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How Allstate Created a PR Ooops!

A full moon must have invaded the brains of the public relations team at Allstate Corporation causing them to issue a release correlating accident rates by zodiac signs on February 15. Within a few days, it had retracted its conclusions stating that it was simply a joke.

Funny, right? Just what you want: an insurance company that invents statistics about accident rates.

And, what’s with the auspicious date of mid-February? It might have worked as a faux press release if it were issued on April 1 similar to the great gags Google has posted such as powering your DSL line via a toilet flush.

I would have had more fun with a publicity stunt one day earlier (Valentine’s Day) issuing a release on the number of marriage proposals in a car or the number of accidents in the name of love. More fun and appropriate, right?

What’s the Lesson Here? A joke of this sort is contradictory to the company’s core positioning and in fact, undermines the brand. Your actions must be consistent with your brand in order to build trust.

I am hot on Carrie Fisher as the new dieter for Jenny Craig. We can all see that she’s gained the weight and I am rooting for her to be back in her Princess Leia bikini. May the force be with her!

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