out and I am asking honest questions below, not trying to flame the fires here.....

What does it mean to have a blog underwritten by a company?  Does it mean the blogger uses a computer or internet access provided by the company? Why would someone need or want a blog underwritten by a corporation?

Is it just the exchange of money that defines a relationship between a blogger and a sponsor/underwriter or whatever it is called?  Should the blogger be asking questions about how the blog is presented to the public or is that not done?  Is it like writing an article for a magazine and then the author doesn't get to see the edits made by the publication before it runs?

Again, I am asking because I don't know; I'm not trying to incite any riots here or ask any rhetorical questions.  I really would like to know!

No, a sponsored blogger can, naturally, use his or her own CPU to blog. But once the marterial leaves his or her hands, the blogger/writer does not necessarily have full control about how it's formatted, packaged, edited, etc. So if Tony, working on his laptop or Blackberry, blogs a piece and sends it into Bravo, he's just sending typed words - like these, like yours - to the Bravo blog editors. Since, for the past season, Tony has been blogging Top Chef (for free just because it amuses him), and there's been no sponsorship, banner pages, ads on the side of HIS blog, etc., I'm sure he did not see foresee any changes coming - until Bravo announced that his blog was going to be sponsored by Michelob. Well, now that he KNOWS Michelob is slated to sponsor his blog, that ads, banner pages and whatever other promotional/advertising BS is going to be added to his written words, Tony is objecting. And for those of you who think he's selling out or about to, let's just see if you see Tony blog Top Chef this season, as long as there is the threat of sponsorship on his blogs. Bets, anyone?

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The Great God Bourdain rises from his sweat-ocean, shakes a few diamond-drops from his wavy locks, settles to his work, and those he deigns to honor with his words, his moments, his glance---they dare not censor.

They GENUFLECT.

Edited by racheld (log)
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Snippage

The Great God Bourdain rises from his sweat-ocean, shakes a few diamond-drops from his wavy locks, settles to his work, and those he deigns to honor with his words, his moments, his glance---they dare not censor.

They GENUFLECT.

OH MY HECK IN A HAND CART! This is hysterical. Snort.

I say make your money where you can, within reason. I still don't see him as a sellout. Probably never will. Not compared with some other food types who have everything, but TP with their names on it and only cause no one has thought of the TP thing, yet.

Blog.liedel.org

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I'm not trying to play devil's advocate; I'm just not sure how all this semantics is working out and I am asking honest questions below, not trying to flame the fires here.....

What does it mean to have a blog underwritten by a company?  Does it mean the blogger uses a computer or internet access provided by the company? Why would someone need or want a blog underwritten by a corporation?

Is it just the exchange of money that defines a relationship between a blogger and a sponsor/underwriter or whatever it is called?  Should the blogger be asking questions about how the blog is presented to the public or is that not done?  Is it like writing an article for a magazine and then the author doesn't get to see the edits made by the publication before it runs?

Again, I am asking because I don't know; I'm not trying to incite any riots here or ask any rhetorical questions.  I really would like to know!

No, a sponsored blogger can, naturally, use his or her own CPU to blog. But once the marterial leaves his or her hands, the blogger/writer does not necessarily have full control about how it's formatted, packaged, edited, etc. So if Tony, working on his laptop or Blackberry, blogs a piece and sends it into Bravo, he's just sending typed words - like these, like yours - to the Bravo blog editors. Since, for the past season, Tony has been blogging Top Chef (for free just because it amuses him), and there's been no sponsorship, banner pages, ads on the side of HIS blog, etc., I'm sure he did not see foresee any changes coming - until Bravo announced that his blog was going to be sponsored by Michelob. Well, now that he KNOWS Michelob is slated to sponsor his blog, that ads, banner pages and whatever other promotional/advertising BS is going to be added to his written words, Tony is objecting. And for those of you who think he's selling out or about to, let's just see if you see Tony blog Top Chef this season, as long as there is the threat of sponsorship on his blogs. Bets, anyone?

"Threat of sponsorship"? Now that's funny. Yes, God knows someone who makes their living in commercial media views sponsorship as a "threat". I guess NR will be running commercial free from this point forward then? Let me know when that starts.

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Bordain knows he is a commodity. He knows that people will flock to whatever he says or does. Simply by participating he is selling the Bordain experience, promoting himself. He, like all celebrities must keep the presence present or he will end up on "The Surreal Life". So, it's in Bordain's best interest to blog, judge, etc... Whatever it takes to stay in the spotlight.

Edited by RAHiggins1 (log)
Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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There will be no blog.

Cruddy, crud, crud. That just mucks up my enjoyment of the show by at least 50%. Just dag-nabbit all anway and those are not the words I am using at home. I sound like Andrew right now.

