The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & Losers

 The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & LosersPR WINNER OF THE WEEK: “A” (PR PERFECT) to the makers of “The Power of Adobe Photoshop,” a 37-second video that was made months ago and went viral this week. The time-lapse clip shows a model posing without makeup, then being styled, and then being turned into a creature of literally unreal beauty – or what passes for a normal woman in magazines. The video has been re-blogged and reported on so many times that the original makers are unknown, though after the Today Show report on it, it’s likely they’ll surface soon.

 The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & LosersPR LOSER OF THE WEEK: “F” (FULL FIASCO) to the continued debacle that is the Obamacare rollout. Today’s one-month anniversary of the national health system’s launch caps a week in which several administration officials were called to the Congressional carpet to account for the problems that continue to plague the the healthcare.gov website. President Obama was also on the defensive over media reports that a vast number of people may lose existing insurance plans on Dec. 31 despite his assurances that “if you like your health care plan, you can keep it.” The PR lesson? If it’s not ready, don’t launch it. The best PR in the world can’t make a half-baked pie taste good.

cornyn The PRV Report Card: This Week’s Winners & LosersTHE PRV “THERE’S NO ‘THERE’ THERE” AWARD to US Senate Republicans, for their specious arguments to support blocking President Obama’s nominees to the second-most important US court. Republicans this week charged “court-packing” by the President on three nominees to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals. The reference dates to President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s 1937 gambit to neuter a politically antagonistic Supreme Court by adding seats. Promising a filibuster, Senate Minority Whip John Cornyn of Texas claimed federal poverty: “The last thing we need to do is throw more money on unneeded judges on this court.” Except that these are court vacancies, not new seats – and no one previously fussed over a Republican president’s nominees. “I can’t think of anything more ridiculous,” Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid said.

Ralph Lauren’s Olympic Disaster

 Ralph Laurens Olympic Disaster

The PR Verdict: “A” (Gold Star!) for Ralph Lauren

Oh no! The blue blazers and white trousers of the US Olympic team aren’t made in the USA? The clothing that athletes from Team USA will wear was actually made in China? Outrageous! Ralph Lauren, who has proudly supplied the US Olympic team with its uniforms over the years, suddenly found itself in the ugly crossfire of the outsourcing debate.

The fracas started when both Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. Nancy Pelosi got wind that the uniforms were made in China. What a great media opportunity! The clothes have been Chinese-made since 2008, but oddly enough no one seemed to mind then, when outsourcing wasn’t such a hot political issue. This time around, everyone wanted to get on board. And when Donald Trump becomes the latest to start publicly opining, it’s definitely time to take remedial action.

Ralph Lauren issued a statement late on Friday night, presumably to kill weekend drumbeating, saying that the clothes will be made on US soil next  time:  “We have committed to producing the opening and closing ceremony Team USA uniforms in the United States that will be worn for the 2014 Olympic Games.”

The PR Verdict: “A” (Gold Star!) for Ralph Lauren for recognizing this was an issue with no winnable defense. Take corrective action, quickly, and move on.

The PR Takeaway: Issue your response and then elevate the topic to wider macro concerns. There is no upside in advocating outsourcing, particularly when it involves national symbols. No matter that other US fashion houses of similar standing would have done the same. Next step, make it clear that this is a wider issue. The firm said it will take the lead in the  “conversation” within the industry and government  about “manufacturing in the United States.” See? This issue wasn’t about Ralph Lauren… it was about the state of US manufacturing! Nothing personal.

What’s your opinion of the US Olympic team uniform debate? Give us your PR Verdict!