Bimbo Banter

BIMBO Nominees for March 2020

  • Bimbo
  • March 1, 2020
  • by Spaeth Communications

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There are a few juicy BIMBO comments this month and one of our winners features a bad word and a shocking picture. Other BIMBO comments come from the Japanese Ministry of Justice, a Dallas businessman, Mitt Romney and Delta’s CEO. An example of the Wrong Thing to Say courtesy of Carol Moseley Braun and a learning example from Boeing. Of course, Democratic Presidential Candidates Biden and Sanders contributed comments as well. And finally, we solicit your opinion on an international submission. Good or bad?  


“The debate’s a chance for us to make it clear that this is a deeply compassionate and principled man who isn’t just a rich guy on a vanity run,” said Tim O’Brien, a senior advisor to Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign before Bloomberg’s first debate in Las Vegas. (Perhaps it’s time for a new senior advisor? We’re also not so sure Bloomberg is “deeply compassionate and principled” given his conveniently forgotten past.)

Associated Press, “Bloomberg to go face to face against rivals after ad blitz,” Feb. 18, 2020 


“Our opinion is this didn’t impact the game,” said Astros Owner Jim Crane in response to growing criticism of his team amid revelations that the team engaged in elaborate cheating in their successful 2017 World Series bid and potentially in 2019 when the Yankees lost a six-game AL Championship Series to Houston. (Besides being a BIMBO comment, this is an example of how not to handle a crisis. The issue of whether the team cheated is settled: they did. The components – stealing signals, banging on a trash canpotentially buzzers – are established. Who knew about it and who organized it is confused and will remain so. How to handle it is also a conundrum and shows the risks of poor planning – or no planning. The team held a press conference; various players said various contradictory things. Reporters described the players as providing, “terse, well-coached apologies.” Other player quotes were all over the map. First Baseman Yuli Gurriel said“No one put a gun to our head. It would be a lie to say one or two people are responsible. We’re all responsible.” MLB’s Commissioner provided a timid slap on the wrists. The Dallas Morning News had it right, writing, “Of course their cheating impacted the game.”)

The Dallas Morning News, “Astros’ hubris, feeble apologies have only fueled the downfall of a dynasty,” Feb. 13, 2020

In the “worst marketing campaign” and worst optics ever, Burger King wants you to know they are taking all the artificial preservatives out of all their foods – and their pictorial image is a Whopper covered in mold! (As the article puts it, Burger King is certainly “breaking the mold.” We know we’re not marketing experts – and it certainly did get people’s attention. Will it work? Where’s the nearest Golden Arches?)

Headline Wealth, “Worst Marketing Campaign ever? Burger King Unveils ‘Moldy Whopper,’” Feb. 19, 2020

The Japanese justice system “does not force confessions” claimed the Ministry of Justice in response to allegations by former Nissan Motor Co. Chairman Carlos Ghosn. (This is the winner because it’s clear that the system does indeed force confessions. Global attention is focused on Japan because of Ghosn’s high-profile escape from the country and, in turn, Japan’s justice system. In addition to the quote from the ministry, this article shines a light on the case of a local Japanese businessman Masamichi Sakai. We’ll only summarize the case; Sakai took it upon himself as chairman of a local construction industry group to bid for – as the sole bidder – a local contract to build a difficult-to-build retaining wall. He was accused of bid-rigging and eventually plead guilty so he could see his family again. He then got a new lawyer and plead not guilty and prevailed, no thanks to the justice system. Japan has begun recording interrogations in recent years, and Tokyo’s deputy chief prosecutor, Takahiro Saito, although declining to comment on Sakai’s case, said “There are almost no cases any more where the issue of forced confessions becomes an issue at trial.” If any readers are wondering about the value of America’s commitment to the rule of law, this article is mandatory reading.)

The Wall Street Journal, “Jailed Like Ghosn, a CEO Took On Japan’s Justice System,” Jan. 30, 2020

“Please don’t tune us out,” said the subject line of an email from Joe Biden’s campaign to supporters after the disastrous Iowa and New Hampshire caucuses. (Not a good sign when you assume your base has given up.)

Milled, “please don’t tune us out,” Feb. 17, 2020

“I am not a communist,” Sen. Bernie Sanders told Chris Wallace. (Quick: what’s the difference between a socialist and a communist? However, we have to give Sanders credit for one of his comments, “In many respects, we are a socialist society today. We have a huge budget.” He certainly called that right, and we also have to applaud his honesty, and according to polls, that’s one of his big attractions. Note the BIMBO made the headline.)