Blog.liedel.org

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"Threat of sponsorship"?  Now that's funny.  Yes, God knows someone who makes their living in commercial media views sponsorship as a "threat".  I guess NR will be running commercial free from this point forward then?  Let me know when that starts.

In terms of how Bourdain saw his previously uncommercialized, unsponsored blog now suddenly being sponsored by Michelob, yes, that would be "a threat". As for NR, the situation is entirely different. A production company produces a show, under contract, for a network. Even though for-profit networks derive most of their income from advertising, at that point, the people producing the show are paid by the NETWORK - not a specific sponsor. When NR airs, blocks of air time are bought by individual companies selling a product - again, there is no one sponsor, and neither Tony nor, say, Zimmern, are required to endorse or do any shilling for a particular company. Further, when a show is bought by a commercial TV network to be aired, it is with the full understanding that there will be commercials run through it at the breaks - a full understanding reached ages before the show goes into production, naturally. That is the business of for-profit TV.

What Tony is ticked off about, as I understand it, is that (1) a blog that he writes for free, for fun, is now being sponsored by a corporate entity, and (2) Bravo did so without a heads-up to him. Since Tony had no say in what was going to be done to his blog once he sent it in, and being associated with the commercial sponsorship of it - even passively - is anathema to him, Tony is therefore NOT going to write the blog any more (see the last comment from Bourdain, above).

Neither with NR - nor with the blog - does a corporate entity come running up to Tony with buckets of filthy lucre and drop it in his lap, screaming, "Here! NOW would you please let us plaster your dark visage all over our Pilsner glasses! Let us start mass-producing the Bourdain Ginzu 8" hollow ground Santoku knife!" But he does get paid through his contract with The Travel Channel to produce NR, he does get paid for his speaking engagements and appearances (though not for plain old book signings, which are promotional), and he does get paid from his book royalties (which the book signings pump up).

I'm sure Bourdain HAS had offers to endorse plenty of stuff, BTW, or for merchandizing - but the very fact that we haven't SEEN any endorsements, merchandizing, etc., etc., with Bourdain's face on it should tell you right there he isn't doing any. And now, as he's just said, he won't write the sponsored Top Chef blog. That should settle the integrity question right there, don't you think?

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Some people will never put down their cynic glasses where celebrity is concerned. Which is to be expected, since many celebrities do seem to live up to their worst image. It's hard to separate the chaff from the wheat, sponsorship wise. I would not blame him for creating a line of _____________, but he has not done that and as Claudia said, it's probably not for lack of opportunity.

I want my TB knife set with fifteen knives in a charming block that also holds steak knives. Sold separately, of course. Snort.

Blog.liedel.org

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"Threat of sponsorship"?  Now that's funny.  Yes, God knows someone who makes their living in commercial media views sponsorship as a "threat".  I guess NR will be running commercial free from this point forward then?  Let me know when that starts.

In terms of how Bourdain saw his previously uncommercialized, unsponsored blog now suddenly being sponsored by Michelob, yes, that would be "a threat". As for NR, the situation is entirely different. A production company produces a show, under contract, for a network. Even though for-profit networks derive most of their income from advertising, at that point, the people producing the show are paid by the NETWORK - not a specific sponsor. When NR airs, blocks of air time are bought by individual companies selling a product - again, there is no one sponsor, and neither Tony nor, say, Zimmern, are required to endorse or do any shilling for a particular company. Further, when a show is bought by a commercial TV network to be aired, it is with the full understanding that there will be commercials run through it at the breaks - a full understanding reached ages before the show goes into production, naturally. That is the business of for-profit TV.

What Tony is ticked off about, as I understand it, is that (1) a blog that he writes for free, for fun, is now being sponsored by a corporate entity, and (2) Bravo did so without a heads-up to him. Since Tony had no say in what was going to be done to his blog once he sent it in, and being associated with the commercial sponsorship of it - even passively - is anathema to him, Tony is therefore NOT going to write the blog any more (see the last comment from Bourdain, above).

Neither with NR - nor with the blog - does a corporate entity come running up to Tony with buckets of filthy lucre and drop it in his lap, screaming, "Here! NOW would you please let us plaster your dark visage all over our Pilsner glasses! Let us start mass-producing the Bourdain Ginzu 8" hollow ground Santoku knife!" But he does get paid through his contract with The Travel Channel to produce NR, he does get paid for his speaking engagements and appearances (though not for plain old book signings, which are promotional), and he does get paid from his book royalties (which the book signings pump up).

I'm sure Bourdain HAS had offers to endorse plenty of stuff, BTW, or for merchandizing - but the very fact that we haven't SEEN any endorsements, merchandizing, etc., etc., with Bourdain's face on it should tell you right there he isn't doing any. And now, as he's just said, he won't write the sponsored Top Chef blog. That should settle the integrity question right there, don't you think?

