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Posts Tagged ‘Dianne Feinstein’

Hollywood Pushes Back Against Zero Dark Thirty Critics

Zero Dark ThirtyWe haven’t seen Zero Dark Thirty yet, but we are intrigued by the PR back-and-forth between the film’s makers/promoters and various members of the US government. A couple of questions are central to the controversy:

  • Does the film glorify torture and imply that information gained during torture sessions eventually led to the location and assassination of Osama bin Laden?
  • Did the filmmakers act inappropriately in collecting information from confidential sources within the Central Intelligence Agency?

This is a bi-partisan issue; California Democrat Dianne Feinstein and Arizona Republican John McCain both voiced concern over the fact that the movie might lead Americans to see “enhanced interrogation” as an acceptable element of the US military’s intelligence arsenal. The conversation grew so heated that director Kathryn Bigelow found the need to release a public statement calling herself a “lifelong pacifist”, disavowing the use of torture and reminding everyone in the media that retweets do not equal endorsements. The senators have also sent a letter to the acting director of the CIA asking for more information in terms of the filmmakers’ discussions with members of the agency’s intelligence community.

Now the pushback on behalf of ZDT is growing stronger–and it’s an interesting case from a PR perspective.

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Report: Here is Why BP is Working With Brunswick Group

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BP has engaged with a number of agencies to provide communications counsel in the wake of the oil spill that continues to wreak havoc on the Gulf Coast.

One of the firms, Brunswick Group, is known more for their connections in the UK then they are in the U.S. And while some publications have reported Brunswick managing director Hilary Rosen — who has worked with the Recording Industry Association of America and Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) — is leading the BP efforts, others have noted that agency partner Michele Davis [pictured] is leading the account.

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A reader sent in this article on the Brunswick and BP engagement from the German magazine Manager:

…since the start of the oil spill a team headed by Washington-based partner Michele Davis has been handling crisis communication, in the Gulf of Mexico region but primarily in Washington. “That is where you both win and lose the races,” says a PR manager.

The report also notes that the ties between Brunswick and BP run deep:

British public relations man Alan Parker, 54, founder of the PR agency Brunswick, used to assist Tony Hayward‘s predecessor Lord Browne, 62, on communication matters. Parker, a sort of Roland Berger of the UK, has close personal ties to the British establishment: Former prime minister Gordon Brown is godfather to his son William, and Brown’s wife Sarah used to work at Brunswick. The new prime minister David Cameron attended, like Brown, Parker’s wedding. And Parker has also taken his holidays with Cameron. Brunswick only became become big at BP under the oil firm’s new CEO Tony Hayward and his head of PR Andrew Gowers.

RELATED: Ogilvy PR Handling Social Media for BP