BOSTON: Ten days after it paralyzed computer systems across the globe, the Love Bug has already been eulogized as a mixed blessing for PR pros.
BOSTON: Ten days after it paralyzed computer systems across the
globe, the Love Bug has already been eulogized as a mixed blessing for
For some, the virus meant doing without Internet access for several
hours, losing picture files and flooding clients and reporters on e-mail
distribution lists with virus-carrying e-mail. However, the crisis also
gave savvy pros the chance to thrust their clients into the
Among the parties hit hard by the virus were Time Warner and many
big-name PR firms, including Hill & Knowlton, The Horn Group, Kratz &
Jensen, Ogilvy and Text 100.
’One or two employees opened the message, and it was a huge, huge burden
on the organization to clean it up,’ said Shannon Hall, principal and
managing director for The Horn Group. ’The issue for us more than
anything was productivity. Every hour that I don’t have 60 people
working is 60 hours of lost client time.’
Ogilvy chief administrative officer Adam Stebbings said that the firm
got the virus from sibling Alexander Ogilvy, while Baker/Winokur/Ryder
COO Neal Cohen said that his agency received more than its share of
calls from those who received ’ILOVEYOU’ messages from the agency.
However, New York Times Washington correspondent Joel Brinkley said that
he only received four copies of the ’ILOVEYOU’ e-mail and one copy of
the ’joke’ e-mail. ’Everybody that I know here got a few, but nobody got
hundreds,’ said Brinkley.
Miller/Shandwick Technologies capitalized on the virus crisis for client
TechnologyEvaluation, a business-to-business portal for the IT
marketplace that has several analysts on staff. When the virus hit on
Thursday, the firm quickly identified an analyst and began pitching him
to the press. It achieved pick-up from Bloomberg, AOL.com, ABC News and
CNET, as well as newspapers such as The Boston Globe and Boston
’If you didn’t jump right on it then, you weren’t getting any coverage,’
said AE Michael Failla.
At The Geek Factory, president Peter Shankman and his staff moved
quickly to get coverage on CNBC for client MI8, an application service
provider to which companies outsource their e-mail. Shankman, however,
was also a victim of the Love Bug: ’I got 47 messages from a client
headquartered in Europe, and my first guess was that it must be a virus,
because I seriously doubt that he loves me that much.’