Poisoned chalice

A recent article in Marketing Week about the Home Office search for an agency to create a marketing and advertising campaign for the proposed ID card scheme made me think about what campaigns a PR agency would actively shy away from rather than be tarred with a tainted brush.

There was the famous occasion a good few years ago when an EML director took a call from a major tobacco conglomerate asking if we would like to pitch to run its PR function. £ signs flashed before his eyes before reality set in and we decided that a) it was not our area of expertise and b) we did not wish to be associated with tobacco products.

However it did beg the question – why would a large tobacco company contact a technology PR company to ask them to pitch for a campaign? Was it that they had run out of PR companies that were prepared to take on the role?

Now we all know that most PRs have a fairly lamentable reputation at the best of times (courtesy of Max Clifford et al) but they must draw the line somewhere. So, question of the day – what PR campaign area would you rather not be associated with? For me, although not a veggie, I would find raising awareness of abattoirs difficult.

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3 Responses to Poisoned chalice

  1. putsimply says:

    Hi Juliet,

    I think I’d have to stay well clear of the “tainted” celebrity resurrection campaigns, like Michael Jackson, Heather Mills, Britney Spears, ANY political figure and other examples of people being their own undoing. I’m sure there is money to be made in working with them but I am a simple creature who prefers a quiet life to what I would assume would be the non-stop craziness of celeb management.

    Jo

  2. putsimply says:

    Nazis, Pork Scratchings, the London Underground, Pete Doherty.

    Might it be worth managing Heather Mills McCartney though? Yes you’d end up with egg on your face… But didn’t she owe her lawyers £2 million even though she dumped them within a month or so? That’s pretty good going.

    Alex

  3. putsimply says:

    Hi Juliet, I was reading this blog – http://www.nevillehobson.com/2008/07/22/getting-into-the-hearts-of-vista-users/ -by Neville, and it reminded me of your post – Windows Vista may well fall into your “don’t touch it” category, but I can’t help thinking that you could have a lot of fun with the kind of budget they’re likely to throw at this!

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