|August 5, 2008|
|PR Pro of the Day - Circuit City's Jim Babb Goes Mad|
|By Greg Hazley|
|Jim Babb, who handles corporate communications at Circuit City, deftly defused a sticky PR situation yesterday with composure and humor after company executives pulled Mad Magazine off Circuit City shelves over a parody of the electronics retailer.|
Babb helped his company change its humorless course and reverse a company-wide purge of the latest Mad, which carries a four-page parody of the electronics stores called "Sucker City" and is sold at dozens of CC stores.
Babb, a self-described “embarrassed corporate PR guy,” told Consumerist that he apologized to Mad editors for the “overly sensistive souls at our corporate headquarters.” He continued:
"The parody of our newspaper ad in the August MAD was very clever. Most of us at Circuit City share a rich sense of humor and irony...but there are occasional temporary lapses.
"As a gesture of our apology and deep respect for the folks at MAD Magazine, we are creating a cross-departmental task force to study the importance of humor in the corporate workplace and expect the resulting Powerpoint presentation to top out at least 300 pages, chock full of charts, graphs and company action plans. In addition I have offered to send the MAD Magazine Editor a $20.00 Circuit City Gift Card, toward the purchase of a Nintendo Wii....if he can find one!"
Babb found the right tone to bail out his overzealous execs and turned the story from a clueless corporation’s knee-jerk reaction to a mostly tongue-in-cheek piece featuring his comments.
Babb even earned rare praise from the tough corporate critics at Consumerist:
"Let's evaluate it on the 3-step system for fixing corporate gaffes:
1. Admitted they were wrong
2. Stopped doing the wrong thing
3. Made a material gesture of apology
Check check and check on all three, plus points for speed. You go, girls."
Nice PR work, Jim.
Return to Latest News