Pranksters Hijack Chevron Corporate-PR Efforts

Despite your best efforts, corporate communication efforts can go awry. Civil activist groups like The Yes Men are using increasing sophisticated deployment methods for hoaxes, creating fake websites, fake ads, and fake press releases, like the recent attack on Chevron. What can we do as marketing and PR Professionals to help combat these types of issues, and continue the pursuit of constructive dialogue with our audiences?

First BP was targeted with a satirical Twitter feed, and now oil giant Chevron has been hit by pranksters hijacking its corporate-public-relations efforts. While the prank may go unnoticed by consumers, it does raise issues for both marketers and media.

The hoax that Chevron is now grappling with is far more elaborate and is timed to the launch of an ad campaign from the San Ramon, Calif.-based company and its lead agency, Dentsu-owned McGarryBowen.

The issue of fake PR is one that doesn’t seem to be going away anytime soon, and it remains to be seen if marketers and agencies can figure out a way to effectively combat the seemingly greater number of individuals who seem eager to participate in such efforts.

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Source: AdAge/Rupal Parekh and Michael Bush