Why Bain Capital is in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

BAINromney2 300x168 Why Bain Capital is in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time

The PR Verdict: “C” for Bain Capital.

If any publicity is good publicity, then take a look at Bain Capital, the investment firm, founded by presidential Republican candidate Mitt Romney.  The firm is front and center in a TV ad, issued by the Obama campaign, undermining Romney’s record on jobs.  The ad’s main focus is Bain’s 1993 investment in a Kansas steel company, GST Steel.

The advertisement cuts between interviews with former GST workers and clips of Romney on the campaign trial, saying he knows what “makes jobs come and go.”  One ageing worker says of Bain, “It’s like a vampire. They came in and sucked the life out of us,” while another says that Bain’s impact was “like watching an old friend bleed to death”.  Ironically, the ad echoes a strategy used by Newt Gingrich during Republican primaries, which characterised Romney’s firm as “rich people figuring out clever legal ways to loot a company.”  Ouch!

A statement has been issued by Bain to clarify  certain facts but it has gained almost no traction in the wider media. One thing Bain can be sure of? Whatever it says will be drowned out, from now until November.  How then to protect a brand?

The PR Verdict: “C” for Bain Capital.  So far the statement issued to the media is adequate but won’t suffice.  Editorial coverage wont give the clarifying bang needed.

The PR Takeaway: Bain Capital is caught in the in the wrong place at the wrong time.  In its statement the firm reaffirmed that it takes no public position on any candidate, that Mitt Romney retired from Bain Capital over 13 years ago and that it has grown revenues in over 80 percent of its companies.  Fair enough! The bad news is that this will not get any serious airtime. Competing priorities are sexier.  Bain now needs strategically placed, low key advertising to convey its points without being edited.  Privately, why not start preparing for a partial rebrand, sometime after November?

To read the statement from Bain click here. To see the TV advertisement click here.

What’s your PR Verdict?

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What is Your PR Verdict?

  1. Paul Marrone says:

    There are two different issues here: one for Mr. Romney and the other for Bain Capital. The Obama campaign while using Bain as a platform is focused on a conflict they want to present regarding Mr. Romney. However, for Bain the issue should be some research as to whether this spotlight on them is affecting business. Research is key in determining if you a communication battle or, perhaps, those who retain Bain for investment purposes really do not care as long as Bain runs their investments profitably.

  2. Romney was first in line to sign Cut, Cap and Balance. He’s been calling for such polceiis since his book came out. (See Closer To Home’s eloquent summation on this thread)As CraigS summarized earlier on this thread, and which many of us did so last week as well, the 2012ers don’t need to be popping off on this issue, since it was in constant flux.Romney didn’t support the Boehner Plan last week, he applauded Boehner for holding firm on raising taxes. That is different thing entirely, but some Romnots are to0 obtuse to get that.Nobody likes this bill and even those elected officials who have to vote for it, I doubt really like it. So what do we have?Romney staking out his positions in his book, committing to them by signing the CCB pledge.He issues a supportive statement for not raising taxes in a lousy economy.He’s avoided looking like a fool for commenting on negotiations he didn’t have all the info on.He issued a statement he’s disappointed in the bill, forced on us, because the President failed to lead on the issue.I think he played it straight and perfect. If he injected himeslf anyother way in to the debate it would have backfired on him.

  3. I commend Romney for doing the only thing that was coinestsnt with his previous statements. (see No Apology)He is on the record for maintaining Defense spending at 4% of GDP, and this bill put that at risk. (See James Pethakoukis’ remarks following his trip to China. “I’d hate to negotiate with them with anything other than military superiority.)He is on record that spending should be less than 20% of GDP. This bill cuts a scrawny $7 billion in 2012. It sends NO message to the businesses that DC is serious about reining in spending. It sends no message to the analysts, making capital more expensive. It is a jobs destroyer.He is on the record that he would NOT raise taxes, yet this agreement will likely do just that. Harry Reid is already backing away from the no taxes commitment.He did not grandstand the issue. He let the elected leaders work out the best compromise they could. And then he waited until it was reasonably assured that there would be enough support from both sides to pass it, avoiding default.But he also pinned the issue on Obama and his lack of leadership, and assured everyone that he would run against him on the issue of spending, taxes, and deficit.Well done, Governor Romney.

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  1. BizSugar.com says:

    Why Bain Capital Is In the Wrong Place At the Wrong Time…

    The PR Verdict: “C” for Bain Capital. So far the statement issued to the media is adequate but won’t suffice. This calls for paid advertising to make key points….

  2. […] Why Bain Capital is in the Wrong Place at the Wrong Time (prverdict.com) […]

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