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Gini Dietrich

The Lance Armstong PR Crisis

By: Gini Dietrich | October 25, 2012 | 
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At the end of August, the New York Times broke the story that Lance Armstrong dropped his fight against doping charges and my Facebook and Twitter streams, inbox, and text messages were busy with, “What do you think?” and links to various articles.

I read, and responded, to them all.

And I defended the cyclist and creator of Livestrong.

My stance was, as a business owner, there have been many times we could have won a lawsuit in court (cough, Macy’s, cough), but our attorney very wisely advised to let it go because it would have put us out of business as we fought…just to prove we were right.

Sometimes you have to make decisions that are best for the health of the organization, even if it means – in the court of public opinion – it looks like you’re admitting guilt.

And that’s what I thought Lance was doing – not admitting guilt, but putting his focus on something else.

My Cycling History

My entire life, my dad has been a cyclist. For many years it was out of necessity because we had only one car and a gazillion kids. But then he upgraded his bike, got into the Tour de France, and began to compete.

I started cycling eight years ago because, after three marathons and countless other races, my knee was scoped one too many times and the doctor said it was time to hang up my running shoes.

Between taking up cycling and Lance Armstrong and his Tour races, my dad and I had something else to bond over that wasn’t work or family.

I remember how much fun we had the day Lance was climbing a mountain and he looked back at the field, grinned, and rode up over the top to descend minutes ahead of his competitors. We still talk about that.

And now his Tour wins have been stripped. He had to remove “Seven time Tour de France winner” from his Twitter bio. And it all makes me want to cry.

It’s funny I’m this emotional about a person I’ve never met. It’s funny I want to cry at all the allegations that sure do make him look guilty. It’s funny I get so defensive when someone says, “I told you so.” (Heck, I get downright angry, not defensive.)

This is a very hard blog post for me to write. I don’t want to hear, “I told you so!” from any of you. I know, I know, I know.

The Lance Armstrong PR Crisis

But the reason I’m writing it is because Lance – the brand (sorry, I know some of you don’t believe in personal brands, but he is one) – has a huge PR crisis on his hands.

I’ve thought long and hard about this. I’ve read everything that’s been written about it. I know his PR team is the best in the industry. I don’t understand why he’s silent.

Sure, I get anything he says, tweets, writes, Facebooks, or pins can – and will – be held against him in a court of law. His attorneys probably have him on lock-down.

But I have to believe they knew this was coming. There is one person you can be totally honest with when you’re in trouble…and that’s your attorney. Surely they have a plan for how to deal with allegations should they be made public.

And their PR counsel surely was ready for this, as well.

So where is he?

Other than changing his Twitter bio, he hasn’t tweeted anything in a week.

He hasn’t talked to reporters. He hasn’t posted anything on Facebook.

He’s completely silent.

He’s pulling a Tiger Woods.

And I don’t get it.

The court of public opinion is as important (if not more these days) as any court of law. He has more than three million Twitter followers. Imagine if just one of them, who believes he’s being made the scapegoat for an entire industry of dopers, were to end up on his jury.

My Recommendation

If he’s guilty (I’m still not willing to admit it), he needs to come out and say so.

It’s going to hurt.

He already has former sponsors asking for their money back. He’s already lost Nike, Anheuser-Busch, and Oakley. He’s not allowed to race ever again. He was stripped of his titles. Livestrong is distancing themselves from him. It can’t get much worse.

Now he needs to come forward and say, “I did this. I’m sorry.” And let his fans know how sorry he is so we can all move on. Heck, so he can move on.

There isn’t a story once a brand apologizes. Say you’re sorry and let the media move on to the next big crisis.

I’ll still wear my Livestrong bracelet. I’ll still count Lance as one of my cycling heroes. And I’ll feel better finally knowing the truth directly from the horse’s mouth.

About Gini Dietrich


Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

144 comments
Sara F. Hawkins
Sara F. Hawkins

Gini, I'm with you and not ready to give in either. But it's easy to understand why Lance isn't saying anything. He's been claiming his innocence for years and yet WADA and USADA have been going at him like they're staking a serial killer.

