Michael Bloomberg has enlisted the help of a new company being led by the same man who helped create the promotional strategy for Fyre Fest to create memes for his campaign. The campaign comes as Bloomberg continues to face criticism for his past support of stop and frisk, as well as backlash for offensive comments he made about young Black and Latino men in a 2015 video that recently surfaced online.
In a report from the New York Times, Bloomberg’s campaign is working with Meme 2020, “a new company formed by some of the people behind extremely influential accounts,” according to the Times.
Meme 2020 is led by Mick Purzycki, who also serves as chief executive of Jerry Media. Jerry Media (also known as FuckJerry) was the advertising firm that promoted the failed Fyre Festival, as well as helped produce the Fyre documentary that was made for Netflix.
Bloomberg’s meme campaign launched this week, with a number of popular Instagram meme accounts making sponsored posts, including: @GrapeJuiceBoys, @Tank.Sinatra, and Jerry Media’s own account. Each profile has over a million followers. The accounts all posted Bloomberg campaign ads in the form of fake direct messages from the candidate.
“Mike Bloomberg 2020 has teamed up with social creators to collaborate with the campaign, including the meme world,” Sabrina Singh, a senior national spokeswoman for the Bloomberg campaign, said in a statement. “While a meme strategy may be new to presidential politics, we’re betting it will be an effective component to reach people where they are and compete with President Trump’s powerful digital operation.”
Earlier this week, audio surfaced of Bloomberg speaking on stop and frisk back in 2015. In the audio, which was reportedly from a speech in Colorado, the presidential candidate said that the policy was a way to reduce violence by throwing minority kids “up against the walls and frisk them.” He then went on to say that most murders are committed by young “male minorities,” who could all be described on a standardized “Xerox” form because of the similar descriptions they share, according to a report from Politico.
“They are male minorities, 16 to 25. That’s true in New York. That’s true in virtually every city,” he said. “And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of the people that are getting killed.”
During a stop in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Bloomberg addressed the video.
“I don’t think those words reflect what, how I led the most diverse city in the nation,” he said. “And I apologized for the practice and the pain that it caused.”
“It was five years ago,” he added. “And, you know, it’s just not the way that I think and it…doesn’t reflect what I do every day. I led the most populous, largest city in the United States and got reelected three times, the public seemed to like what I do.”
Source: New York Times / Politico
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