Name recognition being the name of the game in PR, most firms go
all-out to gain visibility for both clients and themselves.
However, for one Stamford, CT firm, the company moniker, GHB Marketing
Communications, became its worst liability.
About three years ago, the 30-year-old hi-tech boutique began getting
calls and e-mails from people seeking GHB, an illegal drug popular on
the club scene and linked to several deaths and date rapes.
According to president Mark Bruce - who, ironically, once served as a
drug counselor - what began as a trickle of inquiries for "liquid
ecstasy" became a persistent annoyance.
"We were getting at least one call a day and many more e-mails, most of
which I forwarded to the DEA," said Bruce, who finally had enough after
watching a TV special about the death of a young girl who was slipped
GHB in a drink at a party.
Bruce bit the bullet and changed the company name and logo last fall to
something he thought was safe: HiTechPR.