 

The US Justice Dept. investigated him and closed their case without charges. Seemingly, Justice was satisfied that Lance didn't do anything criminal or that they wouldn't have enough evidence to win a case against them. With the Justice department there was a sense that they'd have to convince an impartial tribunal by, at least, "a preponderance of the evidence" or at most "beyond a reasonable doubt". Whichever their standard, they didn't feel they could meet it with the evidence they gathered. WADA and USADA don't have the same standards.

 

Why should Lance continue to proclaim his innocence? He's been doing it for years and USADA didn't seem to care. Why should Lance appeal? He won't get an impartial tribunal. The testimony will be from people for whom objective information exists that they doped and in exchange for lighter sentences may have given USADA what USADA wanted to hear. The truthfulness of which we may never know.

 

Why would Lance now come forward and say that he's lied these past years and, in fact, he doped? The fact is that there are no blood tests that evidence he had banned substances. The only evidence is from men who may have been trying to protect their own personal interests.

 

Why does Lance need to admit to something he didn't do? He has proclaimed his innocence and we still don't believe him. We've decided he doped and now want him to agree with us. In the US it's up to accusing party to prove their case, not for the defendant to disprove it.

 

This isn't a geometric theorem or hypothesis. Doping is a serious allegation. Lance has spent millions of dollars and thousands of hours trying to clear his name. At some point you have to realize that it doesn't matter because people have already decided you're guilty.

 

This is a perfect example that sometimes it won't matter how much you manage your reputation when someone bigger, more powerful and wealthier is intent on taking you down.

 

As for telling his lawyer if he really did dope, that's not how criminal lawyers work. Criminal lawyers don't want their clients to tell them if they committed the crime. If they did, the lawyer wouldn't be able to offer any defense and would be ethically bound to notify the court. Criminal lawyers' jobs are to cast reasonable doubt and make the gov't prove their client did what is alleged. A criminal lawyer doesn't need to prove their client didn't do it. But that's what many are asking of Lance and his team.

 

The court of public opinion doesn't have the same standards and a court of law. That's how society can convict people using conjecture, mere allegations, and false information. Criminals go free every day (see Casey Anthony) despite what the public believes, because our legal system has a very high standard that can't always be met when there is only circumstantial evidence and testimony by unbelievable witnesses. It's not right that killers go free, but we've accepted it as the price to pay for keeping innocent people out of prison. We've seen examples of hundreds of people who've been convicted of crimes they didn't commit yet spent decades in prison, solely based on tainted evidence or an overzealous investigator or prosecutor. While Lance isn't sitting in a prison cell, he's certainly paying the price for being unable to prove the unprovable.

 

As for the PR, Lance has been out there telling his story yet it hasn't mattered. What would one more press release do to help? It would come off as insincere and contrived. It would be picked apart and dissected more than an 8th grade fetal pig. Nothing he says will placate the naysayers and supporters won't care what his scripted message says, so why do anything? Lance doesn't control the conversation and no amount of PR is going to change that. No one gave a care about grown men riding their bike for 2,000 miles every summer in France until this cancer survivor did the impossible. Cancer was pinkwashed and spoken in hushed tones. Few organization existed to help cancer patients and their families with real solutions and funds until Livestrong came around. Lance moved talking about cancer from behind closed doors to a front-and-center conversation. The assumption, by some, that all this (including Livestrong) is ill-gotten is their opinion and unsubstantiated by provable facts. Unfortunately, if we say it and write it enough and it shows up on Wikipedia then it must be true. The power of the media (traditional and social) to do good is equal to its power to destroy.

EricAgnew
EricAgnew

@700espn @ginidietrich @jeffespo *sigh* hate to see that its true, but #LanceLied.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@SandiAmorim Thank you! It's been rough in the comments

djenningspr
djenningspr

I still want to believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy as well.  What Lance Armstrong did for cycling in those seven years competing at the Tour, was unbelievable.  Who can forget the year he drove off the course, narrowly avoiding a crash to finish the stage and ultimately win the tour.  When he fought the criticisim day in and day out that no one could pull through what he pulled through and compete, let alone win, I was cheering like everyone else.  I would love to see him apologize, but I seriously doubt I'll see that day come.  I just hope that all of Lance's sponsors that are demanding their money back, use it to fund cancer research, or contribute to Livestrong.  Livestrong needs to stand on its own without Lance now.  And for me, that means removing the bracelet.  The same bracelet I put on days after it was introduced.  The same one Lance wore with pride at the Tour, and no one could find one, unless you were willing to pay $10-15 on eBay.  They need a new ambassador(s) and a new way of connecting beyond the bracelet.  Thanks for writing this Gini, I've personally struggled with this as well but I'm not sure an apology from Lance will help erase the disappointment he's created.  I wanted to believe I was seeing something remarkable, real and unrepeatable.  Now, I'm left looking for a new hero that has a stronger life lesson to teach kids. One that isn't about winning at all costs, but that teaches you, you can win without cheating or lying.

