Category Archives: Crisis PR

Apple slams rivals – Good or bad PR?

Apple CEO Steve Jobs and antennagate aren’t out of the news yet. Instead of just offering up a quick apology and a free case for the iPhone 4 reception issues, Jobs fired up many smartphone competitors during the press conference last Friday.

Jobs pointed out antenna issues on phones from RIM, Motorola and HTC. He stated that they experienced the same dropped calls if gripped on the side in poor signal areas.

CEOs from RIM, who makes Blackberry, and Motorola are miffed with Jobs for dragging their names through the mud with him — as if that was going to take the heat off of Apple a bit.

USA Today: “Apple’s attempt to draw RIM into Apple’s self-made debacle is unacceptable,” say Mike Lazaridis and Jim Balsillie, co-CEOs of Research In Motion, which makes the BlackBerry. “RIM has avoided designs like the one Apple used in the iPhone 4 and instead has used innovative designs, which reduce the risk for reduced calls.”

“It is disingenuous to suggest that all phones perform equally,” Motorola co-CEO Sanjay Jha says in a statement. “In our own testing, we have found that ( Motorola’s) Droid X performs much better than iPhone 4 when held by consumers.”

The press conference was held to appease Apple iPhone 4 owners. Apparently the PR team at Apple thought it would be a good idea to make sure those who haven’t purchased an iPhone 4 yet were informed about the short-comings of the competition.

Is that a brilliant public relations move for Apple or just another lame attempt to keep people from straying because there are so many smartphone choices?


Filed under Brand Damage, Crisis PR, Negative PR, PR Stunt

Israels spin doctor is back

He’s back. The appearance of Mark Regev, spin doctor in chief for the Israeli government, has become customary every time that country is under fire from the international media. To the relief of Regev connoisseurs, last week’s controversy over the boarding of a flotilla carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza was no exception.

Not for Regev, below, the bumbling and stumbling of a BP boss caught in a crisis. In a bravura performance against John Humphrys last week, he calmly painted Gaza as a consumer paradise awash with Coca-Cola and air conditioning, claiming he had his “facts” from the FT. No comment.

If the men from Mars ever wanted to manufacture a PR man, they would model their robot on Regev. No matter how formidable the interviewer, or how aggressive the questioning, he never buckles under pressure. His disarming Aussie accent and unfailing politeness – he calls interviewers “Sir” and uses phrases like “I beg to disagree” – almost lulls listeners into overlooking his aggression. He is always regretful about death and horror – he regrets that the non-Israeli victims brought their fate on themselves. Viewers are reduced to a trance of slack-jawed amazement at what he is prepared to say with a straight face. He is unlikely to win sceptics to Israel’s cause, but as a PR performer he is horribly compelling.

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Filed under Crisis PR, Political PR, Political spin, PR

BNP – Censorship, where do we draw the line?


As the row continues to simmer about the appearance of the BNP’s Nick Griffin on the BBC’s Question Time programme we have to ask ourselves if banning the BNP from live TV is the right stance to take?

It’s not so long ago that we here in Ireland banned Sinn Féin members from the airwaves through legislation know as the broadcasting ban. This same party  now holds leadership positions in the devolved government in the north of Ireland and are regularly welcomed to places like 10 Downing Street and the Whitehouse. This is also the same party whose leaders or many of them have been responsible for maiming and killing thousands of people similar to the actions of those who founded this state.

On a daily basis we are exposed to images and media interviews of world leaders like George Bush, Obama and Gordon Brown across all media outlets. These are world leaders who are responsible for killing thousands if not millions of Iraqi’s and Afghans. The same world leaders who live in lavish luxury while half the world starves.

The catholic church whose hierarchy continue to be afforded the respect of those holding very high office and who are usually seated at the top tables of most family weddings continue to preach from the dark ages. It’s not so long ago that gays and lesbians were not recognised by this state and the catholic church. The same catholic church that disapproves of contraception whether it be for family planning or to prevent the spread of killer diseases like AIDs.

OK, I’m gone off on a little rant but while I’m no fan of the BNP I do think that trying to censor them only plays into their hands by supplying them with the oxygen that helps their propaganda machine breath. If we are going to censor them for holding very extreme views should we not also ban all of the above and many more??

Censorship is a real old media stance afterall its virtually impossible to censor groups like the BNP in the new media age we live in.

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Filed under Crisis PR, Journalism, Negative PR, New Media, Political PR, Political spin, Tabloid Media, Uncategorized

Mail pulls ads as old media clashes with new


The Daily Mail online has pulled advertising running alongside a comment piece by Jan Moir, which has caused a furore over its statements relating to Boyzone singer Stephen Gately’s death.

There are no problems with ads on other pages on, but the banner, skyscraper and rich media placements on the article by Jan Moir now contain house ads.

There was never any doubt that a piece like this was going to cause controversy but its unclear who pulled the ads.

