Could this be the end of the hidden-camera bait-and-switch?
With the help of Ketchum public relations, the marketing folks may have ruined the once popular advertising device by inviting a bunch of bloggers to a supposedly exclusive foodie event and serving them Marie Callender’s frozen lasagna and something called Razzleberry Pie.
Bloggers were expecting a meal by pseudo celebrity chef George Duran and a discussion hosted by food industry analyst Phil Lempert. Bloggers were also told they’d get an “unexpected surprise.”
Surprise! Your prized palates are being assaulted by frozen foods.
Now The New York Times
is covering the embarrassing incident after the bloggers panned ConAgra.
In the story, Stephanie Moritz, senior director of public relations and social media at ConAgra, is thrown to the wolves. She told the Times
, “Once we sensed it was not meeting attendees’ expectations, that’s where we stopped, we listened, and we adjusted.”
She continued: “It was never our intention to put any bloggers or their guests in an uncomfortable position, and for that we are sorry.”
Ketchum, meanwhile, didn’t fare as well in the article. A PRSA rep called the incident “unfortunate,” stopping short of labeling it downright dishonest.
Although a Ketchum corporate communication staffer apologized, she still contended that some people enjoyed the event.