Using tragedy to gain advertisers

March 14, 2011 at 4:52 pm (Comm 2322 PR Connections, Comm 4333 PR connections)

Image Credit: MediaCorp of Singapore

This is exactly what Mediacorp did only hours after the tragic earthquake that happened in Japan last friday morning.

Obviously this is a PR no no. The Singapore based news station emailed advertisers to reserve their spot during the breaking news coverage in the days following the earthquake. “Be apart of Channel NewsAsia’s Breaking News Coverage on the Japan Tsunami….Call our sales representatives now!”

Mediacorp is now being slammed for their poor decision making, and publicly apologized (sort of) on its website on Saturday saying “We apologize unreservedly if we had been seen to be insensitive to the gravity of the situation. The staff concerned has been counseled to be more circumspect; we hope the public will be forgiving and we can focus our attention and efforts on the affected victims of this most unfortunate tragedy.”

It did come off as insensitive to many, in fact, it was downright distasteful. Some are saying that Mediacorp needs to set a clear set of rules and strategies to abide by during the times of a tragic natural disaster.

I’m personally shocked to see the PR department of Mediacorp taking a backseat to all this. Yes, they apologized but it was really a half-hearted apology that blanketed the entire disaster. Why isn’t Mediacorp making a bigger deal about this issue? What would you do if you were in the PR department of Mediacorp?



  1. seagirl29 said,

    That is terrible! I cannot get over how consumer focused the world has become. Even a grave tragedy is seen as an opportunity to make money. I feel like this resembles a short video I saw last week. It was saying that our society is getting to a point where more than anything it wants to train the next generation to be consumers. Education, health, and well being is taking a back seat while consumerism is driving hard and swerving out of control. I think Mediacorp may be an example of this and their halfhearted apology reinforces that point.

  2. PR Comments | Public Relations Today said,

    […] Using tragedy to gain advertisers by Angela […]

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