Crisis comms sees a new tactic: Apology ads on TV

Facebook, Uber and Wells Fargo have all taken to the airwaves to bring their mea culpas into consumers’ living rooms and mobile devices. How much impact are they making?

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Coming soon to a TV near you: a major mea culpa in HD.

Typically, companies facing a public relations crisis will distribute apologies via press releases and posts on their websites and social media accounts. Some might apologize in full-page newspaper ads.

Facebook, Uber and Wells Fargo are investing substantial sums on television apology ads.

Reputation management experts say that a print-only strategy is no longer adequate and that broadcast apologies have become necessary to earn back consumer trust.

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Social media helps people spread negative stories to more people more quickly. It has changed the environment by giving customers a place to share grievances and spread their views.

As a result, companies feel more pressure to respond and engage and have cast aside legal advice to avoid apologizing for fear that admitting guilt would increase legal liability. PR and crisis management consultants can now more easily persuade corporate leaders to publicly apologize and even pay for apology ads.

Splurge on TV

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