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Are You Prepared for a Bedbug-Related PR Crisis?

bedbug.jpg It’s both official and completely gross: New York City is the most bedbug-infested city in the nation. Take that Dayton!

Besides the headaches that the creepy-crawly critters are causing individuals, they’re proving themselves to be a PR problem for some businesses and public buildings. The latest attack was reported on the Empire State Building. Local retailer Hollister, an AMC movie theater in Times Square, and the New York Health Department have also been infested.

Ad Age spoke with Euro RSCG global chief comms officer Eric Edge who emphasized the importance of transparency when a business discovers bedbugs.

High-end retailer Bergdorf Goodman took a preemptive strike, calling in an insect-sniffing dog to make sure the store remains bedbug-free.

“We haven’t had any reported cases of bedbugs, but it seems to be something everybody is concerned about,” said Ginger Reeder, vice president of corporate communications for Bergdorf Goodman [told the New York Daily News]. “The anxiety level is clearly high in New York. It seemed important to go the extra mile.”

An entomologist also interviewed for the Ad Age story cautions that an infestation is all but guaranteed if you’re in the Big Apple. Now might be the time to add a “bedbug” section to your crisis comms plan.

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