When Your Statement Becomes the Story

by Vianka McConville

A longtime New York Times TV sports and business reporter was looking for a bit more feeling from sponsors of the World Cup in statements relating to the resignation of FIFA’s former president, Sepp Blatter.  When he didn’t get it, the story became ‘weak PR statements.’

To the reporter, the words from Budweiser, Coca-Cola, Adidas and Visa were lukewarm in condemnation for Blatter and FIFA’s actions, and he surmised the same PR pro could have written them all.

He went on to quote a CEO for a company that sponsored the Olympics during the scandal in bidding for the 2002 Salt Lake winter games, who was rather outspoken during that time.  His insight was “… you have to remember that most corporate bigwigs are cowards.”

Ouch.

If I represented one of these companies, would I be OK with the fact that my statement contributed to my CEO being grouped in with others in less than favorable light?  No.  But, was it the best outcome I could hope for?  I can’t imagine that there wasn’t another option.  The situation with FIFA is big enough that it seems to have called for it.

What do you think?

 

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