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Friday, 8 July 2011

Media PR Mess Way Beyond Social Media


Well, I didn't have to wait long to see the longer term damage to News International's reputation (see last post) in the PR disaster that is the phone hacking scandal.

Brand Republic, the top marketing, advertising and media publication, reports this afternoon that Renault has said: "As a result of the seriousness of the continued allegations of phone hacking by News of the World, Renault is reviewing its media advertising plans, pending the formal investigations. We currently have no advertising planned in any News International press titles in the immediate future."

Brand Republic say "Renault spent £343,829 with the News of the World in the 12 months to the end of April 2011, according to Nielsen".

The statement follows News International's decision to close the News of the World after allegations it had hacked into the mobile phone of murdered schoolgirl, Milly Dowler.

Advertisers had already flocked to abandon the News of the World, but Brand Republic report one of those advertisers, Shop Direct, put an advertising boycott in place yesterday of all News International newspapers, pending the outcome of the investigation. That may become contagious as the story persists.

On the other side of the pond, the New York Times homes in on the legal troubles piling up for News International:

"The company’s decision to close The News of the World will not end the scrutiny of the newspaper’s practices by the police, courts and Parliament and by a public panel of inquiry that Mr. Cameron has promised to appoint. Together, these investigations seem likely to make for an inquisition that could run for years, causing further erosion in the credibility of the Murdoch brand and costing News International millions of dollars in potential legal settlements."

Meanwhile the Financial Times reports that Oftcom is stepping up enquiries into News Corp's bid for BSkyB: a move that has seen around 7% slide off shares in the UK media group which now has lost more than 10% of its share value.

Hopefully, the families affected by the phone hacking now feel their plight is getting attention, although it must be stirring up a lot of emotions, making it hard to get on with the grieving process.

PR blog posted by Penny Haywood Calder at PHPR Ltd, Edinburgh, UK. URL: http://www.phpr.co.ukPHPR TV Channel on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/PHPRtvPHPR Ltd on LinkedInFollow PennyHaywood on Twitter

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