Rich Jernstedt, the chief marketing officer of the massive PR firm Fleishman-Hillard, emails us to explain why, exactly, someone at his firm had the bright idea of mocking Fox News as a nasty, bedbug-infested den of disease, and offering Fox guests a free de-lousing in order to get publicity for a pest control client. Rich, Rich, you don't understand: we're with you on this one. Fox News is a nasty, bedbug-infested den of disease. And we like to see a PR firm uncharacteristically attack a powerful media outlet. We're hoping for a full-on war here! But, reading between the lines of Rich's email, it sounds like Fleishman has done some serious groveling since its CEO got mocked by Fox on-air in retaliation last week. His full email about "our friends at FOX," below:
It seemed like a good idea at the time. Sometimes the commitment to generate publicity can get an agency in trouble. As you noted in your post, one of our more aggressive marcom specialists at Fleishman-Hillard developed a news release for a client that made light of the FOX News green room. Understandably, the folks at FOX didn't appreciate it. One of our strengths is maintaining good relationships with major media like FOX. We talked with our friends at FOX, and also made a note to our file on how to avoid these situations in the future.