Hoo boy. Let's get a few things straight:

1. I don't recall ever questioning anyone's integrity. My original post merely linked to an article announcing Bravo's decision to sell sponsorship to Bourdain's blog to Michelob with a comment tossed in about product integration since Top Chef is a show that does a fair amount of it. I don't know why Bourdain would be pissed off that someone would think he'd drink a Michelob on screen; hell we've already seen him drink Corona and Stella both of which are crappier tasting if you ask me.

2. Anyone who thinks they're providing content to a commercial media conglomerate in any form that will NOT be commercialized is either disingenuous or naive. I'll give Bourdain and his people the benefit of the doubt and say it's the latter.

3. I suspect that the real issue here is not the sponsorship but rather the lack of compensation. And for that, I say (pardon the pun) bravo to Bourdain for not providing free content that NBC Universal to sell. After all, just click on over to the Bourdain home page on the Travel Channel (which contains a blog for which he presumably IS paid) and you'll see right there on the right that Life Takes Visa!

Anyway, kudos to Tony for making a smart business decsion. Giving away content for free in the Web 2.0 era is bad business. By refusing to blog he also looks great to the portion of his fanbase that's less sophisticated about the media biz and still harbors notions that there's such a thing as "selling out" vs. "not selling out" depending on where you draw the sponsorship line.

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Hoo boy.  Let's get a few things straight:

1.  I don't recall ever questioning anyone's integrity.  My original post merely linked to an article announcing Bravo's decision to sell sponsorship to Bourdain's blog to Michelob with a comment tossed in about product integration since Top Chef is a show that does a fair amount of it.  I don't know why Bourdain would be pissed off that someone would think he'd drink a Michelob on screen; hell we've already seen him drink Corona and Stella both of which are crappier tasting if you ask me.

2.  Anyone who thinks they're providing content to a commercial media conglomerate in any form that will NOT be commercialized is either disingenuous or naive.  I'll give Bourdain and his people the benefit of the doubt and say it's the latter. 

3.  I suspect that the real issue here is not the sponsorship but rather the lack of compensation.  And for that, I say (pardon the pun) bravo to Bourdain for not providing free content that NBC Universal to sell.  After all, just click on over to the Bourdain home page on the Travel Channel (which contains a blog for which he presumably IS paid) and you'll see right there on the right that Life Takes Visa!

Anyway, kudos to Tony for making a smart business decsion.  Giving away content for free in the Web 2.0 era is bad business. By refusing to blog he also looks great to the portion of his fanbase that's less sophisticated about the media biz and still harbors notions that there's such a thing as "selling out" vs. "not selling out" depending on where you draw the sponsorship line.

1. The question of integrity remark was not directed at you, personally, PDC, but at the blog en masse.

2. Since the Top Chef blog was NOT previously sponsored over last season when Tony was blogging it, and since he was likewise not receiving any compensation from Bravo or anyone else for his blogging, then, yes, he had a reasonable expectation that the blog he was invited to write was to continue "commercial-free" - hence Tony's reaction to discovering that, in fact, it would not be.

3. Partly answered above. Yes, Tony knows that his TC blog, carried by the TC network, would have sponsorship/advertising - but he knew THAT from the get-go, and, like cross-plugging Zimmern's show or appearing on Miami Ink (when Discovery was still a sister network), that that was part of the whole package of being a TC celeb. (Although he still, personally, does not endorse any of the stuff plugged on the TC blog). Tony stull does not have control over whatever advertising, etc., TC puts up on the blog pages, but given that he is under contract to TC, it is, unfortunately, part of the package. Does he get paid an additional sum for blogging about his show? I don't know. But it IS part of the promotion of the show, regardless, ans he understands he must support/promote the show, just as he supports/promotes his own books. The thing with Bravo is that is was a free blog he was doing, and unsponsored, and that they THEN decided to have it sponsored.

I don't know that the decision was a "business decision" not to give away free content. He WAS giving away free content (by not being paid for the Top Chef blog) right up until Bravo decided to have it sponsored. I think it was an ethical decision, a refusal to have something he was doing for free, for fun (for both himself and the fans) commercialized - that was NOT part of the original deal with Bravo. And, as it isn't a product that Tony uses, so he seems to feel, in all good conscience, that he cannot be seen to be associated with that product. It's not because Tony is not getting paid (by Bravo OR by Michelob).

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Whew and I thought it was my post about self-grandisement that set AB off...

As far as AB goes, I'm a fan. I tivo, read, watch bourdain stuff to the point that my wife ridicules me. When I see AB in a different country going native my soul yearns to do likewise. But, since that ain't gonna happen, I live vicariously through him.

Veni Vidi Vino - I came, I saw, I drank.
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