How Barclays’ latest PR problem proves brands must have a sense of humor

According to this author, the company’s handling of an email to interns that went viral took what could have been an opportunity for humor and made it too serious.

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According to reports, Justin Kwan, the former Barclays analyst who choreographed his own 15 minutes of fame with a tongue-in-cheek email to an incoming crop of summer interns, has departed the firm.

I assume his exit was anything but voluntary. If there’s truth to The Carlyle Group canning Kwan before he was slated to start this summer, thanks to “emailgate,” the poor guy’s a two-time loser in a race few people ever get to run.

While Kwan’s email was an ill-conceived blend of wit and silliness, he clearly meant no harm.

Perhaps that’s why he’ll likely never ascend to the legendary heights of Greg Smith. Smith, you may recall, is the former Goldman Sachs executive director who famously quit his 12-year stint at the storied firm via a vitriolic New York Times op-ed. Some folks, it seems, swing for the fences while the rest of us settle for a life of singles and the occasional double.

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