What an interesting week it’s been both here at home and across the pond for PR. This week we examine the good, the bad, and the royally comical.
First, we have the good: Simpsons co-creator Sam Simon has pledged his entire fortune to charity after being diagnosed with terminal colon cancer. There’s also the heartwarming story of President George H.W. Bush shaving his head after the young son of one of his Secret Service agents was diagnosed with leukemia. “It was the right thing to do,” Bush said of his solidarity.
Then, we have the bad: the salacious details of Anthony Weiner’s sexting scandal and the 23-year-old woman now claiming she felt used and manipulated. Really? I’m sure she’ll parlay it into a book deal and laugh all the way to the bank. More notably, Spirit Airlines and the New York Sports Clubs are themselves looking to capitalize on the latest revelations surrounding the embattled mayoral candidate whose “Flaccid poll numbers” (thanks to The Wrap for that gem) prove he’s got a bigger battle ahead of him than he may have anticipated.
Slate, too, is getting in on the action with its very own Anthony Weiner pseudonym finder. You know, in case you have the urge to, um, live “Dangerously.” For the record, you can call me Esteban Perill.
Still can’t understand for the life of me the geniuses behind his apology tour who allowed him to give this press conference without preparing him properly. He stumbled awkwardly, hardly appeared sincere, and strained himself looking up from his prepared remarks. Not to mention the seemingly creepy guy at about the 1:00 minute mark whose head pops out every now and again from behind his cubicle as if he’s part of a live action Where’s Waldo. Watching Anthony Weiner trying to stage a comeback is proving to be a comedy of errors. Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that it can’t be done. We’ve seen it. But it has to be done the right way. Not every wife who stands by her man in a time of scandal is going to come out the other side of this looking like Hillary Clinton. Let’s also not forget the attempted comeback of New York Governor Eliot Spitzer who, fair or not, is tied to Weiner. On the bright side, at least you aren’t this reporter, drawing attention to herself for all the wrong reasons.
In other news, Chipotle admitted to staging a Twitter hack of its own account in a publicity stunt supporting their 20th anniversary campaign. Well, it worked. The company maintains that public reaction to the prank has been largely positive, and it did certainly help bring hype to what might have otherwise been a lackluster promotional effort, but I have to wonder if this will do you any long-term brand damage. Oh, who am I kidding? Chipotle is so addictive they could lie to me seven ways to Sunday and I’d still be one of the first to lineup for a burrito.
Finally, we have the birth of the Royal baby. Something to celebrate? Absolutely. Worthy of the nonstop 24/7 coverage garnered from the moment the Duchess of Cambridge announced she was pregnant and the pandaemonium that ensued the moment she went into labor? I honestly don’t understand the fascination here in the States. I’m entertained more by the CNN ticker gaffe that proved to have the world’s worst timing, or Oreo’s comical take. Sidenote: Oreo has a history with some great campaigns.
If people in the United States cared half as much about domestic politics as they did about the birth of George Alexander Louis, (Seriously, that’s the best you could do?) I’d feel a lot better about the future of democracy in this country.