Remember how we had that discussion last week about knowing where the line is and not crossing it with crazy media pitches? Let us now direct our attention to the latest from Fleishman-Hillard in Canada.
In an effort to promote its client BackCheck, a company that does background checks on prospective employees and others, Fleishman-Hillard in Vancouver sent out a release noting that a check on Luka Rocco Magnotta would’ve given a heads up about anything suspicious. Magnotta has been in the news as the prime suspect in the torture and murder of his lover Lin Jun in Canada. Magnotta then allegedly cannibalized Jun and sent parts of his body (a hand and foot) to political offices.
“Our firm made an inappropriate decision – leveraging recent headlines in an attempt to gain coverage for a client. Using such tragic events in this context was a clear mistake in judgment on the part of our firm,” it says. Blyth emphasizes that this was an “isolated incident.”
On Twitter, the release was called “the tackiest press release in human history.”
Dave Dinesen, the president and CEO of BackCheck, actually stood by the release despite the backlash, saying, “I apologize if anyone thought it was in poor taste … but if I was renting out my basement, I’d want to know who I was renting it to.” Thereby proving that he needs more than just a PR firm.
We reiterate: Stay classy PR peeps. And also, read PRNewser every day.
(Separately, Magnotta was captured today in Berlin.)