Distressing news about PR agency Sara Pearson Associates (SPA) from
a hack on PR Week’s sister title Marketing.
Along with a handful of other journalists, the hack in question claims
she was lured to France by SPA with the promise that there was a 70 per
cent chance of getting a ticket to see the semi-final.
SPA dispute this. A spokeswoman says: ’It’s not true. There was never a
promise of World Cup tickets. There was only ever a slim chance that we
could get any.’
The reason for the press tour was a visit to see a football stadium
built by SPA’s client, Expertease, and sponsored by Budweiser.
Said hack arrived at Waterloo station at a time appointed by SPA, who
were nowhere to be seen. Budweiser, which had a delegation of PR people
to receive their own guests at the station, took pity and offered her a
seat on the train. Off she went to France, expecting to catch up with
SPA’s people at the other end.
She didn’t. They were still at Waterloo, looking for her. An hour was
spent with Budweiser’s guests at the Hard Rock Cafe in Paris, waiting
for SPA to arrive. They didn’t. The reporter rang Pearson, and was told
to make her own way to the hotel SPA had booked. Unfortunately she had
been given the name of the hotel but no address.
When the reporter eventually rejoined Pearson and her guests, she was
told that the World Cup final tickets had not materialised.
This was not, one suspects, a trip organised with military
Which is surprising, as one of SPA’s clients is Sandline International,
the mercenary company involved in the arms-to-Africa affair.