Sony Pictures Entertainment is leaning on Rubenstein Communications as it faces the unprecedented cyber attack and publication of its internal communications and intellectual property.
The entertainment giant's saga took a darker turn Dec. 17 when hackers identifying themselves as the Guardians of Peace invoked the 9/11 attacks in threatening theaters that show Sony's "The Interview," the comedy feature film slated for released on Dec. 25 that is the crux of the ongoing hacks and release of Sony data.
Steven Rubenstein, president of New York-based RC, confirmed that his agency is advising Sony. "We have worked for Sony for years in different capacities and continue to do so," he told O'Dwyer's.
The latest threats caused Landmark Sunshine Cinema to cancel the New York premiere of The Interview, which debuted in Los Angeles on Dec. 11. Major theaters followed suit this week, saying they will not show the picture. The $44M film's stars, Seth Rogen and James Franco, have cancelled all media appearances promoting The Interview.
SPE is navigating the crisis without its top PR executive, Charles Sipkins, who left the chief communications officer slot at the company this fall. Sipkins' tenure and exit have been the subject of hacked Sony emails published by outlets like Bloomberg and Gawker. Jean Guerin is senior VP of media relations at SPE from Culver City, Calif.
Sony's crisis team also includes the high-powered law firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner, as well as cyber security outfit Mandiant. The law firm this week riled media but drew support from prominent entertainment industry voices when it threatened outlets like the New York Times and Bloomberg for publishing hacked Sony data.
Howard Rubenstein chairs RC.
The FBI is investigating the source of the attack on Sony. The New York Times reported Dec. 17 that the US government has linked the hacking to North Korea.
Sony on Dec. 17 pulled the plug on The Interview's Dec. 25 release date amid the threats.