Spooked Bank of America registers 'BrianMoynihanSucks.com'
Public relations must be a tricky biz.
A lot of it, surely, is read-and-react. “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky,” or vowing to help find the “real” killers of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman. But then there are those scenarios that require advance care; when you know someone or something’s screwed up, and you’ve got to prepare, ahead of time, for how to save your client from a high-profile flogging.
Bank of America, it appears, has encountered the latter. According to a service called DomainNameWire.com, the bank – facing the threat of a WikiLeaks info spill – has allegedly registered several unflattering Internet URLs to prevent its name from being sullied online.
WikiLeaks, as you know, is the whistle-blowing site that turned the U.S. military on its head and made its founder, Julian Assange, a hero or public enemy no. 1, depending on who you ask.
After Assange made a one-off comment recently – that he had information that could “take down a bank or two” – BofA supposedly panicked. DomainNameWire.com reports an intermediary that represents the super-bank took the initiative to register domains like “BrianMoynihanSucks.com” and “BrianMoynihanBlows.com” so, well, the rest of the world doesn’t beat them to it.
Moynihan, the unpopular Bank of America CEO, may just feel the brunt of sarcastic bloggers if WikiLeaks indeed has sordid details about the institution, but what if it doesn’t?
A few analysts have already cast doubt upon Assange’s claims (it’s “highly questionable that (he) has new information about Bank of America,” Richard Bove says, according to CNBC), though clearly the bank’s actions speak volumes.
It appears they’re scared, regardless of what WikiLeaks actually has, but this kind of PR strategy – beating web users at their own snarky game – only works if the public never finds out.
Now that we know, that the cat’s out of the bag, the joke appears to be on BofA, and this may well be a worse public relations hit than whatever WikiLeaks could or could not reveal.
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money