No PR disaster as Goodesy joins DJ line-up

David Jones nameplate
Retailer David Jones is adeptly Riding the waves of transmedia indignation (from both sides) with the applomb of a PR surf god.
As embarrassing as the social media barbs at – and as spirited the defences of – Adam Goodes are, the alleged ‘PR Disaster’ actually helps DJs surf a swell of “controversy communications”, adding visibility for their new positioning campaign.
The creative, Kanye, the role model sponsorships – and even the social spat – assert DJs new brand posture: ‘The right-on choice for cashed-up consumers with a conscientous rock ‘n roll spirit’, I’m guessing?
Whatever the schtick, Goodesy’s (and others’) recruitment is an adept PR manouevre. Round 1, and both store and sports legend are countering with all the right moves.

Belle Gibson; extinguished (distinguished) psychopath ?

Online, anyone can pretend to be anything they like. Social lives get ‘larged’ on social networks, suitors misrepresent on dating websites, resumes get burnished on Linkedin. Some even claim to have self-cured from cancer, blogged on the topic and profited hugely from a book and wellness App based on a BFL (big fat lie). So, is it just PR spin, web entrepreneurialism, shysterism or even a case of a psychological malaise – as is subtly questioned in this useful News Ltd piece...

As ever was, PR reparations start with “Sorry”, and proceed to responsible, remedial action.


Retailer and manufacturer 'creamed' over fascist coffee condiment

Hitler creamerI haven’t posted on PR Disasters for a while; the usual cavalcade of drunken debauchery, emotional immaturity, ill-judged utterances, policy backflips and PR nightmares leave me with a grey ennui. BUT THEN…a story pops up that’s kinda one out of the box. It appears that a Swiss retailer is doing a PR retreat after stocking coffee creamers featuring the faces of famous facists – the rest is, as they say, history…

Parents Jury – brands slammed by Fame and Shame Awards 2013

Subbed from their media release:
“Advocacy group The Parents’ Jury today named the Coles ‘One Direction’ campaign as winner of its Shame award for Pester Power. The Coles competition encouraged shoppers to try to win tickets to an exclusive One Direction concert through purchasing a range of mostly junk food products. The Fame and Shame Awards also delivered a smack in the face to KFC’s ‘Snack in the face’ app, awarding it the Digital Ninja award. The app featured a game where players win vouchers which can be redeemed for a range of KFC snacks or can be passed onto friends through social media. Milo was awarded this year’s Smoke and Mirrors award for its ‘Official Drink of Play’ TV commercial featuring popular TV personality Shelly Craft. Continue reading

Donut brand slam-dunked by racism claims

Part 1: How to sell a creative idea; pitch that it will star the daughter of the local CEO, reflect a MadMen-style chic, and tread the line in terms of controversy marketing.
Part 2: How to recover after it has gone to print; watch as the global company issues profuse apologies as snipers shoot down the execution and tonality.
Part 3; wait til the furore dies down and check with satisfaction as you show stats proving that awareness and media coverage for the concept dwarfs the original Ad spend available.

X-Box gun stunt creates fear and a PR disaster

Imitation handgun

In Auckland’s Degree bar in NZ, a man approaches drinkers in an outside bar and waves an imitation pistol around. A scene from an underworld spat or crime show? No, a marketing promotion for X-Box (I’m deliberately not giving the product the PR oxygen it seeks). One company linked to the PR promo (Monaco Corporation) denied it was a deliberate controversy, saying it had farmed the work out to another company. The promo guys were cautioned by police and X-Box got some media coverage. A PR disaster or deliberately dumbass attention-grabbing stunt?

Ta to my NZ correspondent Geoff for the tipoff.

iSnack 2.0 registered before competition closed

The SMH’s Julian Lee today sees mischief in the fact that the iSnack 2.0 name was registered b4 the comp closed…talking to Julian, I suggested that maybe this was precautionary because the name was so good! I’m also reported as saying: ”If they’ve done something untoward and have registered before it’s [the competition] allowed to run its course then their true motivations have been revealed and they’ll have to come clean, apologise and look for ways to take remedial steps”. Where I’m reported to have said ‘registered’, I’m sure the point I actually made to Julian was ‘registered and decided‘ – important distinction methinks. From a Web2.0 perspective, as Julian and I discussed, with an “army of fact-checkers” sniffing around, it’s an interesting evolution of the story.