Douglas Ramsey
Douglas Ramsey

Beyond Meat has suffered just about the worst PR disaster that could hit a company that makes plant-based meat products.

Douglas Ramsey, COO of BM, allegedly bit the nose of another man on Sept. 17 after they bumped cars while leaving the parking lot after a Arkansas Razorbacks football game in Fayetteville.

That embarrassing incident begs the question: Did Ramsey consider the other guy’s schnoz more satisfying and tastier fare than BM’s line-up of fake meatballs, ground beef, chicken and jerky?

The NBC-TV affiliate reported that Ramsey chomped on his victim’s snout so hard that he tore flesh.

Was he that hungry?

Reeling from the PR crisis, BM suspended Ramsey on Sept. 20. His duties will be taken over on an interim basis by Jonathan Nelson, who was charged with manufacturing operations. What an enticing title from a company that pitches itself as a protein distributor.

Ramsey’s PR misplay only compounds BM’s woes.

The company has reported flat sales of $256M for the first half of the year. Its net loss widened from $43M to $187M.

It blamed an uncertain near-term economic outlook due to a laundry list of macroeconomic issues including “inflation and rising interest rates, increasing concerns about the likelihood of a recession and COVID-19 and its potential impact on consumer behavior and demand levels, challenges related to labor availability and supply chain disruptions, partially attributable to recent geopolitical tensions.”

BM left its biggest challenge off the list. The novelty factor of eating a meatless hamburger has worn off.

Consumers hunger for authenticity in their lives, which is bad news for BM.

The company’s stock, which traded as high as $115.48 during the past 52 weeks, hit an all-time low of $15.97 on Sept. 20.

News of Ramsey’s road rage may have been the last straw for BM’s investors.

Saudi culture czarRichard Edelman has registered with the Justice Dept. as a foreign agent for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Culture.

The CEO of the No. 1 independent PR firm is to provide culture centric advice, strategic counsel and stakeholder engagement recommendations through communications support and media outreach, according to the FARA filing.

Edelman’s shop in June inked a one-year, $800K contract with the Ministry of Culture to help it reach its goal of “building a vibrant, thriving and ambitious nation.

The Ministry plans a crucial role in delivering on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's "Vision 2030" transformation program.

ESG threatens democracy? Vivek Ramaswamy, founder of Strive Asset Management and the No. 1 scourge of environmental, social and governance investing, makes a novel case against stakeholder capitalism in an essay that he wrote for The Economist.

He thinks it's flat out wrong to grant executives from trillion-dollar financial institutions the power to implement social values.

“Part of what it means to live in a democracy is for those questions to be determined by the citizenry—publicly through debate and privately at the ballot box—where each person’s view is unadjusted according to the number of dollars that he controls in the marketplace,” wrote Ramaswamy.

He believes everyday citizens are frustrated and feel powerless when corporate elites use the market climate to settle what the author considers political questions (e.g., global warming).

The apostles of stakeholder capitalism convene in ski towns to decry the rise of populism without recognising that populism is itself an inevitable byproduct of their creed,” he wrote.

In Ramaswamy’s view: ESG poisons democracy.

And speaking of corporate elites: Howard Lutnick, CEO of Cantor Fitzgerald, delivers the goods for Donald Trump.

A Cantor Fitzgerald SPAC paved the way for video-sharing platform Rumble to begin trading on the NASDAQ on Sept. 19.

Rumble is the conserservative video network that is backed by right-wing billionaire Peter Thiel.

The Trump Media & Technology Group, which runs the Truth Social Twitter knock-off, in August joined Rumble’s ad platform and is a potential customer for its future cloud offering.

Rumble trades under the RUM stock ticker symbol, which the company claims has a link to its mission to protect a free and open internet.

The British-imposed Sugar Act of 1764, which taxed molasses, a key ingredient to produce rum, helped spark the American Revolution. “Without rum, the colonists may never have fought to win the freedom that Americans enjoy today—the very freedom that Rumble exists today,” said Rumble. Give us a break.

The company had an intoxicating first day of trading as the stock went off at $12.04, hit a high of $18.52 and closed at $16.81.

Investors sobered up on Day 2 as the stock closed at $12.79.