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Poisoned chalice

Posted by putsimply on 17th March 2008

A recent article in Marketing Week about the Home Office search for an agency to create a marketing and advertising campaign for the proposed ID card scheme made me think about what campaigns a PR agency would actively shy away from rather than be tarred with a tainted brush.

There was the famous occasion a good few years ago when an EML director took a call from a major tobacco conglomerate asking if we would like to pitch to run its PR function. £ signs flashed before his eyes before reality set in and we decided that a) it was not our area of expertise and b) we did not wish to be associated with tobacco products.

However it did beg the question – why would a large tobacco company contact a technology PR company to ask them to pitch for a campaign? Was it that they had run out of PR companies that were prepared to take on the role?

Now we all know that most PRs have a fairly lamentable reputation at the best of times (courtesy of Max Clifford et al) but they must draw the line somewhere. So, question of the day – what PR campaign area would you rather not be associated with? For me, although not a veggie, I would find raising awareness of abattoirs difficult.