GNC_Dave
GNC_Dave

@ginidietrich love it. I'm a fan like you. Reading the Tyler Hamilton book to try and sort out what I really think.

Tinu
Tinu

I don't want to believe he's guilty either. And while there may be things tat look like evidence against him mounting... Having tested false positive twice And been given steroids in the hospital before, I still cant let go of the possibility that there's been some mistake. At the same time I don't think good deeds wipe out the bad if he isn't. And I feel like, somehow, we deserve Some answer. But it's like you said, he may be getting some advice that protects the organization & the people it helps, even if he is guilty and Wants to unburden himself. From the outside we can't know how simple or complex it is.

AmandaOleson
AmandaOleson

I thought we decided to call not saying a word about your predicament "Pulling a Favre," @ginidietrich. Remember how that turned out? Peachy. :)

 

(I know it's not the same. I just wanted to remind you about calling it pulling a Favre.)

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@janesmallfield Thanks! I'm glad there are a few of us left

Anthony_Rodriguez
Anthony_Rodriguez

I like what Malcolm Gladwell has said about this Lance Armstrong saga. When he was cycling, EVERYONE was using PEDs. And since the use of PEDs was so pervasive in cycling (more than 20 people in the indictment admitted it) it was an even playing field. Armstrong was just the best at using them and won 7 Tours de France because of it. And now that they've stripped the titles, a total of what, 3, people have won the Tour in its history.

 

No matter what happened, you can't be a revisionist historian. Major League Baseball hasn't erased all of the records that were broken during the steroids era. Everyone still knows Lance Armstrong was the most dominating cyclist in the history of the sport. Whether he admits it or not, it's still not going to change that fact, and no one has come close to matching it. 

juliansummerhayes
juliansummerhayes

As a former sports lawyer with a specialism in anti-doping, he has more than a PR crises on his hands. I have read the USADA file, and even though he passed all the doping controls (almost), Lance looks guilty of organising a very sophisticated doping programme. The sooner he comes clean the better. In fact with ASO et al now likely to begin legal proceedings, he will have no choice unless he wants to find himself on the end of some very nasty summary judgements which could lead to his bankruptcy. Just wait until US postal climbs into the ring. I could go on but I frankly don't have the inclination. It is really, really sad particularly as someone who has a huge amount of respect for him as a cancer survivor and founder of Livestrong.

 

Julian.

magriebler
magriebler

Remember that old song, "I need a hero?"

We all need heroes. We need people with tremendous capacity (talent, money, influence) to make the world a better, more hopeful place and, by association, make us better people. So when they fall of the pedestals we so carefully built for them, it hurts. It hurts because we've forged a relationship that becomes meaningful to the way we live. Who wouldn't cheer for a young man who survived cancer and went on to win 7 of the biggest titles in sports? I did. I wore my yellow bracelet with pride.

I'm with you, Gini. I want him to come clean, own up to his part in this mess and talk about what he'll do to restore some decency to cycling. But I don't think he will, because I think the Lance we thought we knew was actually the product of a very well-oiled publicity machine. This is the real Lance we're seeing now, unfortunately, and the world is a poor place because of it.

I think it's time to stop looking for heroes in sports. The performance pressures are just too great and the chemical solutions too alluring.

Carmelo
Carmelo

Maybe this is off topic but all I can think of right now is; why do we need role models and heroes? Why are we so obsessed with winning, and being the best in the world? And does any of this mindset we have contribute to the cheating? Shoot, i'm not pointing any fingers! We all seem to do this. What is it?

 

Yeah, i know we want to feel good and imagine we're a part of this winning and success. But, with our beloved sports teams and heroes aren't we often building them up to untenable heights? And then when they succumb to the pressures we crush them. God, no, I'm not condoning any of the cheating. I just can't help wondering and speaking up about our role in it all.

