Rich Tong, with his Something About Mary hairdo, is in deep shit. Betabeat published a rather scathing article this morning about how Tumblr is up its relationships with fashion industry insiders and large corporate brands.
“Jessica Coghan, Director of Digital Media at the influential fashion PR house Starworks, which reps brands like Ann Taylor, Kate Spade and Tory Burch posted this:
So, I am sure you have all heard that Tumblr is sending some bloggers to fashion week again this season. I have also had the pleasure of seeing their sponsorship proposal being shopped around to brands, which I am not supposed to be talking about. I will say this… someone is completely out of their goddamn mind.
[...] Julie Fredrickson, who does Digital and Social Media at Ann Taylor wrote on her Tumblr in response to Ms. Coghan’s post:
I am going to go on record saying that no one at Tumblr reached out to Ann Taylor with a proposal for Fashion Week and we are
1) the first fashion brand to be on Tumblr (even though we carefully avoid press since this piece as a company)
2) have invested MAJOR brand and development dollars into the platform (see ArtSheSaid, OnTumblr) going on for over a year now.
3) Actually have the wherewithall and knowledge to be a good sponsor of this as a company
Please someone who is a grown up at Tumblr listen to the brands that care about you. It isn’t just Users First, Brands Second. Hell at this point you are Users First, Brands never. Take a cue from Michael Lazerow’s comments on that post and realize that brands pay the bills when VCs stop.
Rich Tong-if you don’t actively pursue these options you are not doing your job. You know that Ann Taylor loves Tumblr, you know that we invest money, and yet you have ignored us. Unless I am mistaken your job is “Fashion Director” so act like it.”
At this point, Tumblr’s fashion industry ass-kissing is embarrassing and Rich Tong’s presence at the blog platform inexcusable. How much money is he making to sit around and beg for fashion week invites all day without providing these brands any returns on their investment?
Wait, wait. Sorry, what’s that sound? I thought I just heard something. Oh, never mind. It’s Tumblr crashing and burning at NYFW. Again.