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Posts Tagged ‘Blackfish’

PETA’s Latest Enemy: Chef Gordon Ramsay


You may have heard that PETA is not a big supporter of SeaWorld.

The water park has been playing defense since the release of the movie Blackfish, a gripping documentary about what it takes for those “entertainers” to show up at one of three locations across this great land of ours. In August, the company finally told investors that all the negative attention had affected business, and last month SeaWorld hired government relations firm Van Scoyoc Associates to help convince the public that it has its aquatic employees’ best interests in mind.

Now, PETA has a new foe who is oddly related to the movie ballyhoo. Step into the fray, foul-mouthed culinary icon Gordon Ramsay! Read more

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SeaWorld Breathes a Sigh of Relief As Blackfish Shut Out of Oscar Nominations

So the Oscar nominations came out today, and we have to say: Jonah Hill‘s come a long way since Knocked Up.

We also agree with the Orlando Sentinel: there’s little doubt that SeaWorld execs and company reps were anxious about today’s announcement and even less doubt that they’re glad Blackfish didn’t get the nod for Best Documentary Feature.

Screen Shot 2014-01-16 at 11.24.27 AM

And yes, that’s definitely why they chose this week to announce that they’d broken attendance and revenue records in 2013.

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Survey Shows SeaWorld’s Reputation Damaged but Intact

It's gonna be OK. Not really though.

“It’s gonna be OK, boy (not really though).”

We’ve written a good bit about SeaWorld’s reputation struggles recently; we even included the company on our list of 2013′s “biggest losers“, because have you seen Blackfish? Damn.

You can’t always trust social media, though: a recent survey by YouGov‘s Brand Index shows us that the damage might not be quite as bad as we thought. In fact, it’s been “comparatively far milder than other recent major crises in the news.”


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SeaWorld’s Apparent Attempt to Rig Opinion Poll Backfires

shutterstock_68472997What’s a surefire way to inspire people to seek out an opinion poll just to cast their negative votes against your organization? Get caught trying to rig said poll in your favor.

On December 31, the Orlando Business Journal posted a reader poll that asked, “Has CNN’s Blackfish documentary changed your perception of SeaWorld?” By Thursday, two days into the poll, the paper reported that a surprisingly overwhelming 99% of respondents said “no,” their opinion of the park had not been tarnished.

Sure, it makes sense that locals might look more favorably upon their own park than the wider public might, but 99% seems just a little too good to be true, doesn’t it? That’s because it was.

After the paper did a little digging, it found that more than half of the votes had been cast from a single IP address: Read more

Did SeaWorld Kill a Forbes Story on the Blackfish Effect?


Better days?

Oh, thank you, Outside, for alerting us to “SeaWorld‘s Fishy PR Tactics.

We added the brand to our list of 2013′s “biggest losers” due to the influence of critical doc Blackfish, and now it seems that someone representing the company is taking extra steps to minimize the public’s knowledge of that effect. The latest chapter in this saltwater drama concerns a Forbes piece that went up on New Year’s Day but only existed for “approximately an hour” until someone removed it.

Can we call this move “Blackfishwashing?”

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Blackfish Dodges a Black Eye from SeaWorld. Whatevs.

blackfish poster

If you haven’t seen this, you’re missing a bonafide Oscar-quality documentary.

Full Disclosure: I have been to SeaWorld many times. I have mini-mes who love the place.

Fuller Disclosure: I have seen Blackfish. Twice. And I may not consider going to SeaWorld again.

Fullest Disclosure: SeaWorld needs to fire whatever firm is in charge of its crisis communications because it is just too-little, way-too-late.

This Magnolia Pictures documentary is all over Netflix and it’s spreading on social media as well. Rotten Tomatoes gave it 98 percent on its beloved ‘Tomatometer.’ And 1980s retreads musical acts such as Heart and Joan Jett have backed out of SeaWorld-approved performances because of this documentary. But SeaWorld just now decided to act?!

Um, Nurse? We need a tourniquet because there is something seriously broken with this situation. STATRead more

‘Blackfish’ Documentary and SeaWorld’s Resulting PR War Inspire Pixar to Change ‘Finding Dory’ Storyline

Please note that this post contains possible spoilers for Pixar’s upcoming film “Finding Dory.”

As we reported a few weeks ago, Magnolia Pictures’ documentary “Blackfish,” which makes the case that orca whales in captivity suffer physical and mental distress, prompted SeaWorld Entertainment to launch a full-fledged PR campaign. Now, it seems, the publicity surrounding the film and the theme park has inspired Pixar to re-think the storyline for “Finding Dory“, its sequel to ‘Finding Nemo.”

“The script for Finding Dory, which is still in the early stages of production ahead of its planned 2015 release, initially had an ending that involved a marine park, according to a Pixar employee,” reports the New York Times. “But as a result of the sometimes harsh Blackfish, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, and the resulting publicity battle SeaWorld has had to fight, Pixar decided to restructure that part of the story so that the fish and mammals taken to its aquatic center have the option to leave.”

So… it’s more like a fish hotel than an aquatic theme park? I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

We do wonder, though — just as we did when SeaWorld launched its no-holds-barred PR battle before “Blackfish” was even released — if such a preemptive move was wholly necessary. Read more

SeaWorld’s Preemptive PR Strike Against Potentially Damaging Documentary May Hurt, Not Help

Rather than lying low and waiting for the storm to pass as companies profiled in unflattering documentary exposés often do, SeaWorld, advised by the communications firm 42West, has taken the opposite approach.

Before last week’s New York and Los Angeles release of the Magnolia Pictures documentary “Blackfish,” which makes the case that orca whales in captivity suffer physical and mental distress, SeaWorld Entertainment took preemptive action in an attempt to prevent potential damage to its reputation.

About a week before the film’s release, the company sent a detailed critique of the movie to about 50 critics who were presumably about to review it. Among other things, SeaWorld claims that “Blackfish” exceeded the bounds of fair use by using training film and other video shot by the company. SeaWorld also says that filmmaker Gabriela Cowperthwaite deliberately positioned some scenes to create what SeaWorld executives claim is a false implication of wrongdoing. Additionally, by midweek last week the company was providing top executives and animal caretakers for interviews about the movie. Read more