2007 PR Disaster winners announced

News Information
17 January 2008


PR watchdog and blogsite http://www.prdisasters.com has announced the results of its annual 2007 PR Disaster Awards.

The winner is former Australian Liberal Minister Jackie Kelly, for her ludicrous defence of a racist and fake election leaflet, which tried to discredit the Labor party.

The full list of the year’s most negative PR disasters identified by bloggers, the media and PR and reputation management expert, Gerry McCusker, reads as follows:

1 Jackie Kelly – comments over the racist and bogus election leaflet

2 Ribena – its Vitamin C claims were disproved by two NZ schoolkids

3 Heather Mills McCartney – her interview meltdown on a UK TV show

4 WorkChoices – the policy said to have caused the Liberals’ election defeat

5 Whole Foods – a fake blog praising its CEO, outed as being covertly written by the same CEO

6 Visy Industries/Dick Pratt – fined over a major price-fixing cartel scandal

7 Ben Cousins – the AFL football player’s publicised spiral into drug addiction

8 FEMA – the US government department had staff pose as fake reporters at a poorly-attended press event

9 APEC/Chaser – An Aussie TV show The Chaser infiltrated international security posing as a Canadian motorcade transporting a fake Osama bin Laden

10 USA’s Cartoon Network – put fake, blinking ‘bombs’ on bridges to promote a show

As defined in my business book ‘Public Relations Disasters’, a PR disaster is an incident that catalyses sustained negative media coverage for an individual or organization, and which subsequently damages personal or professional reputation.

Further information and interviews:
PR analyst and author Gerry McCusker
Email: gerry@prdisasters.com

Note to editors: ‘Public Relations Disasters: Talespin’ is now available in paperback by Kogan Page, 2006. Media review copies are available from the author (contact above) on request.

10 thoughts on “2007 PR Disaster winners announced

  1. Pingback: Better Communication Results

  2. Great list. We’re working on 2008 already in Canada with the firing of the head of our government-appointed nuclear watchdog by the natural resources minister. Seems nuclear safety isn’t important up here. The government is currently engaged in PR damage control which beats nuclear damage control.


  3. Thanks Peter; great point about nuclear vs PR disasters- plenty fallout from both tho, eh!!
    Kami; ta, will check out your interview as suggested.


  4. Pingback: Blog Buzz on PR: January 18, 2008 : Naked PR

  5. I couldn’t believe just how clueless Jackie Kelly was, both before and after being caught out. Honestly, you couldn’t make it up. A worthy winner.


  6. …and the bolter for the 2008 awards who will be hard to catch. Jetstar!! Could you really imagine a competent manager at any level leaving stranded passengers/ customers on the street! And then they wheel out Simon Westaway; oh dear!

    And thru all this Virgin passengers were sleeping soundly!!!!


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