Iraq’s Electricity Ministry is fighting its reputation for corruption and inefficacy by plastering billboards featuring Katie Couric and her winning smile around Baghdad. This strange PR campaign resulted from the ministry’s need to placate a disgruntled population sweltering in 110-degree heat while navigating an obstacle course of religious and cultural mores.
The one rule the ministry chose to ignore, however, is the rule banning the theft of copyrighted material. But oh well. When rebuilding a nation, electricity trumps intellectual property rights. Apparently Iraq’s Electricity Ministry has much to learn about public relations and brand integration.
The idea is solid. Every culture appreciates a pretty smile and a beautiful face, and Katie Couric reportedly fit the bill regarding age, attire, and style. We get it. But if your PR goal is to combat a reputation for corruption, stealing someone’s face and promoting it all over Baghdad isn’t the best strategy. Musaab al-Mudarrs, the Electricity Ministry’s spokesperson, openly admitted to being worried about being sued.