Fleishman-Hillard sorry for PR gaffe

One of Canada's biggest public-relations and crisis-management firms issued an apology Friday evening, after using the brutal killing and dismemberment in Montreal to promote a client that sells background checks to landlords.


  1. Here's the press release issued by Fleishman-Hillard early Friday morning.

  2. The company found itself in the awkward spot after the press release began making the rounds on social media, particularly among the country's media and public relations community (including me). 
  3. Not everyone agreed, with some suggesting the release achieved its goal of raising the company's profile.
  4. Why the firm, which handles public relations for some of Canada's largest companies, decided to go this route will remain unknown for the time being. The company decided to issue this apology, rather than do a formal interview about how the release came together.
  5. Here's the apology:
    “Using such tragic events in this context was a clear mistake in judgment on the part of our firm.  We regret that this occurred and apologize to anyone who was offended.”  John Blyth, President, Fleishman-Hillard Canada