Not Cool: PR Flacks Try to Buy OK! Magazine Editor a Dog

Rule No. 47, Editor's Handbook: Do not accept money from PR people to buy a new dog. Don't mess this up!


There’s an unwritten rule among editors that you don’t accept gifts from PR people like spa vacations, boats, fall wardrobes, cardio machines — really, publicists will try to give you anything — because you’ll look like a COMPLETE IDIOT among other editors, and you’ll end up exhibit A in stories like the one you are reading.

You also should not accept money for your dog’s medical bills from publicists, nor should you use any leftover money to buy a new dog.

Also, never let your sister do any of these things for you.

Such was the strange case with Shauna Bass, entertainment director of OK! magazine. After her Pomeranian died, she was faced with a huge vet bill, so her sister set up the Simba Bass Memorial Fund on IndieGoGo, soliciting donations from the public, according to Gawker.

Although we feel for Shauna, and applaud her efforts to save her beloved dog, we can’t imagine what her sister was thinking. Here’s how the pitch went:

As soon as Simba became ill, Shauna rushed him to the animal hospital. The veterinarians tried their absolute best to save Simba’s life, using a variety of medical procedures to save Simba. Although the doctors were unsuccessful, the medical procedures were fairly expensive.

In lieu of flowers, cards, candies or gifts, I am asking all of the people who know and love Shauna and Simba to donate to the Simba Bass Memorial Fund to help defray the significant medical costs for which Shauna is now responsible.

Any left over donations will also be put towards the costs of buying a new dog. While Simba is irreplaceable, a new dog will comfort her during this sad time, and eventually, help her to move on.

By donating to this fund, you are not just materially supporting Shauna and relieving her of some of the worries she has regarding these medical bills. When the time comes for her to bring home a new animal, that dog will be an extension of your love for her.

PR flacks lasered into the phrase “people who know and love Shauna and Simba” like the pros they are, thinking, “Hey! Isn’t it our job to love editorial directors? Nobody loves editorial directors more than we do! And cats are fine, too — er, dogs. She had a dog, right? Either way — love Shauna and Simba. Is Simba a bird?”

A who’s who of PR flacks quickly got in line, pushing the donations past the $5,000 mark, making everyone very pleased with themselves and breathless awaiting upcoming issues of OK! magazines. Then Gawker got ahold of the story … and that was the end of the Simba Bass Memorial Fund. The site is now marked as “draft.” Aw. It seemed like such a elegant way to shower gifts on editors. Stupid unwritten rule.

FishbowlLA offered up some astute analysis: Why is she buying another dog? We agree: If she hasn’t returned the money already, perhaps Shauna Bass should donate it to a shelter — after rescuing her new dog from one. That might make the PR flacks pissed, but PR flacks are supposed to be pissed. They’re PR flacks.

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