To my surprise J.C. Penney has already removed the racy advertisement from You Tube! I do not think this was a good public relations move. I believe that by removing the video from you Tube is only covering up the issue. Crisis communication is about speaking out and addressing the issues at hand, not just shutting up the problem!
I wouldn’t have a problem if the situation was clear; the current situation is about pointing fingers. It is also still unclear how the J.C. Penney logo got in the advertisement and why it was first spotted in the blogosphere after winning a prestigious award. J.C. Penney needs to address these questions.
It’s hard for me to believe that J.C. Penney had nothing to do with the racy advertisement submitted to the Cannes Lions Awards by Epoch Films. The advertisement, which can be found on You Tube, suggests that the retailer is endorsing teenage sex.
The Wall Street Journal writes that “Mike Boylson, chief marketing officer for the Plano, Texas, retailer, said he was “terribly disappointed” when he first saw the video Monday, after another Penney official noticed it on blogs that described the video as a Penney ad.”
Boylson adds, “It’s obviously inappropriate and nothing we would ever condone,” he said. “We’re very disappointed that our logo and brand position were used in that way.”
The thing that looks fishy to me is how J.C. Penney is blaming their own advertising agency, Saatchi & Saatchi, who blames the third-party vendor Epoch Films. This situation is obviously all about pointing fingers and it ends with Epoch Films declining to comment.
“When asked if Penney was reconsidering its partnership with Saatchi, Mr. Boylson said he was having a ‘serious discussion’ with the firm, but said “our relationship with them is beyond the scope of this one incident’,” explains The Wall Street Journal.
The crisis communication seems a bit weak on J.C. Penney’s end of things. Even though J.C. Penney says they had nothing to do with production, the use of their logo in the advertisement automatically ties them to the sexual content. They should be much more concerned with the message of the advertisement than whether or not they are directly involved with production. J.C. Penney’s should address the issue of teenage sex and speak out against this “inappropriate” behavior.
I will never forget the early mornings before school when my father would pour a cup of coffee and open the Wall Street Journal. After he would finish reading the newspaper from front to back I would have free reign. As a little girl, I would add my personal “touch” to the illustrated faces of prominent figures like Alan Greenspan. For example, carefully drawing mustaches on any person featured on the front page.
I’m happy to say that I am currently pursuing a career in public relations and an avid reader, surely not a graffiti artist, of the Wall Street Journal. The Lifestyle and Personal Journal sections are my usual go-to because it features stories that appeal to female readers. After reading PR Couture‘s top PR fashion links on May 23, I’m super excited to read the new “Journal Women” section online.
“Journal Women” targets professional women in the work force and includes “Style and Dress” and “Theory and Practice” sections. In a recent article titled “Bare-Legged Ladies: Hosiery Reveals Office Divide,” Christina Binkley discusses whether or not to wear hosiery at the office.
I loved reading this article because I usually never wear hosiery and it looks like I’m not alone! “Journal Women” is a great resource for career women and I encourage my female classmates to check it out!