The fluffy, Hollywood version of Crisis Management.
It never takes a day off, but I truly believe the most outrageous (and most frequent) PR Crisis’ went down in 2017. There was a different scandal every week. Just when we thought there were no headlines left, another one would fire up like clockwork, leaving another reputation in the dust. Celebrities got crazy, companies got careless, and the publicists got panicked. Let’s recap –
Biggest PR Crisis of 2017
Kendall Jenner + Pepsi
Well, this one sucked. Kendall and her team claiming she “wasn’t aware” of the message behind the commercial… Really, that’s all you could come up with? She was there. A script was provided beforehand, and the creative was extremely strategic.
There is no way she didn’t ask for all of the information before committing. Then again, a model and a massive Pepsi commercial? She may not have. Think of the message, and respected standing, that was wasted here by this giant corporation. It sucks the most for Pepsi. Everyone already prefers Coke.
Thank goodness I take Southwest. Turns out, United Airlines violently removes people from planes. The airlines defended themselves with the “at capacity” excuse. My question is, what was the real reason for this poor man’s removal? Sure, “the flight was full.” However, there were so many other people you could have “politely” asked to leave. Why was he sought out?
A United spokesman stated that the officer involved had been placed on leave for not following the standard procedure. They only did that because videos of the incident went viral online.
Bill Maher Uses The N-Word
First of all Bill, that is a NO. It doesn’t matter the context of the conversation – it doesn’t even matter if it’s the lyrics to a song – you are FORBIDDEN to use the word unless you are culturally allowed to.
HBO removed the comment to cover their own backs, but they should have removed Bill. Bill claimed that it was just “live, in the moment banter,” and apologized. He also mentioned his lack of sleep over it, which nobody cares about. I’ve always been pretty indifferent to Bill Maher. Now I know… I’m just different. It’s 2017. How can you still make that “mistake?”
Chipotle’s Food Safety Scares
WHY? Why must they screw up in their negligence and ruin one of America’s favorites? You let us all down Chip. Twice now, groups of customers have come forward in a matter of days to express how the meal made them sick. Chipotle was a little too honest when they stated, “I’m not sure our restaurants are safe to eat at.”
Okay? You should have just said “sorry.” The chain lost half a billion over this, but are somehow still running (and cooking) and planning to replace their CEO, Steve Ells. Watch out though, another outbreak is expected within the next year.
Kathy Griffin’s Trump Photoshoot
So Kathy hung out with Donald for a day. By Donald, I mean just his head. Sorry, his bloody head. Even though red is truly Trump’s color, Kathy faced major backlash, which is strange considering most of Hollywood loathes him. Were they really worried about patriotism and respecting the man in charge? Seems unlikely.
Soon enough, the people behind the photos were scrambling to undo it. Kathy did the worst thing ever, and apologized. I know it was to try and save her reputation that would now be deemed “unpredictable,” but don’t go there if you aren’t prepared to stand your ground.
Male Hollywood’s Sexual Abuse Allegations
The BIGGEST SCANDAL OF ALL. I believe Bill O’Reilly kicked it off, no? Harvey Weinstein stole the show shortly after, among others. The PR strategy here was to deny, deny, and yes, deny. The only other option was to come clean and accept full responsibility.
When the celebrities do own up, it usually means their PR team doesn’t care to represent them any longer. Therefore, they will just let them plead guilty because it doesn’t matter. The firm is parting ways with the client, so they are no longer worried about protecting a reputation.