May 27

Nothing magical about Magic Kingdom’s financial scandal


May 27
Bonnie
Hoxie, a member of the Walt Disney Company's corporate media relations
department, was arrested yesterday and charged with selling early access to the
entertainment property's earnings reports. Ms. Hoxie was allegedly working with
a friend, Yonni Sebbag (whose surname says it all) to sell the 'insider'
information to hedge fund managers.

In
addition to splitting the money with her accomplice, Ms. Hoxie demanded he
supply her with such items as Stella McCartney shoes and a $700 Nieman-Marcus
handbag. I guess the Mickey Mouse hat, Little Mermaid flip-flops and Goofy ears
only go so far.

Disney
obviously has no control over its employees' conduct. But, when a company such
as BP or Disney places itself on a pedestal of environmental sensitivity or
purity, respectively, they take an even harder image hit when employees act
inappropriately.

Comics
will have a field day with Hoxie's moxie. Disney-edged material could include:


Did Hoxie's nose grow every time she told another lie?


Did Sebbag look in the mirror and ask, 'Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the
sleaziest of them of all?'


Was Hoxie Snow White to Sebbag's Dopey?

Poor
Walt Disney must be turning over in his grave. I'll bet he'd like to line up
Hoxie and Sebbag in front of those hunters who killed Bambi's mom.

The
Disney incident is a cautionary reputation tale. The feel-good, 'we do
everything right' mantras espoused by most Fortune 500 corporations can quickly
become a target for comics, pundits and bloggers like. So: note to the
Landor's, Siegal Gale's and other corporate identification firms that come up
with such slogans as 'Beyond petroleum.' Do some scenario playing first to see
if the tagline might provide an unhappy double entendre if things go South.

As
for Hoxie and Sebbag, I'll borrow the signature statement of Looney Tunes' character
Elmer Fudd and say, 'Th-Th-Th-That's all folks.'