For-profit

Jerry Media

Type:

Digital and social media marketing firm

Jerry Media is a for-profit digital and social media marketing firm. It is notable for circulating viral memes and advertising that is displayed on its F*ckJerry Instagram channel and for its involvement with the failed “Fyre Festival,” a music festival in the Bahamas that collapsed amid fraud by its chief organizer. It also works with social media influencers to promote products and the influencers themselves.

The company has become infamous for its involvement promoting the Fyre Festival, which collapsed amid fraud by its chief organizer. Many of the company’s leadership also played in role in the unsuccessful presidential campaign of former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg. The firm has also been sued by online creators who have accused the company of using their creations without attribution.

History

In 2011, Elliot Tebele started posting pictures of vintage cars on Tumblr, which was then a nascent social media page. Tebele noticed that if he added cheeky tag lines, those posts would perform much better than normal posts. [1]

Tebele then moved his page devoted to memes to Instagram, which he named F*ckJerry because “Seinfeld” was playing in the background. Tebele then dropped out of college and devoted himself to working on the page. [2]

As a result of the growth of the Instagram page, Tebele founded an advertising company called Jerry Media. The company has worked with brands such as Subway, General Mills, and Express for custom content and account takeovers. [3]

Fyre Festival

Jerry Media was hired to run the social media marketing for the Fyre Festival. The festival was billed as an over-the-top event on a private island in the Bahamas. The festival was supposed to feature lots of supermodels, top rated musical talent, and gourmet cooking with attendees staying in luxury tents and villas. The reality was that there were no supermodels, there was no music, and poor-quality food was served while attendees stayed in FEMA-style tents. [4]

After a few days of the “festival”, Fyre organizers canceled the event, stranding the attendees on the island. Ticketholders paid anywhere from $500 to $250,000 to attend. Investors lost more than $26 million according to a U.S. Department of Justice investigation. Jerry Media claims that it was never paid for the work it did. [5]

There is a much controversy over whether Jerry Media was aware of the scale of the Fyre fiasco before the failed festival. A documentary released on Hulu called Fyre Fraud alleged that senior people involved in Jerry Media were aware that the event was likely to fail. [6]

Alleged Plagiarism

A Nigeria-based social media personality sued Jerry Media for stealing a tweet to promote JAJA tequila, which is also owned by Tebele. The company has been under scrutiny for using social media posts that were created by others without giving them credit. The plaintiff however dropped the lawsuit after a couple of days. [7]

Mike Bloomberg Campaign

Jerry Media executives went to work for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and his failed presidential campaign. Jerry Media chief executive Mick Purzycki was one of the chief strategists of the campaign, called Meme 2020. [8]

The Bloomberg campaign ran memes on F*ckJerry and other popular meme pages on Instagram. However, Tebele was not involved in the Bloomberg campaign. [9]

References

  1. Henry, Zoe. 2020. “How Fuckjerry Turned An Instagram Account Into A Multimillion-Dollar Business”. Inc. Accessed March 16. https://www.inc.com/zoe-henry/fuckjerry-instagram-account-marketing-agency.html. ^
  2. Henry, Zoe. 2020. “How Fuckjerry Turned An Instagram Account Into A Multimillion-Dollar Business”. Inc. Accessed March 16. https://www.inc.com/zoe-henry/fuckjerry-instagram-account-marketing-agency.html. ^
  3. Henry, Zoe. 2020. “How Fuckjerry Turned An Instagram Account Into A Multimillion-Dollar Business”. Inc. Accessed March 16. https://www.inc.com/zoe-henry/fuckjerry-instagram-account-marketing-agency.html. ^
  4. Sternlicht, Alexandra. 2019. “Fyre-Proof: The Sudden Fall And Swift Reemergence Of F*Ckjerry’S Elliot Tebele”. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexandrasternlicht/2019/10/24/fyre-proof-the-sudden-fall-and-swift-re-emergence-of-fckjerrys-elliot-tebele/#b10db8b64e85. ^
  5. Sternlicht, Alexandra. 2019. “Fyre-Proof: The Sudden Fall And Swift Reemergence Of F*Ckjerry’S Elliot Tebele”. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexandrasternlicht/2019/10/24/fyre-proof-the-sudden-fall-and-swift-re-emergence-of-fckjerrys-elliot-tebele/#b10db8b64e85. ^
  6. Sternlicht, Alexandra. 2019. “Fyre-Proof: The Sudden Fall And Swift Reemergence Of F*Ckjerry’S Elliot Tebele”. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alexandrasternlicht/2019/10/24/fyre-proof-the-sudden-fall-and-swift-re-emergence-of-fckjerrys-elliot-tebele/#b10db8b64e85. ^
  7. Lecher, Colin. 2019. “Fuckjerry Meme Lawsuit Ends After Plaintiff Backs Out”. The Verge. https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/21/18276023/fuckjerry-lawsuit-meme-instagram-ad-copyright. ^
  8. Lorenz, Taylor. 2020. “Michael Bloomberg’S Campaign Suddenly Drops Memes Everywhere”. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/13/style/michael-bloomberg-memes-jerry-media.html. ^
  9. Lorenz, Taylor. 2020. “Michael Bloomberg’S Campaign Suddenly Drops Memes Everywhere”. New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/13/style/michael-bloomberg-memes-jerry-media.html. ^
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