Ad Industry Turns To PR Firm For Image Help

From Ad Age:

The American Association of Advertising Agencies has tapped GolinHarris, a global firm that represents corporate heavyweights such as McDonald’s and SC Johnson, to stave off “negative headlines” and burnish the industry’s reputation with reporters and other influencers.
It’s unclear exactly what tactics will be employed, but executives familiar with the situation said part of the outreach could target reporters who don’t cover the ad business on a regular basis with the hope of scoring positive stories in mainstream business magazines and in the consumer press.

In a sense, it doesn’t help advertising’s image that a PR firm is needed in the first place. But hey, it might just be crazy enough to work.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


    Now THAT’S funny!

  2. PR professionals and advertising professionals have different skills and contacts, so it makes perfect sense for an ad agency to retain a PR firm, although some PR firms are, in fact, ownned by ad firms. This was a smart move by the Association. As someone in the PR business, I’m glad this happened because all too often people don’t understand the differences between what PR people and what advertising people do to communicate a service, product or position.

  3. Rich,
    The real problem here is that most advertising people don’t understand what advertising people do to communicate a service, product or position.
    An ad agency retaining a PR firm is one thing. For the 4A’s to do it is quite another. As the AdAge story pointed out, the committees comprising the 4A’s can’t even come to agreement on anything.
    If the individuals comprising the 4A’s are working advertising professionals, they should realize that it’s mighty tough to generate positive hype for a fucked-up product. They need to focus first on doing positive things worth hyping.
    Crispin Porter + Bogusky are a great example of a PR machine that works (regardless of whether you love them or hate them). First, they produce breakthrough work. Then they hype it ad nauseum. But the key is, you do the breakthrough work first. The 4A’s (and our industry) would be hard-pressed to present some breakthrough achievements.
    I think Spike Jones had the proper reaction on this one.