Lots of brands released tweets of questionable taste accompanied by the #NeverForget tag and 9/11 references yesterday, but no one received as much flack as AT&T, which posted an image of the “Tribute in Light” as seen through the camera on its smartphone. The brand obviously takes its reputation seriously, because today Chairman and CEO Randall Stephenson issued a statement of apology:
Posts Tagged ‘apologies’
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The entire country watched in horror this month as Paula Deen’s deep-fried, butter-soaked career came crashing down in a mess of outrageous statements and one of the most painful non-apologies we’ve ever had the misfortune to witness.
Mrs. Deen’s fall was so epic, in fact, that it distracted us from another perfectly served case study in poor media relations. This one came courtesy of clay court champ Serena Williams, who ruined what should have been a complimentary Rolling Stone profile with a few ill-advised comments and a passive-aggressive “apology.”
While visiting a nail salon with reporter Stephen Rodrick, Williams saw a news report about the Steubenville, Ohio rape case that sent two high school football stars to jail and led to a PR fail for CNN when anchors Poppy Harlow and Candy Crowley appeared to express more sympathy for the rapists than their victim.
Serena said of the perpetrators: “Do you think it was fair, what they got? They did something stupid, but I don’t know.” Beyond classifying the rape of a 16-year-old girl as “something stupid” and wondering whether the offenders were punished too harshly, Williams also had some less-than-flattering words for the victim:
“I’m not blaming the girl, but…why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? She’s lucky… she shouldn’t have put herself in that position, unless they slipped her something, then that’s different.”
Did she really need to throw a “but” in there?
The public doesn’t know Apple as a company prone to apology. We imagine its communications team would be far more comfortable issuing a statement to the effect of “the obvious superiority of our products speaks for itself, hahaha”. Hey, we understand—apologies acknowledge the imperfections that come with being human, and CEO’s aren’t generally too big on humility (with good reason).
And yet, CEO Tim Cook felt the need to release an official statement to customers today in order to control the spread of bad publicity stemming from the awfulness that is Apple Maps.
We can’t imagine Cook enjoyed writing this little letter, and we wonder what finally led him to draft it: Was it Motorola’s viciously effective #iLost ad? Was it this hilarious tumblr page? We’re not sure, but we do admire Cook’s ability to acknowledge that his company made a completely terrible product!
Readers should note Cook’s unreservedly apologetic tone in writing that Apple “fell short on this commitment”. Unlike the other big “damage control” missive released this morning, Cook’s note includes the word “sorry”. A real-life apology! We just might be impressed!
Cook promises to get to work on improving the map app, and we’re sure that a few programmers have had anxiety attacks this week–but what will the CEO’s next move be?