Apathy over bankers' sins; reputation restoration
Charting the future of public relations
Holmes Report

Apathy over bankers' sins; reputation restoration

Paul Holmes

• Like me, William D. Cohan doesn’t quite understand the lack of public outrage over the fact that those responsible for the ongoing recession still have not been called to account. “It has always been a mystery to me why the American people’s reaction to this lack of accountability has been so consistently passive,” he writes, wondering why there isn’t even “a whisper of collective protest when the very banks we bailed out turn around and pay their thousands of employees some $150 billion in bonuses in 2010 while the rest of us continue to suffer from stubbornly high unemployment, miniscule interest rates on our savings and fast-rising commodity prices that Wall Street speculators, in part, drive higher and higher.” Unlike me, he remains optimistic that justice might eventually be done. • Insurance giant Aon is partnering with WPP—including the holding company’s various PR firms—to provide reputation recovery cover, up to $100 million in services for a $5 million annual premium. As the FT notes, this is not a first—several US insurers offer services from an approved list of PR providers as part of their crisis management cover—but the sums involved are considerably higher than anything else on the market. • Being able to fly a plane is perhaps not the only qualification for becoming an airline pilot. Perhaps Delta Air Lines might want to consider incorporating some sort of process to ensure that their pilots are also not raging bigots. • A lawsuit filed by Koch Industries in an attempt to stifle debate over climate change has been rejected by a Utah court. There’s nothing very surprising about that; the First Amendment has not been repealed since the last time a large company tried to silence its critics with a spurious lawsuit, or the time before that. I do find it strange, however that this kind of lawsuit—both frivolous and a flagrant abuse of the courts—escapes the vitriol of groups like the US Chamber’s Institute for Legal Reform. • This seems like a much cheaper approach to reducing suicide at FoxConn facilities than actually improving the working conditions. If it works, iPad and iPhone customers won’t have to pay a penny extra and they can shop with a clean conscience. Win-win! • I can’t wait to see the PR campaign behind this press release in next year’s SABRE Awards competition, presumably in the medical devices category. • The Onion has a low opinion of public relations firms.
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