Category Archives: Negative 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

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

Battle against BNP continues

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Filed under Negative PR, New Media, Political PR, Political spin, PR

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

Climate change ad attracts complaints

A week-old  TV ad in the UK warning people about the impact of climate change has drawn 203 complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change is spending £6m on the ad, which was created by AMV BBDO, to promote its Act on CO2 carbon reduction initiative.

The ad uses the device of a children’s storybook, which shows a British town deep under water, with people and animals drowning. Carbon dioxide is shown rising from cars, homes and everyday appliances in clouds of black soot, which then form a jagged-toothed monster.

While most complaints claim the ad is misleading, some have also said it is frightening for children.

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Filed under Controversial ad, Misleading ads, Negative PR

Sex Pistols attack ice cream


Sex Pistols‘ lawyers have threatened an ice cream company with legal action because of similarities in their advertising campaign and the band’s artwork and lyrics.

London-based company Icecreamists‘ online advertisements feature a picture of the Queen backed by a Union flag, with an ice cream spoon in her mouth and the words “God save the cream” written across her face.

Speaking about the dispute, Icecreamists‘ founder Matt O’Connor said he was surprised that the band appear to be concerned.


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Filed under Brand Damage, Controversial ad, Misleading ads, Negative PR, PR Stunt

Danish video was a hoax – an excellent one at that

A video uploaded to YouTube by a single Danish woman seeking the father of her baby has been revealed as a digital marketing campaign by the country’s tourism authority.

The video (below) shows the woman named Karen, holding a baby named August, telling the viewer she is searching for the child’s father. The baby, the actress says, was the result of a one-night stand with a tourist; she can’t remember his name and is now searching for him through the YouTube video.

The clip which attracted millions of views  was removed following the revelation after an enormous viewer backlash promoted hundreds of derogatory comments. It also spawned dozens of spoofs and responses by men claiming to be the child’s father.

Dorte Kiilerich of VisitDenmark told Danish TV the video is the “most effective thing we have ever done to market Denmark”.

She said by producing the video the tourism body had shown Denmark as a place where women live in a  free society able to make their own choices.

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Filed under Controversial ad, Negative PR, Social Media, TV ads, Viral, Website, Youtube

WWF – Respect our planet

Video removed – Censorship by DDB Brasil and youtube

Looks like it has appeared again elsewhere on Youtube.

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Filed under Controversial ad, Misleading ads, Negative PR, PR Stunt, Product launch, Viral, Youtube

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

Greens launch Lisbon campaign


Sinn Féin continue their poor No-to Lisbon  PR stunts by heckling another party at their campaign launch.

 Minister for the Environment and Leader of the Green Party, John Gormley was heckled by Sinn Féin Dublin City Cllr. Killian Forde as he leaves the Green Party launch in Merrion Square, Dublin.

Deputy Government Press Secretary John Downing doesn’t look too chuffed.

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Filed under Brand Damage, Lisbon Treaty, Negative PR, Political PR, Political spin, PR, PR Stunt