Crisis Management

Halliburton's 'Bizarre Media Strategy'

"The chief executive of the Halliburton Company, Dave Lesar,
never imagined that he would be the star of his own
television commercial. But there he is, on the airwaves in
Washington and Houston, assuring viewers that his company
has billions of dollars in contracts to rebuild Iraq and
feed American troops 'because of what we know, not who we
know.' The unnamed 'who' is, of course, Vice President Dick
Cheney, Halliburton's chief executive from 1995 to 2000. ... The advertising, Mr. Lesar added, will continue until the

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US Obesity Expands PR Budgets

"The United States spent $75.1 billion last year on medical expenses, such as drugs, doctor visits and hospitalizations, related to obesity, according to a study published this month in the journal Obesity Research," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The study, financed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, found that taxpayers paid half of the bill through Medicare and Medicaid programs.

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Martha Stewart's PR Push

"Weeks before a federal judge is set to open Martha Stewart's trial on charges of obstructing justice and securities fraud, the case already is being tried in the court of public opinion," writes James T. Madore. According to Roberg G. Heim, a former Securities and Exchange Commission attorney, "A very extraordinary aspect of the Martha Stewart case is the amount of public relations efforts that she and her team are making in an attempt to clear her name."

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Tyson Opens 'Animal Well-Being' Office

"Tyson Foods has opened an office of Animal Well-Being, seeking to assure retail and food-service customers as well as consumers that it takes humane animal handling seriously," PR Week reports.
"Animal-rights groups fault large American meat and poultry processors for what they see as inhumane handling of animals. These groups have protested in public for years about the plight of animals raised by companies like Tyson.

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Chemical Industry Wages War on Environment & Health

A news release from the Environmental Working Group reveals that "the chemical industry plans to conduct a covert campaign attacking the growing movement in California for more chemical safety testing, with tactics including the creation of phony front groups and spying on activists, according to an internal American Chemistry Council (ACC) memo. ...

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McDonald's Scores PR Week's 'PR Play of the Week'

"McDonald's chairman and CEO Jim Cantalupo sent an open letter to the press last week complaining about the inclusion of the pseudo-word 'McJobs' in the latest edition of the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary," PR Week writes in its PR Play of the Week feature.

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