 

Sure, we can play our pick-up games of basketball, ride our bikes, play our tennis matches, and compete without drugs. Most of us don't have millions of dollars and untold fame on the line.

 

it's easy to philosophically say that professionals don't have to go to the extent they do. That we can have our heroes and "gods" and expect them to rebuff the temptations to use whatever means available to stay on their thrones but are we fooling ourselves?

 

I think this is why so many of the younger generation are saying "so what?" Let them cheat. I just want to see great competition, home runs, records being broken, etc. This newer mindset rubs me wrong but I'm beginning to see why many are starting to think this way. If they don't, they feel there will be no one left to idolize.

 

And that brings this full circle. Do we really need to have these heroes? (Mine was Elgin Baylor, btw.)

MarkOrlan
MarkOrlan

Giini, you're better than me. I removed my Livestrong bracelet after many years of wear and tear on my wrist.

 

Maybe Lance should just lay low for a year or two...take a long trip out of the country...maybe move to France or something (surely he can find a cave in the south of France to inhabit). The French always knew he was a cheater.  They might welcome him now that he's been exposed. Surely their sentiment towards him can't get any worse.  Who knows?  

 

If he comes out now with an admission of guilt and an apology, it's because he's been pressured, and the public knows it.  Not sure that it's going to be accepted by the masses as a sincere heartfelt apology.

 

People tend to have short memories.  If Lance pops back up in a year or so and comes out showing teary-eyed remorse, people may be more forgiving.

Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes
Joshua Wilner/A Writer Writes

Tiger didn't need drugs to win, he was simply the best.

 

I used to see Pete Rose almost daily. He ate a restaurant next to my office and hung out at my gym. Every time I saw him I wanted to tell him he was one of my childhood heroes and that he should be in the Hall of Fame.

 

I also wanted to tell him to just apologize and that everyone would move on, but I never did. FWIW, Andy Petite apologized and got to go back to work as a major league pitcher.

 

The question to me isn't whether this is a witch hunt or not because we are long past that. I want to know what it is Armstrong wants to do now.

 

The races are over, he wasn't ever going back to the Tour. What does he want to do? I am just curious.

 

FWIW, after all I have read I think he did it. He comes off as being snarky and petulant. I guess that is what happens when public opinion shifts.

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

One more thing: one of my great business heroes detested Richard Branson because he thought him reckless. By building his entire brand around the cult of his personality, my mentor thought that he carelessly risked everyone's employment at Virgin - what if something happened to him on one of his crazy trips? If he died, would the company die?  Perhaps any charity associated with a celebrity should take note of that and perhaps build a separate identity from the beginning to safeguard.

AmyMccTobin
AmyMccTobin

I feel for you Gini - it sucks to see that our heroes have flaws... especially major one.  I know he did wrong, but I just can't hate him for it because he's done SO MUCH GOOD.  And I always come back to this question: if we all know that 90% of cyclists dope, much like we know a good percentage of NFL players use steroids, why are Football players allowed to get a pass?  Why are cyclists (and baseball players) held to a different standard.

 

He needs to admit it, but I bet you any money that his attorneys won't let him because it gives his past sponsors more legal ammo.

alainlemay69
alainlemay69

OK, let's admit it, it is likely that he used. As did 90% of top cyclists. But I disagree with the witch hunt he has been the victim of by the USADA. Picking one person and making him the scapegoat for all the problems in professional sports. It seems we learn nothing from history. When Ben Johnson tested positive, he was demonized in the media and the medal awarded to his rival, Carl Lewis. It later came out that Lewis had tested positive three times before the 1988 Olympics. Yet no one went after him with a hatchet and he still holds most of his titles.

And what of the present cycling champions? Are we supposed to believe they are all clean? Based on what? Drug tests? The same tests Armstrong is accused of trumping some 500 times?

geoffliving
geoffliving

Side note:  Want to put money down that Sheryl Crow left him when she found out he had been lying about doping?

KarenARocks
KarenARocks

And this too, shall pass. I agree that not making any type of statement, - especially when basically the whole world has made up their minds that he is guilty - is not helping his image. I was also in the not guilty camp, but a litany of others have swayed me over that line. I was truly impressed by Christian Vande Velde's statement when he admitted and honestly apologized for doping.  christianvdv.com/blog/christian-vande-velde-statement/ Apologize if you did wrong, and get on with your life.

