BBC too slow to save its brand?

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So, the furor surrounding Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross’ toe-curlingly inappropriate phone messages to Andrew Sachs rolls on unabated. The pre-recorded show (I know, I hear you say, ‘‘pre-recorded’, what on earth were they thinking??!!) only received two complaints after it aired on October 18th.  However, after five days of media frenzy, the BBC received more than 30,500 complaints.

Where exactly were the BBC’s PR team – on holiday?  Whilst they should have been soaking a towel in luke-warm water and placing it calmly over the flames, they have seemingly sat back and let the flames engulf the country.

There are very few rules in crisis management and the BBC have patently failed to follow any of them – tell it all, tell it quickly and tell it truthfully.  A crisis that could have been avoided with a timely and appropriate response has now become a national issue.  Five days on, everyone has had their say – even our prime minister has taken time out from fighting the global credit crunch to comment on the fiasco. ‘No publicity is bad publicity’ goes the old adage – that may turn out to be the case for Ross and Brand, but I’m not sure the BBC will feel the same.