Sludge keeps rearing its ugly head. Scientists used federal grant money to "spread fertilizer made from human and industrial wastes on yards in poor, black neighborhoods to test whether it might protect children from lead poisoning in the soil." The residents were not alerted to any harmful ingredients in the sludge, and were assured that it posed no health risks for their families.
In 2004, the Unilever company Dove got lots of attention for using "ordinary-looking -- in some cases heavyset -- women in its ads for shampoos and beauty products.
It was originally planned as "a low-key classroom discussion about patriotism and service to country" at Forest Lake High School in Minnesota. But when the Republican Party-associated pro-Iraq war group Vets for Freedom "decided to call a press conference at the school and alerted media," things got heated.
According to the Tennessee Ethics Commission's staff, a public relations firm that set up a front group that's encouraging people to contact legislators needs to register as a lobbyist. At issue is a proposal to allow Tennesseans to order wine over the Internet. The Tennessee Wine and Spirits Wholesalers, which opposes the bill, hired the prominent Nashville firm Seigenthaler Public Relations.
When the U.S. Food and Drug Administration determined that a particular chemical in plastic was not harmful, they used scientific studies to prove it.
The director of external relations for Procter & Gamble, Mark Chakravarty, recently told a UK healthcare PR conference that the drug industry is less than popular with the public. "There is a high suspicion of the pharma industry. Greed, dishonesty and fraud are some of its associations. The clinical trial press this week and an increased number of drug scandals add to this image," he said.
After the tragic collapse of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge in Minneapolis last August, the state wants to "restore the image of the beleaguered Minnesota Department of Transportation." So Minnesota is paying the public relations firm Himle Horner at least $550,000.