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April 23rd, 2009

MTV Editor Gets a (Bad) “Pitch in a Box”


“I think that I shall never see, a media kit that doesn’t kill a tree.”

With apologies to Joyce Kilmer, we were gearing down from Earth Day festivities when Tamar, a senior editor of MTV.com and the managing editor of the MTV Buzzworthy blog, dropped us a line.

We’re old enough to remember the first video played on MTV (it killed a radio star in fact) and I’m hometown proud of Taking the Stage, so we were more than happy to help them shine some light on some poor pitching.

Per Tamar
…as someone who makes a concerted effort to *TRY* to recycle as many plastic bottles, cardboard packaging, magazines, and junk mail as possible (and to reuse as many mailers), I wanted to let you know that I was HORRIFIED to receive a pitch that was basically an absurdly wasteful combination of all of the aforementioned.

It was sent in a huge cardboard box, and inside that cardboard box was ANOTHER cardboard box, the top of which read “Every day, Americans flush millions of these down the toilet.” Inside was a MINIATURE TREE trimming. The tree alone made me extremely sad (as did the unnecessary plastic casing on the CD inside the box), but the info inside was all about how several American brands of toilet paper and paper towels are still made from trees and come from clear cut forests.

Uh, IRONIC, no, to send out a pitch about wasting resources when you’re TOTALLY WASTING RESOURCES? Also, I’d like to note that this was totally unsolicited and that I write about music, pop culture, and fashion (and hence will never utilize this info — except for now, of course) so it makes it even more wasteful.

Thought I’d let you know. I’m now off to recycle the box. I gave the tree to a coworker who owns a home and can hopefully plant it.

Tamar also took the picture above and posted it to Twitter.

Green Pitches Should Not Have Carbon Footprints
We’re not going to remnd you to not send off-topic ptches. I mean, sure, like the book says “everyone poops.” But why send this pitch to MTV? And we understand the need to cut through the clutter. We also understand that teams rarely have a packaging design expert on staff.

But sweet fancy mustard people, if you’re pitching green, you better be thinking reduce/reuse/recycle through every. single. step. of your efforts. If you’re not a single detail can go over like a big 3 auto manufacturer flying to Capital Hill in a company jet to ask for funds (wearing a fur coat).

Which is to say it doesn’t matter if there is a good intention or even a logical explanation behind a pitch. If you claim green, you better be a certain muppet or considering the lifecycle of your entire effort and the details therein. Because unfortunately every day can be bad pitch day.

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