Friday, February 26, 2010

Getty Images CEO Jonathan Klein - Delusional, Deceptive, or a Liar?

Yesterday, Getty Images CEO Jonathan Klein was interviewed for almost four minutes about the Getty deal with the Olympics on CNBC. At about 2:28 into the interview, the issue of the Tiger Woods image made recently was raised (see link in 'Related' at end of article), and at approximately 2:47, Klein says "... we don't do paparazzi images..." and I about fell off my chair. In fact, when I read it over on Paul Melcher's Perception Management blog post, I couldn't believe it, I had to watch it myself, so, before I go any further, and to avoid and suggestions about taking something out of context, here's the video to watch for yourself:

(Continued after the Jump)

Now, let's just take one more precaution here, and get the definition of Paparazzi:
pa·pa·raz·zo (pä'pə-rät'sō)
n. pl. pa·pa·raz·zi (-sē)
A freelance photographer who doggedly pursues celebrities to take candid pictures for sale to magazines and newspapers.
Ok, with that established, I'll encourage you to head over to Paul Melcher's blog (here) and look at several of his examples of paparazzi candid photography that Getty has. As we wrote here - Getty Images And Paparazzi Pictures (3/9/09), Getty's site is replete with images that are paparazzi images, celebrities captured in unguarded moments, intrusive actions by photographers to get "the picture", and so on. At right is a previous example of a paparazzi image that Getty Images had on their website - in other words, this image is proof positive that Getty Images is in the business of profiting from paparazzi images, whether or not they shot them, but their photographers do shoot them as well.

With all of this, the question about JDK's World and what increasingly seems to be some form of an altered reality arises. The proof is on his own website, so is Jonathan Klein just delusional because he doesn't peruse his own content? Or, is Jonathan Klein trying to deceive the public so they think that Getty Images is pure as the driven snow? Or, is Jonathan Klein telling a bold-faced lie with a straight face? Without knowing if he looks at his own content, which, arguably is in the tens of thousands of images in any given day, there is a fraction of a chance he doesn't know and thus, can't be lying, but then what does that say about his knowledge of the business he co-founded?


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Scott Doctor said...

Getty is the Toyota of the stock agencies.

Anonymous said...

right Scott.
And somebody should have a look at the mess they made with flickr ...

Arnold said...

and Getty dont shoot paparazzi images well why do they syndicate buzzfoto's imagery which to be fair is a very poor product in the paparazzi market. most commentators are waiting for buzz to be dumped very soon and replaced by a high end paparazzi agency.

Anonymous said...

Are you kidding me? this is a joke that jdk would outright lie like he did on this video. the IOC, all the leagues they have on the take ( remember that wizard basketball photo they tried to pull because it would hurt the nba's reputation) should rethink their relationship they have with gyi ( the toyota of the photo inudstry)

all the paid pr stunts ( kardashians,anything with a name/celebrity initials/getty images) is such a flying insult to the editorial "integrity" this agency claims to fly under. 3/4 of the credits on buzz are alias of other lame photographers who are using the gyi platform to push out there images.

it will all come to an end sooner for sure. wil gyi buy splash already?

Alex said...

Their paparazzi images might not come from their own art direction team and their full time photographers.
As you know they still have lots of photographers who shoot on their own and submit the material.

Anonymous said...

Getty is more like the Walmart of photography. At least Toyota charges fair market for their vehicles.

Arnold said...

Buzz are paying photogs $125-00 for a set of paparazzi photos that they can push to getty. the rumor is that buzz have very unhappy photogs and already lost some in the last yea due to very low sales thru getty. i think buzz could be a lap dog for getty then they will dump them for a big established agency that produces quality paparazzi imagery. just check the buzz blog to see the quality its appaling and its so surprising that getty accept this. before the takeover getty would have no way accepted this poor standard. buzz need getty, getty dont need buzz.

Unknown said...

Is he distinguishing between celebrity event & celebrity-chasing?

Ian said...


I think your point is moot. Whether it's staffers or freelancers, if they sell pap photos they "do" pap photos.

Anonymous said...

Getty own Filmmagic.
All to be said really.

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