Michael Vick, Atlanta Falcons star and dogfighting enabler is talking to PETA about doing some spokes-work for the publicity savvy organization, 19-months after the story broke.
AdAge has what little details are available, confirms with PETA that Vick’s unnamed image handlers are involved. Richard Levick of Levick Strategic Communications, and Drew Kerr of Four Corners are the PR people the trade called upon to comment on the strategy.
I agree with most of it except that PETA has PR “problems”. The beauty of what they do is their ability to preach loudly to their choir while keeping themselves firmly in the media. Those they upset were not going to donate to the cause anyway. Here they have a win-win, they can tout his contrition if Vick is effective, and publicly flog him if he acts out. Public sentiment of sports fans likely ranks Vick higher than any of the drugs-takers.
Another example is PETA’s recent stunt targeting school kids to get the word out about the cruelty in circuses. Gothamist asked if they went too far. It worked precisely because it went too far.
This is one stunt I’d like to perversely see go awry, just to see the outcome in the mainstream media. Like all image rehab campaigns, Vick–like A-Rod et al–needs to start by getting back to playing good ball.