Tunevk
Tunevk

15 professional cyclists - Lance's former teammates - would not admit to doping just to take Lance down. It DID happen and part of the reason he's silent is because fans are used to turning a blind eye to his bad behavior. The cycling industry wants this behavior to stop, and you should to. Livestrong will be fine, so why care about what a cheater says? Sorry, but it makes me angry when celebrities get away with murder, and then people still follow him!?! Anyway, the promotions worked so no sponsorship money should be asked back, but cycling fans still have a Tour to cheer for, and there are still avenues for supporting cancer research, so let's concentrate on those positives instead.

Soulati | Hybrid PR
Soulati | Hybrid PR

Just a few thoughts...1) What kind of an edge does doping give an athlete? Do dopers always win? There's something to be said for 7 years of being first with an aging body and does that mean he took more drugs to compensate, yet there has never been solid proof that he has? I'm so confused.

 

2) In this situation, "saying sorry" isn't going to get him beyond this debacle (like Tiger). He has to enroll in blah blah, devote time to community service, show he indeed has a tail and that's how the PR has to happen. His personal brand? Ginormous; it'll take the mountains he's climbed on wheels one foot at a time.

rdopping
rdopping

I have no love for the way society crucifies people before the truth comes ou. Regardless Lance will never be the same and Livestrong, through association, is tarnished. It's sad because it's not a shoe or a watch. Too bad. I hope he comes clean.

sierratierra
sierratierra

We are a big cycling family. My husband used to compete and he and I went to the 2005 TdF. I used to run a Yahoo! Group called "Queens of the Feed Zone" to talk about women/families who support their male cyclists. Back then, we asked each other, "How will we tell our children about Tyler Hamilton?" Because he had considerably less clout than Armstrong, the PR crisis remained with Hamilton for the most part. With Lance, the PR crisis spreads to competitive cycling as a whole. It's not just about HIS bike anymore. 

KristenDaukas
KristenDaukas

First of all, we as a country are extremely forgiving of celebrities and the messes they get themselves into.  Come forward, state your side and within a few months it will be old news. I like Lance.. I support him and I won't believe the stories until it comes out of the horse's mouth. But IMHO there is a big difference between Lance and Tiger.. Tiger's muck up destroyed his family.. he egotistically went thru life cheating on his wife thinking he was untouchable and that he wouldn't get caught. Just like Lance, he lost his endorsements and his armor was tarnished. But he's rising back to the "top" in the public's eye just like every other adored athlete who's fallen from grace does. If Lance WAS doping, in the end he's really only hurting himself. 

John_Trader1
John_Trader1

Clearly, this entire story is a subtle exposure of the massive doping problem that exists in professional cycling. Armstrong's silence makes we wonder how he could have possibly leveraged this opportunity to save his reputation by admitting his mistakes and then championing a "no doping" campaign aimed at international youth who aspire to be in professional cycling. A "learn from my mistakes, don't repeat them" tour. Could this have turned the public's opinion around? Of course, there are those who would criticize him further for trying to profit off obvious cheating but what if he did it for free or donated speaking fees to additional educating about anti-doping causes.

 

I'd seriously like to interview some kids who look up to him as a hero and get their opinions, at least those who understand the situation.

 

 

Keena Lykins
Keena Lykins

Interesting post, Gini, and like everyone else, I've been waiting for you to write it. If I were his PR counsel, I would tell him to say "sorry" or say nothing. If he's guilty and not sorry, then he shouldn't play sorry on TV. Silence is better than false contrition at this point.

 

And as much as we want to know the truth (well, some do. I can't say I've lost much sleep over this) silence may be the smartest thing he can do for himself and his family. Look at it this way, unless I've missed major news in the last few days, he still hasn't tested positive for doping. Like Cory Giles (Salem Witch Trials) as long as he's silent, the those charges remain unconfirmed. Sponsors may grumble about getting their money back, but that's just noise. None of them will go to court to get it because they'll  be the ones put on trial to show they are either complicit with the practice of doping or encourage it. How many other athletes have been asked to repay his/her sponsorship when they tested positive? If I were a lawyer, that would be a strategy I'd fully explore.

