TVNewser AgencySpy TVSpy LostRemote FishbowlNY FishbowlDC SocialTimes AllFacebook 10,000 Words GalleyCat UnBeige MediaJobsDaily

Crisis Communications

Whole Foods Is Getting Hit By Hobby Lobby In An Unexpected Way

whole foods signSometimes, a brand can get hit with a controversy that they didn’t even know they were involved with. Surely, that must be what Whole Foods is thinking.

Usually involved with issues surrounding food and the prices at their shops, it’s likely they didn’t have a crisis plan in place for the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, which made it OK for employers to determine whether or not to offer contraception coverage. The company itself has no plans of discontinuing the coverage. However, one of the brands they carry, Eden Foods, is trying to opt out of the coverage. And now there’s a petition against Whole Foods with 12,500 names, demanding that they stop selling Eden Foods products. According to The Daily Beast, the company is one of 82 trying to discontinue the coverage.

“While individual-level boycotting of Eden Foods may not have much of an impact, telling Whole Foods to stop carrying Eden Foods’ products in their stores around the nation should have a much bigger effect. Let’s seek out the best messenger to send this message to Eden Foods- and in this case, Whole Foods seems like the perfect fit,” reads the petition.

We can all just imagine the looks on faces of the Whole Foods publicists when they saw this.

Read more

Sears, Walmart Apologize for Selling Nazi Poster (No Comment from Amazon)

walmart

Today we learned that three of the country’s largest online retailers do not effectively screen the products they offer for evidence of Nazism.

On Monday, Digiday reported on the news (first broken by Heeb last week) that Walmart‘s online store offered shoppers a poster featuring an image of the gate at Dachau concentration camp, which was the very first opened by the German government to hold political prisoners in 1933 (and at which tens of thousands of innocent people died). The fact that the saying on the gate reads “work makes you free” is especially perverse.

Further searches revealed that Amazon and Sears also featured the item online. Their excuse? The dreaded “third party vendor.”

Let’s compare their statements.

Read more

Can We Talk? Joan Rivers Calls President ‘Gay,’ First Lady ‘a Tranny’

usa-obama

For more than 50 years, Joan Rivers has been considered the female Don Rickles — a compliment of the highest order. She has insulted everyone with wit, humor, and dazzling banter. However, that was the younger Joan Rivers. Today, she’s not so much funny, as just a fake plastic individual in Hollywood that doesn’t know when to give it up.

And now, the octogenarian comedienne may have just told her last joke and discussed her last arrest with the “Fashion Police.” Why? You don’t get to call the President of the United States “gay.” Moreover, his wife a “tranny.” Yeah, not even plastic surgery will save you from this one, Joan.

Read more

American Apparel Mistakes Challenger Explosion for Fireworks

AmericanApparel_Frank

The home of “smediums” and tasteless advertising should just reconsider talking to the public

While you were stumbling between the cooler full of adult beverages and your lawn chair, something pretty awful and all-the-more stupid happened — American Apparel posted a picture of the Space Shuttle Challenger exploding.

WHY?! It was placed (and long since deleted) on the corporate Tumblr account accompanied by the hashtags #smoke and #clouds because July 4 pictures are a thing. More about that decision after the jump…

Read more

Mary Barra Tells Matt Lauer: No Cover-Up at GM

Mary Barra sat down with Matt Lauer this morning on TODAY, and we think you’ll agree that the questions he lobbed her way were a bit softer than those she received from Congress earlier this month.

At the very least, she’s consistent with the message. That’s a good thing, because she’ll have to repeat it many more times before GM can move beyond this story.

What do we think of her appearance?

Walmart Comms VP ‘Fact Checks’ The New York Times

shutterstock_84776302

The purpose of New York Times writer Timothy Egan’s op-ed on income inequality last week was to highlight the inability of our political parties and corporate entities to reach agreement on the best ways to help the millions of working Americans who struggle to provide themselves and their families with the basics.

Egan unsurprisingly singled out two names for blame: the Republican Party and Walmart.

David Tovar, sometime PRSA speaker and VP of corporate communications at the retailer, decided to respond in blog form–and he got a bit cattier than expected. His intro:

“Tim – Thanks for sharing your first draft. Below are a few thoughts to insure something inaccurate doesn’t get published. Hope this helps. – WMT”

Well, then. Full red-ink revision after the jump.

Read more

Target (Almost) Apologizes to Canada

Target wants the nation of Canada to know that they’re “disappointed” in their own performance–and they’ll definitely do better next time.

Last year we reported that the retailer’s northern expansion had failed to convince the Canucks not to shop at Walmart, and this week the company attempted to hit the “reset” button with this clip:

The executive team leader says the problem was all about getting product on the shelves, but we’re not so sure; the primary factor behind the lackluster numbers seemed to be the fact that Walmart is still cheaper and more convenient when it comes to the basics.

Here’s the big one: the Target corporation lost more than one billion dollars in 2013 and fired its president of Canadian operations in May.

Read more

5 Tips for Creativity in Times of Crisis or Controversy

michael_sam_si

Today we bring you a guest post by Howard Bragman, founder and chairman of Fifteen Minutes PR.

This post is part of an ongoing series.

Like many in our profession, I sometimes feel like the guy at the circus juggling plates on the ends of sticks. It looks precarious, but like the guy under the big top, I am happiest when there is a lot going on.

Over the past several years, I’ve had three primary jobs: 1.) Chairman and Founder of Fifteen Minutes, a Los Angeles-based PR firm that specializes in consumer brands, entertainment and crisis/controversy clients; 2.) Vice Chairman of Reputation.com, the largest and category-creating online reputation management company; and 3.) Network and cable broadcast news contributor, providing my take on the reputational events of the day.

My PR and crisis work often involves people and companies seeking to prevent or assuage a whirlwind of damaging press.

Read more

Where’s the Beef? Whole Foods Has 4,000 Pounds of Meat Recalled for Mad Cow

mad-cow

Moo, damnit!

America is going healthy, which is why stores like Whole Foods Market are so popular these days. I shop there for most of my produce and dead animals (shout out to PETA), but some unfortunate news may cause loyal shoppers like me to reconsider those options for a while.

According to the Los Angeles Times, by way of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, there has been a massive two-ton beef recall over fears of possible contamination with substances that could lead to bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

That’s “Mad Cow,” which equals two more words: Crisis communicationsRead more

Verizon to Netflix: ‘No, You’re Slow!’

Netflix might just be too clever for its own good.

Earlier this week, the company confirmed that it had gotten a bit cheeky with Verizon, its partner in the love/hate net neutrality dance.

Netflix, in the face of what might resemble extortion from a certain angle, recently agreed to pay for the right to “direct access” to Verizon customers in order to ensure that its videos stream at optimum speeds. The company signed a similar deal with Comcast.

Of course, we can see why Netflix might want to gripe about this fact, and they chose a sly way to do it. But Verizon wasn’t amused. Their statement after the jump.

Read more

<< PREVIOUS PAGENEXT PAGE >>