Gawker Has No Use for PR

Former PRWeek writer, Hamilton Nolan, now at Gawker, isn’t big on PR.
Here he is speaking directly to Richard Edelman, the man Ad Age named its 2007 PR Exec of the year:

Like I said, you’re a nice guy. But much of your work— Wal-Mart being the best example— is just objectionable on philosophical grounds, like a lot of things in the PR industry. If every multinational PR firm crumbled to pieces tomorrow, the world would be a slightly better place. Just my opinion!

The backstory is Gawker received a tip from “a high level advertising and marketing executive” accusing an Edelman trainer of encouraging staff to lie on the client’s behalf.
The following is given as evidence by Gawker, although it’s hard to say how credible it is, not knowing the source. The trainer allegedly said:

“Sometimes, you just have to stand up there and lie. Make the audience or the reporter believe that everything is ok. How many times have you heard a CEO stand up and say “No, I’m not leaving the company” and then – days later – he’s gone. Reporters understand that you “had” to do it and they won’t hold it against you in your next job when you deal with them again.”

Edelman asked Gawker to delete the incriminating post.
Gawker refused.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. fyi – it’s Richard Edelman, not Edleman.

  2. Thanks Chris. It’s fixed above.

  3. With that said, as a former Edelman employee, their innovation in the industry is wildly overstated and use of un-ethical practices is rampant.