ISRAEL EYES PR TO ‘LEGITIMIZE’ SETTLERS
Israel’s Ministry of Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs plans a $260K PR campaign targeting bloggers and opinion-leaders at home and overseas to bolster the image of settlements on the West Bank.
The World Zionist Organization is to handle that effort, according to a report on YNetnews.com.
The PR drive comes as prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for elections to be moved up to January.
According to the Ministry, the settlers are “misrepresented as a violent, conquering and destructive group.”
The Ministry said in a statement that the PR project “seeks to set off proactive measures aiming to expose opinion leaders abroad to the complex Israeli reality, thus improving Israel’s global image.”
It says the PR push is in line with its diplomatic strategy.
“The activity aims to take foreign delegations on trips across Israel, including the sites of conflict and the settlements, which stand at the center of the de-legitimization efforts waged against Israel,” according to the Ministry.
CROSSROADS FEASTS AT APPLEBEE’S
Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar has picked Kansas City hometown-based Crossroads, a unit of Barkley ad agency, to handle its PR business after a competitive pitch.
Charlotte-headquartered DFPR had done PR for the nation’s largest chain of casual dining restaurants with nearly 2,000 units in 16 countries. Its contract expired in July.
Mike Swenson is president of Crossroads, which has worked for clients such as Weight Watchers, Krispy Kreme, Big Bunny Ice Cream, Missouri Lottery, Lee Jeans and New Era Cap Co., Sporting Kansas City and March of Dimes.
A key focus of Crossroads will be to promote Applebee’s “See You Tomorrow” positioning that debuted in July.
Crispin Porter + Bogusky, a unit of MDC Partners, kicked off an advertising campaign in July to support that effort to encourage regular visits to Applebee's to sample new menu ingredients and combinations.
That push coincides with a $200M system-wide restaurant upgrade that ditches Applebee’s traditional stained glass light fixture look in favor of sleek new lighting and murals that link each outlet to its neighborhood. Applebee’s is owned by DineEquity Inc., which has more than 3,500 Applebee’s and IHOP restaurants in 18 countries, and 400 franchisees.
Barkley bills itself as the largest employee-owned ad agency.