Amy's Baking Company: Overcooked Reality and the Decline of Western Civility
More or less the Johnnie Cochran of public relations, RMA president Jason Rose specializes in high-profile clients in need of a good scrubbing and doesn't seem to mind getting a little dirt on himself in the process. He nudged an equally publicity-obsessed Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio into shilling for a restaurant called Pink Taco and twisted the campaign laws for some controversial and politically fueled Stingray Sushi ads. And when former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon found himself in a compromising position with a campaign staffer, Rose was all too happy to help. Maseratis don't pay for themselves, you know.
"If they [Amy and Samy] came to us right now and said take us from six feet under to try and get us above ground again," Rose said on a radio interview with KDKB 93.3 FM hours, oddly enough, before his firm announced it had been hired by the Bouzaglos to represent their restaurant, "typically what you do is apology and contrition."
The day Rose took on Amy and Samy as his clients he announced the restaurant would be closed until a "Grand Re-Opening" of Amy's Baking Company Tuesday, May 21. In a press release, the "sold-out event" -- a kind of set-the-record-straight affair doubling as a press conference -- promised that "customers will be able to decide who is correct: a celebrity chef or the marketplace that has supported the small, locally owned business for six years." The press release went on to say a portion of the grand re-opening's proceeds would be donated to an organization dedicated to combat the effects of cyber-bullying, a group who, thanks to the events of the past few weeks, had their work cut out for them.
"We are very upset by what has taken place," Samy was quoted as saying in the press release, "and apologize about the acrimony that has ensued, but now must fight back to save our business."
It was the first time we heard the word "apologize" from the Bouzaglos. Jason Rose may be a loudmouth who once was fired by Special Olympics for comparing "knucklehead" to someone with special needs, but the man knows what the people want to hear.
He also knows a juicy publicity stunt for his publicity company when he sees it. Just days after he took on Amy's Baking Company and the Bouzaglos as his clients, Rose unceremoniously dumped them at the bottom of a press release dated Monday, May 20. Amy and Samy had been "hated on" again. This time, by a slick-talking salesman who appears to have used them.
And Rose's last press release for Amy's Baking Company contained another nugget of interest: The press conference had been cancelled by the Bouzaglos due to legal threats from the producers of Kitchen Nightmares (the Bouzaglos signed contracts agreeing to not speak about the show publicly) and threats of a non-legal nature by -- who else? -- the "online bullies."
However, the press release went on to say, the restaurant's "Grand Re-Opening" (now referred to as a "Grand Re-Opening Week" but with the same objective) was still a go for today -- Tuesday, May 21, and that more than 1,000 reservations had been made since the event was announced.