Brand Situation: Paula Deen Bill Cosby Jared Fogel When Ish Hits the PR Fan

From the Powder Room to the Boardroom we were full of prayers for all the PR departments that were in damage control mode with all that was going on in newsrooms earlier this week — what in the world?!

With Paula Deen’s absent-minded social media manager posting Deen’s son in brownface (see above) for #TransformationTuesday (WTH) and with no regard for the racially charged climate we are operating in, like right now. And by the way, hasn’t Deen’s brand been the entire topic of racial insensitivity? So why would… nevermind. Let’s just be happy Donald Trump’s coined #YoureFired isn’t in vain.

Now on to the wrecking ball that is Bill Cosby. Honestly, I am without words — or rather, I have so many words that I’d rather keep quiet. Happy I wasn’t the PR Head in control of the situation. I’ll insert my favorite line when a client has peeved me — behind internal closed doors that is (smile) “ ’Cause what you won’t do, is make me look stupid. No sir!” I would have simply and calmly walked out and said, “You’re on your own DUDE.” #FigureitOut #YoureToast #FrFr. That face is priceless! It’s the exact response I would have been going for.

And last and certainly not least, Jared Fogel, the spokesperson for Subway promoting such a family-friendly image is really caught-up in a scandal reminiscent of the first season of Shonda Rhimes “Scandal”.

Fogel’s team have their work cut out for them but this can be solved. The fact that they didn’t rush to put out a statement is smart. They need to do an internal investigation and ensure their client is free and clear of all allegations, sever ties with said employee, ensure none of their children has been harmed and then sing with all the fervor of a Southern Baptist Church Choir during revival (aka make the media rounds) their client is still the same Fogel we’ve come to trust and admire.

Now if something in the milk is found to be unclean, then the above strategy will need huge modifications. You’ll have to pay me to tell you about them, but let’s just say, they definitely have a #brandsituation on their hands and we’ll be waiting we baited breathe on the final outcome.

PRPros Unite! What say you? On the mark or nah? Would love to hear your thoughts! Use #BrandSituation on social media.


Pictures courtesy of BuzzFeed (Paula Deen), Daily Mail UK (Jared Fogel) and L.A. AssociatedPress for Bill Cosby

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