RealClear Politics, “Sanders: ‘Obviously I Am Not a Communist,’ But Maybe Trump ‘Doesn’t Know The Difference,’” Feb. 9, 2020

“Nobody wiretapped anybody, nobody attempted to wiretap anybody, nobody discussed wiretapping anybody, and quite frankly, I don’t know what wiretapping is,” said Ed Butowsky, a wealthy businessman who was recently “outed as a driving force behind a retracted Fox News story” regarding the murder of DNC staffer, Seth Rich. (This unlikely, “me thinks she doth protest too much,” quote comes from a wild allegation that Butowsky sought to wiretap Rich’s grieving family. The story probably wouldn’t have seen the light of day except for the over-the-top denial. Note the story source was apparently one of the participants.) 

The Daily Beast, “Right-Wing Activists Discussed Wiretapping Seth Rich’s Family, Three People in the Room Say,” Feb. 18, 2020

“I don’t want to be the skunk at the garden party. I don’t want to have the disdain of Republicans across the country,” protested Sen. Mitt Romney, casting the sole Republican vote in favor of the first article of impeachment against President Trump. (We’ll let other pundits opine on whether there’s a stench; our prediction is that Romney meant to wound Trump. He probably ended up clobbering fellow Republican Sen. Susan Collins just the same way the House Democrats meant to hurt Trump on the Ukraine issue, but instead caused trouble for former Vice President Biden due to the dealings of his son, Hunter.)

The New York Times, “Romney, Defying the Party He Once Personified, Votes to Convict Trump,” Feb. 5, 2020  

“We haven’t reduced our pitch on our aircraft in years. We’re going the other way,” said Delta CEO Ed Bastian in response to the debate of reclining seats. The debate recently began again after a man punched the back of a women’s reclined seat during an American Airlines flight. (Seat pitch is defined as the space between one seat back to the next. Bastian almost got it right. He should have said, “We listen to our customers so we have maintained the distance between seats and are actually increasing it.”)

Headline Wealth, “Delta CEO Affirms Right to Recline – But Says It’s Proper to Ask First,” Feb. 15, 2020  


“This is my Michael Corleone moment,” announced Former Democratic Senator Carol Moseley Braun. (Really? She wanted to compare campaigning for Joe Biden to the famous scene in “The Godfather” where Michael Corleone signed back on as a mafia crime boss. Probably not the comparison Biden’s campaign is trying to achieve.)

The Washington Post, “Former senator Carol Moseley Braun is back on the campaign trail, stumping for Joe Biden,” Feb. 21, 2020


We’ve all heard Mike Bloomberg is worth $60.5 billion and spent $11 million on a Super Bowl ad. But just how much money is that to Bloomberg? If the average family’s net worth is $97,300, $11 million is the percent equivalent of $17 or the cost of a 14-inch Domino’s pizza. The examination goes on at length and includes well-publicized expenditures from Jeff Bezos and presidential candidate Tom Steyer. Very interesting and very creative. Also, a little shocking. It’s a good read to understand why so many Americans think a “wealth tax” is a good idea. (We don’t, but these statistics and the comparisons explain the attraction.)

The Washington Post, “What Bloomberg’s $11 million Super Bowl ad would cost you on your budget,” Jan. 30, 2020


Boeing recently fired a midlevel executive after pilots he was in charge of authored several embarrassing internal emails. These emails caused red faces when they came to light, for example, describing the 737 MAX as “designed by clowns, who in turn are supervised by monkeys.” This strikes us as just the wrong approach. Keith Cooper, the executive in question, was a vice president for training and professional services. We see this as Boeing looking for scapegoats so they can appear to be doing something. The new CEO, David Callahan, said the messages were “totally appalling” and he wants hold people accountable, but this isn’t doing that. Does anyone think Cooper had the ability or empowerment to find out about and let alone deal with these sentiments? Where’s the General Counsel’s office? The HR hotline? The leadership from the CEO?

The Wall Street Journal, “Boeing Fired Midlevel Executive Following Embarrassing Emails,” Feb. 12, 2020  

Here’s an example where we want your opinion. One of our international partners sent us this report about a candidate for mayor of Paris caught in a sex scandal, literally with his pants down on video. Our correspondent shared it as a bilingual example of what not to do, but our French speaking colleague reviewed the English and French stories and thought Benjamin Griveaux, President Macron’s candidate, did well and agreed with his contention, “My family did not deserve this.” My personal opinion is that no candidate who talks about family values should forget that every piece of digital media is likely to get shared.

The Guardian, “Paris mayoral candidate drops out over sex video scandal,” Feb. 14, 2020


The BIMBO Memo is a reminder not to repeat and deny a negative word because of how the listener hears words. When you repeat and deny a negative word, the listener is likely to overlook the denial and hear the opposite of what the speaker is trying to say. It’s named for the young woman who was caught with a high profile, but alas married man. She held a press conference and announced, “I am not a BIMBO,” thus causing everyone to think she was.

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