For the past week, word has been circling in PR-land, AD-land and Animal-Rights-world about Michael Vick being in talks with PETA to become a spokesperson. Talk about PR Fail, major.
Convicted by the federal government in July 2007, Vick was charged with operating an unlawful, inter-state, six-year long dog fighting ring known as â€œBad Newz Kennels.â€ Held at his 15-acre property in Surry County, Virginia, Vick was accused of not only financing the venture, but participating in dog fights and executions â€“ which in case you were blithely unaware of, is cruelty to animals. (Weâ€™re not even going to touch the gambling activities part of the case, but you can read the entire federal case summary hereÂ thanks to ESPN).Â
Why, yes, I do believe PETA once said,
“Today, we sound a clarion call to all people: Stand up for what is right, and speak out against what is wrong. Dogfighting is unacceptable. Hurting animals for human pleasure or gain is despicable. Cruelty is just plain wrong.”
So, asking the question again, whyÂ was PETA even considering talks withÂ Michael Vick? Here is a manÂ whose prision sentence was prolonged because he gave The Feds contradictory statementsÂ about how the dogs were killed, his role in the murders, the number ofÂ dogsÂ participatingÂ and other details that did not make any sense. In fact, initially he was sentenced to 23-months.
Yes, he needs some positive public relations coming his way and I’ll go out on a limb of personal belief to say he doesn’t even deserve it.Â
But, if PETA wantsÂ to have positive attention coming their way (besides for Pam Anderson stripping naked at every one of their events in support of their cause), IÂ stronglyÂ disagree with the notion of hiring a convicted felon and known-animal abuser as your spokesman. It does notÂ take a genius toÂ see, not only the irony,Â but theÂ downright absurdity of that stroke.
Â PETA was considering it.
And that consideration will have dire ramifications on PETA’s credibility in the future.
Imagine the image of an organization whose goal is the ethical and fair treatment of animals, hiring an animal-psycho-murderer as its spokesman?
Little Pink Bookâ€™s Rule of PRÂ #5:
What is good for the goose,
isn’t always good for the gander.
To be taken seriously inside andÂ outside of your target audience,
do not contradict your own values system.
Copyright Â© 2009Â SashaHalima PR.Â All rights reserved