Monday, June 25, 2012

The Spin Cycle, 6/25

A round-up of recent happenings in the world of PR, marketing, and other things I find interesting.

Maybe They Should Put Claritin in Happy Meals: One of the most socially irresponsible kids' movie tie-ins yet comes from Merck, hawking Claritin with characters from Madagascar 3. They could at least come up with a better excuse than this old chestnut: "The advertising is directed to the parents of children viewing the movies, not to the children themselves."

My Adidas: Adidas has mastered the art of the non-apology apology, as the shoemaker's reaction to the furor over its shackle shoes demonstrates:

"The design of the JS Roundhouse Mid is nothing more than the designer Jeremy Scott's outrageous and unique take on fashion and has nothing to do with slavery. We apologize if people are offended by the design and we are withdrawing our plans to make them available in the marketplace"

There should never be an "if" in an apology. And instead of humility, the basis of any sincere apology, Adidas brags about its designer's "outrageous" and "unique" tribute to slavery and prison. Try again, guys.

The Pope's PR Guy: The Vatican hires a Fox News reporter to be its communications advisor, on the heels of an announcement that the U.S. Church wants to ramp up its own PR efforts. Greg Burke won't be the Holy See's official spokesperson, a job that belongs to a priest -- an arrangement similar to what I observed as a reporter who occassionally wrote about religion in Pittsburgh back in the late 1990s. The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh had a lay PR guy on staff who actually had little interaction with the public, deferring nearly every media inquiry to a priest whose duties included media relations. Not what I call a plumb job, but perhaps a lapsed Presbyterian is the wrong guy to ask.

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