 

So silence is a way to stay rich even if it leaves his personal legacy in tatters.

 

ladylaff
ladylaff

I'm sorry Gini, that must have been hard.  Cycling is still a a wonderful sport and there are some amazing new role models like (my favourite) Bradley Wiggins.  Sometimes an institution needs a crisis in order to have a renaissance.  By the way, I think your advice was spot on.  I hope he takes it.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@elissapr I heard you had a blog post on the topic, too.

debdobson62
debdobson62

Gini, you know what a huge fan I am of Lance and how much I love watching Tour de France and the other cycling events.  Heck, I even accidently colored my hair orange because I got distracted by Lance in the mountains (first time/last time doing my own hair...and a big presentation the next morning).  I too have defended him and am getting the "I told you so."  I'm not sure if he is guilty or not.  I've read everything, and at this point agree.  He needs to say something.  He is pulling a Tiger Woods.  He does have some of the best PR in the world, and by staying silent, well, it won't help anything get better.  An excellent post, and I know, I really do know how painful this was to write.

ElissaFreeman
ElissaFreeman

Right now, Lance's digital silence is deafening...and for someone who courted his fans via social media this is a big problem.  His apology has to be so carefully crafted as an avalanche of lawsuits likely await him for return of prize money, sponsorship money etc. Mitch Joel wrote a post on this yesterday.  However, beyond the apology (and I'm sure there will be one) will come the next investigation: use of Livestrong funds. We already know charitable donations were used in Armstrong's case vs the sponsor who promised him millions when he won the 2004 Tour. 

 

I agree with many of the posters that Livestrong needs to stand on its own...but without Armstrong...what exactly do they stand for?

JLipschultz
JLipschultz

My response is simple: you're right. Unfortunately L had chances to come clean earlier and avoid this worst case scenario. Ego got in the way. Glad you still wear the bracelet I gave you.

belllindsay
belllindsay

Your DAD was in the Tour de France...?? 

geoffliving
geoffliving

I think it's obvious why he's not talking.  It's time for LIVESTRONG to stand separately from him (I blogged about this myself on Monday).  In a speech on Friday at a LIVESTRONG fundraiser he said as much. The cause has to survive the man.  And to do that, he needs to shut up and go away, as simple as that. I'm personally glad he's not saying anything and letting the cause take the forefront and begin to stand on its own.

ginidietrich
ginidietrich

@Subworx @jasondyk Thank you to both of you!

KenMueller
KenMueller

I've read some articles with interviews with some of the younger, current racers, who are rather angry and concerned that as a result of this, the sport will need to be rebuilt from the ground up, because of how widespread this reportedly is. I think that's the other part of the story: how the cycling community and sanctioning body bounces back. Several corporations seem to have already pulled their sponsorship from teams. Obviously they can bounce back, but I think it will be harder than baseball coming back form the Bonds/McGwire mess, mostly because cycling isn't as entrenched in our culture as baseball is. What do you think the cycling community should do in response?

BillGiltner
BillGiltner

For me, not a PR person, the idea that the prescribed plan is "I'm sorry', is a soul-less and craven move.

 

The social contract must have a true break-up option, and I think all of us, on a personal level, have experienced times when it should apply.

 

PR shouldn't have to be about lies as the stock in trade.

jasondyk
jasondyk

I think NOW is the time for Lance to start engaging with folks as well! He has an amazing opportunity to rally his community and make it 10x stronger just by chatting with people, thanking them for their support and owning his part of all of this.  It's amazing how forgiving people can be if you own your stuff

kymberlaine
kymberlaine

I take it personally too but in a different way. When he said, I'm not going to fight this any more, I became and even prouder fan because I believe too many people, that have also become brands, are expected to live every moment in the court of public opinion and I don't believe that is a good thing. But, you're right, he really is a brand, and he can't move past it until he does close it.

T60Productions
T60Productions

I've been waiting for you to blog about this topic.  I know it's close to your heart... like mine.  

 

The whole PR situation reminds me a lot of Pete Rose.  He denied having bet on baseball for years, and has been denied his place in Baseball's Hall of Fame because of it.  Finally, decades later he admitted it and now there's a real chance he could someday get in.

 

Honesty is almost always the right policy.

 

--Tony Gnau

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