PR News | Misleading press release costs Boeing $200 million
Where was the PR pushback?… Boeing has agreed to pay $200 million to settle charges that it and former CEO Dennis Muilenburg made materially misleading public statements about its 737 Max following crashes in 2018 and 2019.
A press release is at the heart of the matter.
According to the SEC, Boeing’s public relations team met with engineers and attorneys on November 15, 2018 to draft a press release following the crash in Indonesia.
The original draft called the 737 Max either a “safe aircraft” or “continued to fly safely.” Some versions of the release said Boeing engineers were working with the FAA to expedite and certify new flight control software for the plane.
Around this time, Boeing faced a flurry of negative media coverage following allegations that it withheld information from pilots, airlines, regulators and the public about the flight control system. His stock was collapsing.
On Nov. 20, Muilenburg complained in an email that “we spend too much time playing defense. We have to start playing attack.
Muilenburg on November 21 reviewed the press release and recommended removing the reference to the flight control system.
The final press release makes no mention of the flight control system and states that Boeing customers and passengers “have confidence that the 737 Max is as safe as any airline that has ever flown in the world.” sky”.
The CEO approved the release on Nov. 27 and emailed, “Looks great… factual and sticks to the report while delivering our key reports. Good to go .
The SEC order says Boeing and Muilenburg knew there was an ongoing safety issue with the flight control system, but assured the public the plane was safe.
Chairman Gary Gensler said it’s especially important that public companies and their executives provide full, fair and truthful information to the markets in times of difficulty.
“The Boeing Company and its former CEO, Dennis Muilenburg, failed in this fundamental obligation,” he said.
Muilenburg agreed to pay $1 million for his role in the cover-up, but what about the public relations staff, engineers and lawyers who decided to drop the reference to the flight control system ?
Shouldn’t they be held responsible?
The union label rises… Anyone who watched television in the late 1970s and early 1980s could not escape the International Ladies’ Garment Workers Union’s “Look for the Union Label” ad.
Although the spot, especially its catchy jingle, earned kudos from adland creatives, it failed to stem the demise of the largely domestic textile industry that was wiped out by an onslaught of imports bon market.
While these ladies urged shoppers to buy American products, support for unions hovered around the 50% mark.
Guess what? More than seven in ten Americans (71%) approve of the job today, according to a Gallup poll released Aug. 30. This is the highest level recorded since 1965.
The pandemic is one reason why support for unions is on the rise as the “worker shortage” has encouraged employees to push for better wages and benefits.
Although organizing campaigns at Amazon and Starbucks attracted media attention, a small number of employees actually got union cards.
The biggest impact of these high-profile organizing campaigns: The National Labor Relations Board reported a 57% increase in the number of “under the radar” union elections in 2021.
Garment union members would have been proud of the return of organized labor public relations.
They would also be cautious because the coming recession could wipe out any leverage workers have over their employers.
What a difference a new administration makes… The United States and Uruguay on September 22 became the 46th and 47th members of the International Partnership for Information and Democracy.
The United States joined, according to a “signature statement” released by the State Department, because of IPID’s emphasis on respect for human rights and the rule of law, including the protection of freedom of expression.
America also “recognizes the importance of protecting the freedom of individuals to seek, receive, and impart information through the media of their choice.”
IPID was created in 2019 under President Donald Trump, a guy who considers the media “the enemy of the people”.
All bets are off on whether America’s membership in IPID will continue after the 2024 election.