“06880” is fascinated by Mike Kulich.
The Staples Class of 2004 graduate is the owner and CEO of one of the nation’s leading distributors of adult DVDs (aka “porn”). He’s also a 15-time nominee for industry awards. (Just like journalists, physicists and dentists, adult entertainment honors its own.)
Kulich has been mentioned on this blog several times. Most recently, it was when his company went the extra mile, sending 1 copy of every title his company ever released — they do more than 40 a month — to a man who’d lost his entire porn collection in a home robbery.
Now, Mike’s in the news again.
In an exclusive interview with Inc., he told how he reached out to Martin Shkreli.
That name may be vaguely familiar. Shkreli is probably the most hated man in America. (Except for the entire U.S. Congress.) Shkreli is the smirking, arrogant twerp who bought a drug company, then instantly jacked up the price of a malaria drug by 5000%.
According to Inc., Kulich offered public relations advice to the drug baron. The King of Porn told the Face of Everything Wrong with US Healthcare that Kulich could make him continually famous. “Like the Kardashians,” he said.
Kulich has “plenty of experience representing folks with unsavory reputations,” Inc. explained.
The pair Skyped for a while. Kulich was drawn to the “villainized, Lex Luthor sort of celebrity.” He wanted to find out why Shkreli had done what he did.
According to Kulich, there was another side to the story. Shkreli said he was billing insurance companies $750 per pill — but giving away 60 percent of the drugs, if insurers refused to pay.
Supposedly too, the drug baron is reinvesting his sky-high profits in R&D, trying to discover new drugs.
“After getting to know Martin, I kind of see him as, you know, like the Steve Jobs of the Millennials,” Kulich said.
At first, the PR/porn guy told Shkreli: “Don’t kind of go nuts and go cowboy” with his tweets. But then his client started livestreaming his rants.
“That was kind of out the window,” Kulich told Inc.
Kulich organized a written interview — and 16-minute video — on Vice. He also shifted the national conversation from drug pricing to Shkreli’s purchase of Wu Tang’s purchase of the single copy of “Once Upon a Time in Shaolin,” for $2 million. In response, group member Ghostface Killah called Shkreli a “shithead.”
Shkreli also rode a hoverboard, holding a $15,000 bottle of wine. That too did not go over well with a lot of folks.
“He loves his hoverboard,” Kulich said in the Inc. interview. “I can’t tell him to get off.”
Shkreli’s PR rep has no formal training in the field, he admitted. But, he said, “if you can do porn PR, then you can do anything.” He enjoyed his foray into mainstream marketing.
Kulich is no longer working with Shkreli. He’s looking for new clients.
“Every few days there’s a new villain,” he noted. “People through social media just come at them with pitchforks. My job is to jump in front of the client and redirect the stampede. I think I could do it for just about anyone else.”
How about the entire U.S. Congress?
(Click here to read the entire Inc. story.)