Little did Moir or her editors know that this piece would go nuclear across the social media and online world and cause such a spat between old media and new.

Of course, Moir is entitled to her opinion, free speech and all that and readers are just as entitled to have a go at her.

Moir believes that there is more to the death of Gately but she fails to back up her innuendo with any fact about the circumstances around the death.

Either way the piece caused enough of a stir for the Mail to take the drastic measures of removing the online ads in what is a classic example of old media versus new media.

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Filed under Crisis PR, Journalism, Negative PR, New Media, Newspapers, Social Media, Tabloid Media, Twitter, Viral

WWF controversial 9/11 ad – creatives sacked


This is the controversial ad that the Brazilian ad agency DDB ‘made on spec’  as part of a pitch but rejected by the WWF.

The newspaper advert features dozens of planes on a collision course for New York landmarks, beneath the slogan: “The tsunami killed 100 times more people than 9/11” and the environmental charity’s panda logo.

It was apparently intended to raise awareness of the greater dangers posed by environmental disasters like the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, in comparison to terrorist attacks.

Reports claim hat it was published only once in a small Brazilian newspaper at the agency’s expense – apparently so that it would be eligible for awards. A video version of the advert has also been obtained by Gawker, the New York gossip blog .

This seems to be a complete overreaction to this ad. Yes 9/11 was a terrible outrage committed by terrorists. Yes natural disasters can be much worse than terrorist attacks but why whats wrong with the comparison? It seems that DDB sacked the creatives behind the ad even though the local office of the WWF signed-off on the ad. Hardly fair.

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Filed under Advertising agency, Blog, Blogger Outreach, Brand Damage, Brand Equity, Brands, Controversial ad, Crisis PR, Misleading ads, Negative PR, Newspapers, PR, PR Stunt, Print ads

PR stunt by Dublin Dock workers


Approximately 40 dockers in five 17ft boats today attempted to block vessels entering and exiting Dublin Port. The group are protesting over redundancies and cutbacks in pay and conditions for workers at Marine Terminals Limited.

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Filed under Brand Damage, Crisis PR, Negative PR, PR Stunt

Iceland part company with Kerry Katona


So Iceland has finally gone and dumped Kerry Katona after a four year relationship. The move follows a News of the World exclusive revealing Katone as a cocaine user.

Several commentators in the past have called for Katona to be sacked from her role as brand ambassador for the food retailer but the reality is that she was the perfect fit for the brand.

Kerry Katona who lounges around all day in a tracksuit, has kids to several different fathers, is divorced, bankrupt, takes drugs, smokes, drinks while pregnant is the perfect role model for chav Britain, Iceland’s target market.

So up until Katona was exposed taking drugs Iceland were quite happy for her to endorse their products. Who else would attract so much media coverage for them?

PS. Is there any chance that this could actually be a set-up by Kerry Katona herself? Unlikely, but just a thought that went through my mind.

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Filed under Brand Damage, Brand Equity, Controversial ad, Crisis PR, Negative PR, Tabloid Media

PR stunt by Irish Thomas Cook staff

Thomas Cook staff are pictured in O’Connell Street Dublin demonstrating against the decision by Thomas Cook to pull out of Ireland.

The protesting staff attracted attention by staging an Abba tribute satirical singalong to their millionaire Spanish boss, Manny Fontenla Novoa.

The protesters sang their own version of Manny, Manny, Manny-Its a Rich Man’s World. Manny himself was played by a live pig who appearing under the banner-Manny-The Swine Who Flew.

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Filed under Brand Damage, Crisis PR, Irish Brands, PR, PR Photocall, PR Stunt

Murdoch newspapers pay for cover-up


What a cracking piece of journalism over at the Guardian by veteran hack Nick Davies.

Davies has uncovered new information to prove that Rupert Murdoch’s News Group Newspapers has paid out more than £1m to settle legal cases that threatened to reveal evidence of his journalists’ repeated involvement in the use of criminal methods to get stories.

The payments secured secrecy over out-of-court settlements in three cases that threatened to expose evidence of Murdoch journalists using private investigators who illegally hacked into the mobile phone messages of numerous public figures and to gain unlawful access to confidential personal data including tax records, social security files, bank statements and itemised phone bills. Cabinet ministers, MPs, actors and sports stars were all targets of the private investigators.

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Filed under Brand Damage, Brand Equity, Crisis PR, Journalism, Newspapers, PR

Setanta launch new pitch


Setanta, the sports broadcaster, has called a pitch to find an advertising agency to relaunch the brand, should it ward off the impending threat of administration.

The Irish pay-TV company had lined up Beattie McGuinness Bungay, Miles Calcraft Briginshaw Duffy and the incumbent, Big Al’s Creative Emporium, to pitch for the business this Friday, but the contest has been temporarily put on hold while Setanta attempts to secure a last-minute rescue package.

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Filed under Brands, Crisis PR