Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Where does spin begin and lying end?

Gordon Ramsey! Who would have thought it?

Yes, even straight talking Gordon has been caught telling fibs.

In his latest F Word it shows him being manly, practical and a general Ray Mears catching fish.

But it wasn't true. Yes, he fished. No, he caught nothing.

Luckily a local fisherman had some back-up sea bass - a valuable bit of thinking. The programme showed him wading in from the shore with his catch for a barbecue.

When the story broke Channel 4 apologised for misrepresentation.

Who really cares except a tabloid? Surely there is some room for journalistic license?

When Brazen PR were found out to have used staff and friends to pose a boyfriend and girlfriend there was a minor outcry. The story being that she liked chocolate so much that he filled up a bathtub with it. Except that the couple images were not the couple the story was based on.

There was a storm in a little teacup. It was a publicity stunt about chocolate.

Yes, some people were aggravated by Brazen being "economical with the actualite." Some said it was par for the course. Why get upset? Personally I thought it was a waste of good chocolate - eat the stuff.

Last week it was the case of SKV and the fabled typical Mancs, who were as it transpired 4 US models, replete great dental work and an expression that looked as though they had an hour of being tickled and had thoroughly enjoyed it prior to being photographed.

The case studies were made-up and this was apparently not clear to residents.

This was something different - a serious issue - congestion charging - and its affect on travel for personal and business use. It rightly caused some anger. Not least because of the clumsy way the reaction was handled when people thought they had been patronisingly hoodwinked.

(It now appears that SKV were not responsible for the offending leaflets although they took some of the flack, but it was the creative agency Creative Concern).

There has to be a line PRs must not cross. Of course there is a legal line as a restraint. A PR cannot claim a drug will cure a certain ailment if they know it does not.

For the good of journalistic PR relations and the image of the industry PRs must be careful how they present information.

Self-regulation rarely works, especially as there is no obligation to join the Institute of Public Relations to practise. These incidents will go on , the advice must be play straight on stories involving key issues otherwise there could be consequences.


Blogger Eleanor said...

As you say, the pr company SKV - formerly Spin Media - didn't produce the leaflets with the made up people, but they did originally tell the Manchester Evening News that they were based on real people, and subsequently admitted that they were not. So they were either telling porkies or they didn't check their facts adequately. Either way not likely to be used as a test study in efficient communications.

3:32 AM


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