Monday, February 02, 2009

Damage limitation in action - Michael Phelps apologises after cannabis scoop goes global

Yesterday Morgan PR blogged about the News of the World story about Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps being caught on camera looking very much like he might just be smoking cannabis from a bong.

The endorsement-laden athlete was left looking decidedly more exposed than he ever does in his swimming trunks, as his representatives floundered and desperately tried to make the story - and most importantly the photo - disappear.

We explained how limited his options had been and recommended 'A&E' - Acceptance and Explanation.

In a belated statement Phelps said:

I engaged in behavior which was regrettable and demonstrated bad judgment. I'm 23 years old and despite the successes I've had in the pool, I acted in a youthful and inappropriate way, not in a manner people have come to expect from me. For this, I am sorry. I promise my fans and the public it will not happen again.
Better late than never, but you have to question the advice this athlete was given. Who would give you advice in a media crisis? It might not be the might of the News of the World coming knocking, but any media with an audience among your customer base could cause you more damage with a story far less remarkable than their scoop on Micheal Phelps.

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