Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Shameless Publicity Hound of the Year Award?

And the winner is . . . .

Ben Edelman, Harvard Business School professor and bush-league pundit in the hotsy-totsy consulting field of on-line fraud prevention and detection.

His consulting biz must be a bit on the lean side, though, else why would he engage in an on-line vendor war with a local Chinese restaurant over the discrepancy between the prices on an outmoded webpage versus the prices he was charged for  his stir-fried supper?

After the recent Grubergate debacle, I'd think that even a blowhard lawyer/economist would think twice before committing himself to the passive-aggressive warfare of snotty emails and complaints to the  Massachusetts Consumer Protection authorities described in today's boston.com article which reprints the correspondence between Edelman and Ran Duan of Sichuan Garden.

It has to be for the publicity, and he has succeeded quite well engendering such dreamy headlines as:

Harvard Business School Professor Goes to War Over $4 Worth of Chinese Food

I'm sure his clients will be really impressed by his acumen and tenacity.   He also garnered a shout out from the GS Eleveator Gossip Twitter feed (@GSElevator):

Harvard’s Ben Edelman is a scumbag piece of shit…

(Actually, it is hard to imagine overhearing that comment in the GS elevator without the qualifier:  and I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.)

Maybe Ben-Boy is simply jealous of Ran Duan, who is himself no slouch in the publicity department, having been featured in a Boston Magazine article earlier this year and been recently named "America's Most Imaginative Bartender" by GQ.  Is the whole thing just part of an esoteric pissing contest that hasn't been uncovered? Is Prawn-gate just the beginning of National Enquirer-worthy revelations?

There's no mention of what fortune Edelman received in his complimentary cookie, but it probably didn't say: You don't hunt mosquitoes with an elephant gun, unless you are a Harvard B School professor in which case you are exempt from the rules of common sense, not to mention common courtesy.

1 comment:

Maureen Rogers said...

If Edelman had a (kungpao) beef with the restaurant over misleading prices, surely it could have been resolved with a phone call or note. Not this overkill..

Meanwhile, I read a few of the comments on Boston.com, and this was my favorite:

TinEagle DECEMBER 09, 2014 — 04:58 PM

Ben, I've read the course curriculum for the class my daughter is taking with you this semester. Looks like you have quite a few outlined subjects (16) of which she tells me only (9) are actually to be covered according to you. We have contacted a lawyer you self important little man.