From PR agencies winning big at Cannes to State Farm dropping a former Saturday Night Live star from its ad campaigns, here are the news stories that got the most attention from PRWeek readers in 2014.
State Farm drops ad starring Rob Schneider over anti-vaccine views
The insurance giant took an ad starring the former Saturday Night Live regular out of its rotation due to a social media outcry about his stated opinions against vaccinating children. The decision resulted in a polarized social media response.
Edelman apologizes for Robin Williams death ‘opportunity’ blog post
The firm tweeted an apology for a blog post that described the death of actor Robin Williams as "a carpe diem moment for mental health professionals."
Ruder Finn healthcare director Silverman passes away at age 36
Kevin Silverman, director of healthcare innovation at Ruder Finn, died suddenly in October at the age of 36.
Pizza Hut uses ‘shortest press release ever’ as recipe to launch bacon cheese stuffed crust pizza
The pizza chain cooked up a 136-character statement quoting country music star Blake Shelton to promote its Bacon Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza. The launch was timed for the beginning of football season.
How Walmart decided to take a red pen to a New York Times op-ed
Walmart’s comms team lives by the mantra "no free shots." So when it read an op-ed in The New York Times it thought was unfair, the retailer punched back in a unique way.
Edelman picks up Cannes Grand Prix for Chipotle Scarecrow campaign
Edelman New York, along with Creative Artists Agency Los Angeles, won the Grand Prix and a Gold Lion at this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for its work on Chipotle Mexican Grill’s The Scarecrow campaign.
The win was not without some controversy. Edelman said it was the first PR firm to win the Grand Prix, but the Cannes Lions issued a clarification two days later saying FleishmanHillard’s 2010 work on the Gatorade Replay effort was actually the first.
Fleishman plans message blitz to keep Rams in its hometown
The firm’s game plan revolves around the message: "St. Louis has been, is, and always will be an NFL city by every measure."
Hillshire Brands’ Harris to shift careers, join ‘Meredith Vieira Show’ as announcer
Jon Harris, former communications chief at Hillshire Brands, left the company in June to join The Meredith Vieira Show at its launch as its announcer. However, he said in December he was leaving the program with plans to rejoin the communications industry in 2015.
Edelman hit by Greenpeace leak of oil pipeline strategy documents
The environmental organization leaked several documents on Edelman’s strategy for helping TransCanada get an oil pipeline built in Canada by playing hardball with the company’s opponents.
Gay social networking app Scruff brings on MWW as AOR
The agency’s LGBT marketing practice, launched in March, began leading account work after an RFP that initially included more than 30 firms. Edelman sports and entertainment marketing firm Matter previously worked with Scruff.