Poopgate Don Allen’s North Minneapolis Anti-Marketing

Over the past month, I’ve written three times about Don Allen, and why I don’t think the Minneapolis Public Schools should be spending $15,000 with him for video production services related to marketing the public school system to North Minneapolis residents.

In previous posts, I’ve focused on the fact that he’s published a blog post where he accused a North Minneapolis community member and activist of paying a prostitute to defecate on a house for a photo – also known as Poopgate. He went as far as claiming that this was a racial issue (supposedly exploiting a black woman). This, in spite of the fact that the picture in question wasn’t taken by the blogger Don Allen has accused of this entirely false claim.

At this point, it seems pretty clear that Don Allen is willing to make up libelous comments about North Minneapolis community members, and won’t even take them down when called out on his ridiculousness.

Now, here’s another angle. Check out this video Don Allen created in 2009 about West Broadway Ave in North Minneapolis. Keep in mind that this is the guy that the Minneapolis Public Schools has contracted with to create videos marketing public schools in North Minneapolis:

In that video, Don Allen:

1. Claims that North Minneapolis is entirely run down. (not true). In fact, I ran past the spot where Don Allen was standing a week ago. The building used to host the Bean Scene, which moved down the block. The Obama campaign used the venue. And now it’s home to a new restaurant:

Fire N Ice - The Famous Philly Steak & Lemonade

That restaurant went in after Don cut the video, but there was already work being done on the Capri Theater (across the street from where Don was standing), a new home for KMOJ (also across the street from where Don Allen was standing), and many other projects on West Broadway that he had to ignore in order to make his absolute statement about the situation on West Broadway.

2. Calls Minnesota Public Radio a “dumbass” for attempting to report on what’s going on on West Broadway. (Idiotic PR move)

3. Claims that “nothing” brings people to West Broadway. (While some people won’t go to North, that’s an exaggeration.) The Capri Theater is one example of what brings people there. A Groupon for Merwin’s brought me there. Friends working at Coloplast brings others there. And, I often hit the West Broadway Taco Bell after running in the neighborhood.

Three months after Don Allen recorded his video, Minneapolis City Council Member Don Samuels recorded a 2 part video (the sound quality is kind of rough, but you’ll get the point) where he describes all of the development taking place on West Broadway starting at the Mississippi River, where Coloplast built their new North American headquarters, and heads west from there to across the street from where Don Allen stood.

4. Claims that MPR has not reported in North Minneapolis. (not true)

5. After all that, he states that the area needs some publicity and positive imagery, contradicting what he just spent two minutes doing. (Did he listen to himself?)

6. Then claims that MPR doesn’t report on the black community. (not true)

While I agree with Don’s take that Car Talk is a waste of MPR’s valuable airtime, the rest of his commentary makes me wonder why the heck the Minneapolis Public Schools would think Don Allen would be an appropriate person to contract with for marketing services.

6 thoughts on “Poopgate Don Allen’s North Minneapolis Anti-Marketing”

  1. It looks like the Strib gave this contract issue some coverage today: http://www.startribune.com/local/116633988.html

    Looks like the Strib found some factual errors in Don Allen’s advertisements. Not surprising.

    And it looks like Don Allen has a reply posted on IBNN:
    http://donny-allen.us/2011/02/22/star-tribune-writer-corey-mitchell-flawed-design/

    In his reply he, Don Allen, criticizes the author of the Strib article, pretty much the same way he criticized Sheila Regan who also wrote about the $15K contract.

    Again, not surprising.

    I also notice how on IBNN Allen shares some praise and publicity from “Jordan Hawkman Group.” So, since I believe that Don Allen *is* the “Jordan Hawkman Group, then I guess I believe that Don Allen is actually writing his own praise. It’s all an illusion, pretty much just like that ponzi scheme company that Don Allen was running.

    Again, not surprising.

  2. As a fellow reader pointed out to me, the comment on the Strib that praises Don Allen for finding a way to get his ads into the Strib for free, was written by “jordanhawk.”

    And the quote that Allen uses on his IBNN site is actually attributed to “Jordan Hawkman Group.”

    So how could Don Allen change the commenter’s name without some insight?

    Just pointing that out, for whatever it’s worth.

  3. Don Allen runs what might be called a “shakedown blog.” With one hand he points out what he perceives as problems–even if he needs to fudge and inflate and alter the facts to his liking–and his other hand is held out, to receive money to work on these “problems” he has raised or to offer his “solution” to the “problems” in exchange for a sum. He does the same thing with DOT. He tried to pull the same crap with Don Samuels, offering services to Samuels at one point and then becoming a vicious critic. He is always going after the Urban League, but he’d be happy to take money from the Urban League.

    Don Allen is an internet extortionist. And the Minneapolis Public School system is his latest victim. Funny how he didn’t threaten to get a “restraining harassment order” on the Star Tribune like he threatened me and Regan from Daily Planet. On the bright side, the STrib is digging and maybe ALL the dubious contracts will come to light, including whatever happened with Al Flowers.

    The biggest irony is how Don Allen writes so much, and criticizes so many people with his writing, and yet lacks very basic writing skills. Nice to see the STrib article even alluded to THAT.

  4. @John, that’s an interesting take on Don. It’s kind of an “if only foundations would give all of their money to Don, he’d solve every problem on the North Side” perspective that Don is pumping out on his various web properties. Foundations that don’t play by Don’s rules should expect to be criticized (and probably called racist) for their lack of judgement.

  5. In the “West Broadway” video Don doesn’t mention he used to be, oh gee, a member of the NORTHSIDE MARKETING TASK FORCE.

    But Don’s biggest idea for the NMTF can be pretty much summed up as follows:

    Don Allen should get paid money to promote North Minneapolis on the internet.

    So here he is, ripping on North Minneapolis. Like, what, somebody is supposed to pay him money to shut off his criticisms? Or to play for the “pro Northside” team?

    In all the criticisms Don launches on IBNN there is a kind of implication or suggestion that he has BRILLIANT SOLUTIONS and, really, you can PAY FOR THESE SOLUTIONS or, at any rate, Don and his critiques can be bought off.

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