Albion Monitor /News

Ad Agency Offers Top 10 Flubs of 1995

by Steve Geimann

Washington's Public and Assisted Housing agency won top honors 12/14 as having made the nation's worst PR gaffe in 1995 for announcing a major drug bust a day early, allowing the crooks to get away. The blunder led the Top 10 list of Fineman Associates.

Other gaffes on the list:

  • Structural Dynamics Research Corp. for firing employee Bill Means on "Take Your Daughters to Work Day," then escorting Means and his 8- year-old daughter out of the building.
  • San Francisco Mayor Frank Jordan for baring all in the shower with a pair of disc jockeys and warbling Frank Sinatra's "My Way" on a live radio show.
  • The National Rifle Association for describing federal agents as "jackbooted thugs...wearing Nazi bucket helmets" in a fundraising letter.
  • McDonald's refusal to settle a defamation suit against two British activists who accused company of ruining rainforests and poisoning children, giving the activists more publicity.
  • Competitive Long Distance Coalition and NTS Marketing "grassroots" lobbying to sway Congress on behalf of long-distance companies, which was a corporate-based lobby effort.
  • White House guards for greeting VIP gay officials with rubber gloves, forcing President Clinton to apologize for the blunder.
  • House Speaker Newt Gingrich for telling the press that Congress had passed a tougher-than-usual budget bill because Clinton had snubbed him aboard Air Force One.
  • Cincinnati Microwave for issuing a release denying allegations before a Business Week article appeared, and then didn't mention the charges raised in interview.
  • Ben Wright, a CBS golf commentator, took a double bogey in May after commenting on the disadvantage large-breasted women golfers face.
  • This report first appeared on the Society for Professional Journalists mailing list, SPJ-L.

    Albion Monitor December 21, 1995 (

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