Long ago and far away there existed a mighty financial institution whose leaders decided to take
advantage of something called subprime mortgages. They saw an opportunity to make millions and millions in new fees by offering ridiculous mortgages to people who couldn’t afford them. Even worse, the intricacies of subprime mortgages escaped the unsuspecting borrowers who chose instead to be bedazzled by the prospects of owning their dream house.
Well, the housing bubble burst and many of the poor homeowners lost their houses, their savings and, in some cases, their futures. And, the big financial institution was pilloried in the press as being the bad guys who had lured unsuspecting consumers into the mess with aggressive marketing and pricing.
All the bad publicity hurt the big company. Its stock plummeted, its CEO was attacked in countless interviews and 12,000 employees were laid off.
This made the company’s executives angry. So, they hired a big PR firm and announced an aggressive internal and external campaign aimed at ‘taking the offense.’ It was a real beauty.