Friday, January 30, 2004

Marketing Speak 101: Say What?

Today's case study is Pixar Giving Disney the Boot.

What Disney Management Said:
Tom Staggs, Disney sevp/cfo, said Disney management could not accept Pixar's final offer because it would have cost Disney hundreds of millions of dollars it is already entitled to under the existing agreement, while not providing sufficient incremental returns on new collaborations to justify the changes to the existing deal.

What They Really Meant:
"You asked for--WHAT!?"

What Steve Said:
"After 10 months of trying to strike a deal with Disney, we're moving on," said Pixar's CEO, Steve Jobs. "We've had a great run together -- one of the most successful in Hollywood history -- and it's a shame that Disney won't be participating in Pixar's future successes."

What He Really Meant:
"We're through with you and your lousy deals!"

What Eisner Said:
"We have had a fantastic partnership with Pixar and wish Steve Jobs and the wonderfully creative team there, led by John Lasseter, much success in the future," said Disney's CEO Michael Eisner. "Although we would have enjoyed continuing our successful collaboration under mutually acceptable terms, Pixar understandably has chosen to go its own way to grow as an independent company."

What He Really Meant:
"Your loss."

What the Media said:
The split also offers a further hurdle for Eisner as he tries to steer his struggling media conglomerate into a full turnaround. Eisner is already dealing with uncertain economics in the TV and theme parks businesses, along with a pair of dissident shareholders seeking to portray the executive as overpaid and unresponsive to shareholder needs.

What the Media Meant:
Someone's in deep doodoo...

What Roy Disney and Stanley Gold said:
Roy Disney and ally Stanley Gold, who both resigned from the Disney board late last year and called for Chief Executive and Chairman Michael Eisner to step down, placed the blame on Eisner. "More than a year ago, we warned the Disney board that we believed Michael Eisner was mismanaging the Pixar partnership and expressed our concern that the relationship was in jeopardy," they said.

What They Really Meant:
"We told you so!"

What Warner Bros. Said:
A Warner Bros. spokesperson told CNN, "We would love to be in business with Pixar. They are a great company."

What They Really Meant:
"But we don't want to look too eager."

(Thanks to Veriyanta.)

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