“Victory Records Is A Lifestyle Company” Doesn’t Sound Very Indie

Valley Wag is running “a purported email exchange” between Tony Brummel, head of indie label Victory Records, and Steve Jobs. Here’s how Brummel came at it:

Victory Records is a lifestyle company and a brand that has always marched to the beat of its own drum and operated contrary to industry standards. That is a major reason why we are the #1 Independent label in the country. The entire music industry and many music fans also know that we are not in business with iTunes.
I have tried to engage your folks in proactive discussions regarding how we can work together since April 2004. Unfortunately, they showed no interest, creativity or entrepreneurial thought regarding a relationship between our companies/brands. In fact, the dialogue was extremely disrespectful and typified everything that I thought your company was not. Wal-Mart has shown us more respect. We currently have our second Victory Records only endcap at Best Buy. Why are we the only label that Best Buy has ever worked with in this capacity? Because the Victory consumer is a coveted one.

If this email is real, Brummel does not sound like the kind of hipster I’d like to do business with. Even if it’s true that Apple people treated him and his representatives poorly, it’s Apple, so you don’t whine to the CEO, you handle the situation with grace. Then maybe you can get what you want—more record sales via the iTunes store.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Apple is enormously shitty to their partners. Some have even banded together to file a class-action lawsuits against them.
    What does “It’s Apple, so you don’t whine to the CEO, you handle the situation with grace” mean?? The only success I’ve ever had getting something out of Apple is by emailing sjobs@pixar.com.
    Apple is a two-faced brand. After you by the cute design and happy veneer, you’re left with the maniacal dictator underneath.
    The problem is this: Apple knows they have little direct competition in their niche(s). And that’s exactly how they act. I support Brummel all the way. Like many mac users, I only buy Apple products for lack of a serious competitor.

  2. nennt sie says:

    Ya, you zhere!
    Zo vat is zhis gripe you hef mit appel? and zis brummi guy, vat?
    You know in my country… this brummi is vat you would call a mac truck. Ya, now take me za leader here. Schnell.
    My apologies to crispi ‘n’ critters.

  3. sie nennt sie wieder says:

    zink again, you critters–
    NO apologies FOR YOU!
    We hef been doing zhis type of promotion in our family before you even ver playing in za zand box. ja,
    even before Hans met Franz…
    nah, pump, pump. pump. unt ride avay on za bike.
    und remember
    kommt Zeit, kommt Rad.

  4. okay david,
    perhaps an apology to you.
    **note zey ask me if I vas born in Germany wenn I talk to za man. So you read zis mit German Accent, JA? Zat is how I write it.
    I did moment of silence zis morning. and zen I zought to write. Na, but i deleted my blog. vat good is a blog mit no people commenting. No phone calls. No emails. No graphic design business. Na? I get no verk out of my blog. I want career. No career. Zey tell me go back to junior college. Zat is not good for me. Zey make me verk hard and zenn zey take my homeverk and I hef to ask for it back. Vat do you zink? I did vat people ask. I verk very very hard. nozhing in return.
    I am planning a new venture adventure. Perhaps it brings me money? Zat is not za plan: I hef no plan. But maybe by mistake i will find a job. I no weiss nicht. I vant to start today. But no, businesses always telling me they cannot do things in hurry. always telling me, “vait, vait, vait. vee can not hef zese zingz ready.” YOu know vat happens when you sit around und vait–denn you gain veight. Not for me.
    Perhaps i should just go swimming. Pound za vasser. zenn zey tell me no swimming zis week. Pool kaputt. Wat hef you for enginuere in america? No fixing pools for five days. No swimming with more vaiting, Vat to do?
    So I write in zis blog. Maybe i get little bit of advertising my writing here? I don’t know. I dont zink zo.
    Now I go pump, pump on my own bicycle, other wise–mensch ärgere mich.
    i zink Sigmund tell me i am paranoid. Ronald madonald on bench, on za other hand just listens and smiles.

  5. Nancy,
    Incoherent rambling is no good.
    Don’t respond. Take that swim and think about what I just said. If you please.