- Groupon has made the decision to pull its ads from the website promoting Donald Trump’s NBC television show The Apprentice and sought to clarify a bunch of not-quite-accurate internet rumors about its relationship with the serially-bankrupt business executive’s increasingly bizarre comments about President Obama.
- British American Tobacco has admitted to funding a campaign by UK shopkeepers against a government plan that would force shops not to display tobacco products and sell them from under the counter. Can’t help thinking that BAT could have avoided the appearance of sinister behind-the-scenes manipulation by making the rather obvious point that it’s interests and those of the retail community were clearly aligned and being open and above board about the whole thing.
- A couple of good articles “celebrating” the anniversary of BP’s Gulf crisis can be found here (suggesting that BP’s decision to cut government and public relations funding may have played a role in the poor crisis response) and here (questioning the role of the “human face” of the company, Iris Cross).
- Jonathan Bernstein’s excellent crisis blog quotes an Agent Genius article on crisis management that advises “if what you’ve done that is being spread around the web is legitimately bad and you’ve screwed up, a lawsuit is not your answer,” which is certainly good advice as far as it goes. But my experience is that company’s only file lawsuits against their critics when they know they’re in the wrong (or at least, when they have something to hide). If they’re in the right, companies are not afraid to engage in robust public debate.
- The FT reports that the Glazer family—owners have Manchester United—have hired a PR firm to help improve their image with the club’s fans.
- Peter Hirsch applauds Berkshire Hathaway and Warren Buffet for what he calls “a good save” after the company reversed itself on its earlier disappointing reputation management.
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