The Big Pitch: Is there anything that can be done to resuscitate the image of O.J Simpson?

PROCTER LIPPINCOTT, Spring, O?Brien & Co., New York

PROCTER LIPPINCOTT, Spring, O?Brien & Co., New York

PROCTER LIPPINCOTT, Spring, O?Brien & Co., New York

I liked O.J. Simpson - as a football player, the way he wove through the

airport for Hertz, his demeanor on film. I guess he could be a nice guy

But I had a spooky feeling when I saw the initial little news blurb

about his wife?s killing and his unscheduled flight back to LA.

Something told me he did it. Much as I wanted to be dissuaded, nothing

since then has put that feeling to rest. Was his mind too split to take


His reputation seems beyond revival, but there?s hope for him if he can

acknowledge vulnerability and big mistakes. He would have to find a

sincere place within himself from which he could help others plagued by

violence and abusiveness. If he could do that, PR efforts might be

credible. Personally, I?d be more interested in being his shrink than

his PR man.

JONATHAN BERNSTEIN, Bernstein Communications, Monrovia, CA

If Big Tobacco, which is known to have killed people, can score at least

some positive PR points from time to time, then O.J. can too. However, I

would only represent O.J. if he were willing to take the only steps that

would establish his innocence: multiple polygraph exams, perhaps

accompanied by voice stress analyses (VSA), all conducted by experts of

impeccable reputation. Polygraphs and VSA, in tandem, were standard

practice at intelligence agencies when I was in the military with

top-secret clearance.

If O.J. passed, I?d be delighted to represent him - and, candidly, even

a PR student right out of college could do one heck of a job for him

with that type of publicly credible info, regardless of its

admissibility in court. He may be innocent, but PR is about perception.

The ?ain?t I a nice guy and wasn?t I a great athlete and see how much I

love little kids and senior citizens and the African-American community?

messages will be seen as an attempt to cover up the truth unless he?s

proven his innocence.

SEAN MEYER, Van Schouwen Associates, Springfield, MA

Yes: prove definitively that he did not kill his wife and Ron


Agreeing to a lie-detector test really doesn?t help, particularly when

he stipulates someone must cough up dollars 3 million first. The Web site won?t help, either. Our job as counselors

frequently requires us to tell clients things they don?t want to hear.

My advice to O.J. would be to stop looking for public redemption. Go

quietly about the task of proving your innocence (assuming I believe he

is innocent). Stop cooking up schemes and making foolish statements to

the press. The AskOJ site is nothing but entertainment, and there is no

doubt that millions of people will take a look; he might even make some

money. But claims of innocence and convoluted theories will not get O.J.

back in the good graces of those of us who believe he committed a

terrible, heinous act. And, no, I would not take him on as a client.


O.J. remains an antagonist. Just the site of him enrages people. His

crude words for the Brown family and interviews where his pleas for

money far outcry pleas to find the ?true? murderer add gas to a raging


He does need PR help, but it won?t resuscitate his image. O.J. won?t

allow it, and let?s be honest, we?re not miracle workers. Would, or

does, O.J. even listen to a PR pro? Probably not. Within his circle of

high-powered supporters, someone must provide communication advice. Any

good PR pro would have told him not to call Fox and accuse Denise Brown

of benefiting from her sister?s death. If someone is working with him,

he either does not listen to advice or his counsel is pointing him in a

direction I can?t fathom. If there is no counsel, then O.J. has little

understanding of PR and is generally an evil person. He seems to be a

man so lacking compassion and so filled with arrogance that it would get

in the way of any PR campaign.

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