Public relations firms censuring the Internet for their deep pocketed clients

Public Relations companies have a new arsenal of weapons in defending the reputation of their deep pocketed clients, celebrities and large corporations; Browser Hijacking, Web Page Hijacking and as a last resort Hacking.

Should people with marketing degrees and motivated by money be censoring the Internet?

A few days ago I made a press release about a woman who went on a Sidney Crosby fan board called Talk-Sports owned by Randy Morin of Brampton, Ontario and after discovering browser hijack files in her computer had her computer hacked and all of her private information invaded and all of her business files deleted. Not a word of the story told was false and every last detail was verified. I had held back on some things that I presumed might be speculation or anger on her part, as any responsible journalist should do. Someone saw fit to remove it. It was, however, their discretion that a ridiculous and malicious press release put out by the very same people who did the hacking of this woman, the Public Relations firm of Sidney Crosby, put out a few weeks ago with inane and malicious content was reasonable and legitimate. A true story of how Public Relations firms are editing what we all see on the Internet is, apparently, is not.

There is an issue about parents encouraging their children to look up to a celebrity whose persona is nothing more than a carefully crafted image by marketers, designed to target a specific market, when the reality is that celebrity is hardly anyone that children should be admiring. The fact that as Sidney Crosby’s very own public relations firm, in poor discretion, disclosed client secrets in a blog in the Czech language, believing that nobody would read it or those that read in Czech would hardly care. Whyever, they gave a clear indication of who Sidney Crosby really is and it is not a shy, young gentleman for sure. Not even close.
The fact that a celebrity, particularly an athlete, takes the hard earned money of middle class families and spends it on self-defeating, unsavoury activities is not a new phenomenon. What is a new phenomenon is the manner in which fake celebrity images are spoon fed to us by a public relations firm and the methods that are subsequently employed to protect that image. I am certain that the majority of people reading this, particularly anyone associated with Sidney Crosby thinks it his right to spend his money on what he sees fit and that his personal business is nobody’s business but his. That would be true if he had not been packaged and sold to the public as a shy, naive, humble, soft-spoken gentleman from Canada’s Maritimes with a tremendous talent, which as it turns out the only thing that might be true in that is that he is from Canada’s Maritimes. At this point I might ask for the birth certificate though. It is not who he is that is at issue, it is who he isn’t and the fact that people are being fed lies.

It needs to be noted by the public that these public relations firms are not just doing this for celebrities and to cover up celebrities like Crosby’s indiscretions and sexual predilections but have amongst their client list large corporations such as oil and gas companies and pharmaceutical companies, toy manufacturers and other. When something happens and these companies do not want us to know about it they simply call a big name public relations company and all is made well for them.

It does not seem to matter that their methods are illegal in most jurisdictions. Sidney Crosby is not just a person he is a registered trademark and the use of Bot software for any marketing purpose, Gorilla Marketing for whatever reason and having ‘infiltrates’ on fan web boards such as the Sidney Crosby Girlfriend board posing as teenage girls are all against the law in the promotion of that trademark and anyone can verify this at the Federal Trade Commission. When we get into their more extreme measures of dropping malicious cookies into fan computers and hacking they have crossed a criminal line.

Now imagine that the issue is not that Sidney Crosby is hardly a gentleman but the issue is one of a large corporation such as an oil and gas company that has done irreparable damage to the environment. Does anyone remember Thalidomide? We as consumers assume that the advances in both consumer law and communication since the Thalidomide scandal protect us. Clearly they do not. We have all just been mollified by believing that they do.

I was recently speaking to someone who has significantly more knowledge than me about the Internet; he seemed surprised that I did not know that public relations firms engage in these tactics. The term is “Spin Doctors” and according to my friend it is as old as the age of information. Every large public relations firm advertise that they can and will do this for their clients. They refer to it as “communication crisis management” the new buzz term for “damage control”. They say in no uncertain terms that they can control what is on the Internet. Obviously the Federal Trade Commission has turned a blind eye and so have most unsuspecting consumers.

Of course we all should have asked the question when so many of Tiger Woods women came out the wood work where they had all been all of these years. All these somewhat trite women, who base their lives on how they look and not a one of them breathed a word about their trysts with one of the biggest sports celebrities in history. Not a peep in the newspapers or the Internet until his wife discovered it. Now we see that Sidney Crosby is not who we think he is and his public relations firm is out in force bulldozing browsers and web pages that do not belong to them and bulling anyone who gets in their way; Does it not worry you all what else is out there that we do not know because a big money public relations firm has covered it up.

The Federal Trade Commission must know that these things are going and in breach of their mandate are not doing their job to protect the public and ensure that what we are sold is what was promised and we have not been tricked into buying what appeared on the box a sweet boy from the Maritimes only to get it home and discover something scary in the box. More importantly that if the company we buy our gas from has caused an environmental disaster by callous decisions to increase their profits that we can make a choice to boycott them. Even more importantly is if there is a drug out there that is dangerous or a toy that has caused several children to choke to death that we can know to avoid it.

The Information Age has presented us with so many new opportunities and new industries it would appear that many of those opportunities are in misinformation and public relations firms are leading the pack in the creation of a whole new industry of professional liars. Now there may be times when there is information that is out on the Internet that should not be there. As we saw with the malicious “press release” on the woman who had her computer hacked. There is no value in malicious lies. Who should decide what stays or goes? As we saw, right here on a PR web site, as a case in point, obviously not people in the public relations business. They saw fit to leave a ridiculous “press release” with no obvious merit and hurtful in every possible way but they removed my legitimate story of Malware and Hacking; a story that might at least advise people to be very careful about what is spoon fed to them by Spin Doctors and to check their flash cache for malicious cookies after they visit celebrity fan sites.

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