Crisis Management

High-rise Blitz

Ed McGovern, a Democratic political consultant in the San Francisco Bay area, is helping local developer Glenborough-Pauls as the company fights environmentalists opposed to a controversial condominium project. The PR campaign, calling itself the "Know All the Facts Coalition," is using print advertising and bringing together union representatives, elected officials and government employees in an effort to stymie a petition drive that seeks to halt the project.


On the Road Again

The New York Times recently attempted to contact former secretary of state Henry Kissinger to ask about allegations that he had used his influence inside the Council on Foreign Relations to quell a debate concerning him in the pages of its magazine, Foreign Affairs. Kissinger was "traveling and could not be reached for comment," responded his assistant.


Mac Attack Down Under

In Australia, McDonald's launched an unprecedented, multi-million dollar advertising and PR campaign to counter the release of the US documentary "Super Size Me," which follows filmmaker Morgan Spurlock on a month long McDonald's binge. Until recently, the fast-food giant chose to ignore the hit movie. But McDonald's now fears for its reputation.


High-Priced Friends in Need

Russian oil company OAO Yukos has seen hard times since the arrest on tax evasion and fraud charges of its former chief executive, Mikhail Khodorkovsky. The company "is trading at a fraction of its value at the time of Mr. Khodorkovsky's arrest," and owes $3.4 billion in back taxes, according to the Russian government. "Company executives say Yukos could be driven out of business," writes the Wall Street Journal.


Super Surprise Me

IGN FilmForce, a movie review website, took a look at the PR battle against Super Size Me, Morgan Spurlock's documentary about the 30 days he spent eating nothing but meals from McDonald's. "Over the course of three days this week, IGN FilmForce came across three separate press releases, from three different organizations, all extolling the 'truth' about how the new documentary film Super Size Me distorts the fact," they report.


Dying for a Bacon-Wrapped Cheeseburger

Saying "he was seduced 'with a bacon-wrapped cheeseburger'," Florida millionaire Jody Gorran filed a lawsuit against Atkins Nutritionals and the estate of the late Dr. Atkins. Gorran required surgery to open a 99 percent blocked coronary artery after following the high-fat, high-protein Atkins diet for two years.


The Real Space Invaders

How should the U.S. handle torture allegations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Cuba? The Army may use video games. The America's Army game, which is currently used "to train and recruit soldiers... could also be modified to include lessons on prisoner treatment." Reuters reports: "The PC-based game...


Would You Like Fries With That?

Low-carb diets, the demise of the McDonald's Supersize menu, and even mad cow disease have hurt the market for potatoes, so spud growers are fighting back. "The National Potato Promotion Board (NPPB) recently launched a $4.5 million campaign that mixes print advertising, public relations and partnerships with weight-loss groups to educate consumers about the healthy benefits of potatoes," reports the Associated Press. According to NPPB president Tim O'Connor, "There's nothing anyone can do about McDonald's deciding to eliminate its Supersize. ...


Counter-Attack of the Killer Clowns

As the anti-fast food documentary "Super Size Me" hits theaters, McDonald's is fighting back. "We're responding aggressively because the film is a gross misrepresentation," said a company spokesperson. Helping defend McDonald's are "global nutritionist" Cathy Kapica and the corporate-funded American Council on Science and Health.



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