Flack: Worst PR pitch stories

When a panel of senior journalists were asked to describe their worst PR pitch stories at PRWeek's PR and the Media conference last Wednesday, the editor of BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat Rod McKenzie rose to the bait.

'Is there anyone from 10Yetis here?' he asked the shiftily silent room. 'Good,' he quipped, before holding up and reading excerpts from a three-page press release he had received that morning ... But was this actually the 'week of Twitter hell' for PR professionals? First of all Speed MD Stephen Waddington inadvertently posted a message to his other half for all to see. Then Edelman UK CEO Robert Phillips was victim of a hacking scam that saw him sending out messages describing himself as '24/female/horny' ... Confusion certainly reigned at Cohn & Wolfe this week after the agency's top brass learned that news of another account loss could be about to break in this organ. First of all, London CEO Fiona Noble issued an instant rebuttal, denying that the agency ever worked on the account in question. Later on, Noble modified the line and C&W global CEO Donna Imperato waded in to stress that the agency had 'never been assigned the business' - but did some project work. Then the client, drugs firm Mundipharma, issued a contradictory formal statement saying: 'We had to terminate our contract with them ... due to their failure to provide us with a conflict-free team.' What a mess!

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