Serious Moral Questions Raised About Actions Of Edelman PR Advisors To HP, Samsung & Amazon
The ethics of Edelman the PR Company to some of the biggest consumer brands including Samsung, Amazon and Hewlett Packard, have been questioned by none other than their own staff over their client ‘morals’.
They have been accused of pitching accounts at any cost.
In May, executives from Edelman pitched and won a gig spruiking a private prisons company who had questionable contracts from the Trump administration to running immigrant detention centres similar to Manus and Christmas Island.
At the time the GEO Group, a multibillion-dollar business was being battered by negative media attention in the uproar over reports that the United States was separating migrant children from their parents at the Mexican border.
The Edelman team, which included a former Trump administration spokeswoman offered to reshape the GEO Group’s public image by “proactively correcting the record” with a new narrative “that tells the relevant stories directly to stakeholders,” according to a presentation document that was reviewed by The New York Times.
While management who appear to have been more interested in the fees the account could generate, than the moral issues, their staff took to social media objecting to the appointment of the Company who operates out of plush offices in Martin Place Sydney.
Ironically the Company bill themselves as an ethical firm, refusing to take engagements for coal, tobacco or gun companies, however they are more than happy to run smear campaigns against vegan mayo according to US Media who have turned on the entrenched PR Company.
Inside the private Company their own employees staged a revolt, which led to Edelman having no alternative to fire GEO Group as a client.
The Edelman employee who pitched the GEO Group was a new hire: Lisa Ross, who’d just left the Trump White House where she’d served as deputy press-secretary (GEO are bigly Trump campaign donors).
The slide deck Ross used to pitch GEO warned that “activists are using controversies around immigration to drive a wedge between you and your stakeholder…your current culture and structure are not prepared for this fight.” They proposed to solve this by “proactively correcting the record.”
Edelman management miffed at losing a juicy revenue stream took to social media site Fishbowl “arguing that PR flacks should leave “personal politics out of important client work.”
Early in a slide show presentation to the GEO Group, Edelman said that “activists are using controversies around immigration to drive a wedge between you and your stakeholders,” adding that “your current culture and structure are not prepared for this fight,” according to documents shared with The Times.
Another wrote, “This is an inherently political, moral & values based issue.”
Several employees wrote that Edelman executives seemed to want to keep the GEO Group contract quiet, a move that they said was hypocritical and “a red flag.”
Senior level Edelman executives toured prison facilities, met with employees and people housed in the facilities according to US marketing media.
A GEO spoksperson said “The Edelman senior level staff assigned to the contract visited our facilities, talked to our employees, heard directly from individuals entrusted to our care, and based on first-hand observations acknowledged that the story being told about our company in the media is based on false narratives and deliberate mischaracterizations,”
They added “Edelman’s decision sends a chilling message to their other private sector clients who may in the future come under politically motivated attacks.”
Questions have also been raised as to whether Edelman are sympathisers of the US Democratic Party.