OK, so it looks like our planned contest at the end of the year will have to be brought forward by almost two months as there is no contest for this year’s PR Disaster of the Year.
There has been some serious Irish PR disasters so far this year, from Brian Cowen’s drunken Morning Ireland interview to Fine Gael’s embarrassing blunder over Mary Coughlan’s US jobs mission and even Mary Harney’s recent paint job, but none could come remotely close to Cork radio jock Neil Prendeville’s bizarre public sex act on board a plane in full view of several passengers. This is the Irish version of the Tiger Woods ‘car crash’ but on an Irish scale, okay maybe not. At least Tiger can still play with his club in public.
In a botched attempt at putting things right and calming the media feeding frenzy Prendeville has given controlled interviews to several ‘Sundays’ including the Sunday Independent.
Interviewed (softly) In the Sunday Independent by close friend Barry Egan, Prendeville claims that he contemplated suicide in the last few days as a way of escaping the Mile High Horror Show, this was of course after he had shed the few token tears on his own radio station. “I’d like to take this opportunity to offer my deepest apologies to the passengers on the plane, to the flight personnel, to my family, to my employers, to my work colleagues and to all of the people of Cork and I apologise unreservedly to all concerned,” he said on air.
So apart from the obvious incident where did Prendeville cock-up:
- Using the age old excuse of I don’t recall doing it
- Blaming his behaviour on a mixture of alcohol and painkillers
- Offering advice to others about mixing alcohol and painkillers
- Leaving a grovelling message on the telephone of the woman who was sitting beside him on the flight
- During original apology trying to cast doubt on events by saying: “If the reports in the Examiner are true,” if in doubt why apologise?
Neil you had all the answers while mouthing-off on Corks 96 fm but you certainly don’t have the answer for this little predicament you now find yourself in.
So without further ado (cue the drum roll) it’s time for you to become the first recipient of what will be an annual award. From a particularly distinguished field of PR losers, Mr Neil Prendeville takes this year’s Brand Ireland award for PR Disaster of the Year 2010.