Short memory-span theater: This analysis of the impact her travails may or may not have on the brand Martha Stewart would be merely same-old, same-old, were it not for the incredibly ironic inclusion (without noting its irony) of quotes from analyst Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley:
Analyst Mary Meeker of Morgan Stanley said the guilty verdict may actually allow the company to “move forward with greater clarity” and make some tough decisions, and said it could be attractive for management to take the company private…Meeker and others point out that despite its founder’s highly publicized legal problems, the company has a reputation for quality cooking and home-decorating advice and products, and continues to have a strong following among American households, as shown by the sales of its new furniture line, among other things. All the company has to do now is find some way of extricating all of that from the person it is named after.
Meeker’s (who, also ironically was at one time both a potential witness AND a potential juror in the Martha Stewart trial) role in “blessing” MSO as an internet-play helped boost its value when it originally went public. That role, described in the Fortune Magazine article, Where Mary Meeker Went Wrong” (paid subscription required), was merely one of her actions that later played a part in her humiliating fall from brand-name superstardom and a $50 million legal settlement Morgan Stanley agreed to.
Frankly, compared to the billions of dollars of market value that Mary Meeker knowingly or unknowingly appeared to manipulate, the “crimes” of Martha Stewart seem insignificant. That Meeker is now treated as an objective source, at least by the author of the linked-to analysis, seems to me to serve as living proof that ones “brand” can survive a little high profile tarnishing now and then. But to me, for her to be quoted in this context (as a stock analyst) with no explanation of her similar public fall seems not only ironic, but moronic.