SOURCE: Politis Communications

February 28, 2008 10:37 ET

Politis Communications Tapped for Crisis Communications Campaign by CleanFlicks

Utah-Based Public Relations Agency, Politis Communications, Helps CleanFlicks "Stop the Bleeding" by Planning, Coordinating and Conducting a Press Conference to Correct and Clarify Information About CleanFlicks and Deny False Media Reports and Allegations -- All in Less Than 18 Hours

DRAPER, UT and PLEASANT GROVE, UT--(Marketwire - February 28, 2008) - The nightmare began on Friday, January 25 for Allan Erb and Ray Lines (the owners of CleanFlicks Media (http://cleanflicks.com/).

That was the day they learned that two other men had been arrested in Utah County (Utah) on felony sexual abuse charges and media reports began to circulate incorrectly and falsely stating (or implying) that one of those arrested, Daniel Dean Thompson (a twice-convicted felon) was a founder, owner and/or operator of CleanFlicks.

As partners in a business dedicated to providing family friendly DVD movie rentals over the Internet, Erb and Lines were horrified at the false connection being drawn between CleanFlicks and Thompson. Unfortunately, the negative stories incorrectly tying CleanFlicks to Thompson soon grew from a local trickle into a national story.

Politis Communications Recommended to CleanFlicks by its Law Firm

Based upon their research, CleanFlicks' attorneys suggested that CleanFlicks might be able to take legal action against Thompson.

"It was a week later when I got the first call from CleanFlicks' law firm -- Fillmore Spencer (http://www.fillmorespencerlaw.com/)," said David Politis, president of Politis Communications (http://politis.com/). "As Barney Madsen (CleanFlicks' attorney) laid out the facts for me, I was dumbfounded to learn the truth, because I too had seen the stories falsely tying CleanFlicks to Thompson. It soon became clear that CleanFlicks was in danger of losing everything because of the inaccurate reports linking CleanFlicks to alleged crimes that were shockingly sensational and diametrically opposed to everything the company stood for. It was clear to us that CleanFlicks had to stop the bleeding, and we had to do it fast."

By 7 p.m. (MST) on Thursday, Jan. 31, CleanFlicks had retained Politis Communications for crisis communications services to help the company clean-up misperceptions and false allegations connecting CleanFlicks to Thompson. Additionally, CleanFlicks decided to proceed forward with legal charges against Thompson, charges that would help further distance CleanFlicks from the alleged sexual abuser. The timeframe was daunting, however.

"Here's what we faced," Politis said. "On Saturday, we knew that all of the local media would be focused on the funeral of Gordon B. Hinckley, former president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sunday we had the Super Bowl -- a media frenzy if there ever was one. Monday would be post-Super Bowl follow-up, pre-Super Tuesday coverage of the presidential primaries, and possibly the announcement of the new president of the LDS Church (which did happen). It was clear that on Tuesday everyone would then be focused on the Super Tuesday elections, and we knew that on Wednesday the media would center on post-Super Tuesday news and analysis. In other words, unless we could pull something together in less than 24 hours, CleanFlicks was gonna be in serious, serious trouble."

After a three-way consultation between the attorneys, the PR consultants and CleanFlicks, the decision was made to move forward with a press conference the next day at 1 p.m. (MST) in Salt Lake City.

While the legal team pulled together all of the materials necessary for the court filing on Friday, Politis Communications

1. Wrote and edited a Media Alert announcing the CleanFlicks press conference, which was distributed at 7 a.m. Friday;

2. Researched, wrote, edited and prepared a CleanFlicks News Release denying recent media reports and allegations;

3. Produced CleanFlicks Press Kits providing background information, including materials provided by the law firm;

4. Provided strategic crisis communications counsel to CleanFlicks' executives and coordinated its efforts with CleanFlicks' legal counsel; and

5. Conducted and directed the Press Conference and distributed the CleanFlicks' news release.

Results from CleanFlicks' Crisis Communications Campaign

By Friday evening, each of the four major network TV stations in Utah had carried at least one story announcing CleanFlicks' lawsuit against Thompson and stating that he had never been a partner, officer, affiliate, dealer, franchisee, collaborator, consultant or representative of any CleanFlicks entity in any capacity. The leading talk radio station in Utah also ran multiple stories about the announcement.

The two largest Salt Lake papers (the Salt Lake Tribune and the Deseret Morning News) each ran clarifying stories about CleanFlicks on Saturday, as did The Daily Herald (Utah County's leading newspaper).

Within 10 days, Politis Communications also landed or placed corrections on more than 40 news Websites and/or blogs, including items with

-- USA Today (see http://blogs.usatoday.com/techspace/2008/02/cleaning-up-aft.html), and

-- ChristianityToday.com (see http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2008/02/cleanflicks_fig.html).

"Politis Communications came through for us in a huge way in a very short period of time and in a very comprehensive manner," CleanFlicks' Erb said. "It was overwhelming to see how quickly the false information had spread across the Internet and through the various news outlets, and it soon became clear we were fighting for our corporate life. Thankfully, we were able to work with top attorneys and the best PR firm to get this problem addressed as quickly as possible."

For more information about CleanFlicks, please visit www.CleanFlicks.com. For more information about Politis Communications' crisis communications campaign for CleanFlicks, please visit www.FreeCleanFlicks.com or call 801-523-3730 xt. 11.

About Politis Communications

Since its founding in 1990, Politis Communications has been one of the leading strategic marketing communications agencies in Utah and in the Western United States. Past high-profile crisis communications clients have included Seagull Book & Tape, PC Laptops and litigants pursuing legal claims against corporations. For more information about Politis Communications, please call 801-523-3730 xt. 11, visit www.politis.com or www.TheBettyFactor.com.

Contact Information

  • MEDIA CONTACT:
    Jonathan Bacon
    Politis Communications
    801-523-3730(work)
    801-660-7820(cell)
    jbacon@politis.com