Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ruder Finn's Response

I never got any direct response from Ruder Finn, but I checked the link today and they have withdrawn the page. I would have preferred a formal retraction or public apology, but I suppose they ascribe to the school of thought that PR folks never admit a mistake. See for yourself: Since this will just take you to a 404 screen, check out my post on 12/29/07 for a snapshot of what was originally posted at that web address.

Interestingly, a some additional digging revealed that Ruder Finn is, or at least was, the lead PR firm for Twinings in the United States. On Sept 12 2005, it was announced that Ruder Finn was hired by Twinings specifically to tout Twinings' 300th Anniversary (which coincided with the rollout of new packaging, new flavors, and in my opinion, lower quality Earl Grey). Here is an excerpt from a press release:

"Ruder Finn impressed us with their knowledge of the tea market and the creativity of their concepts for such a significant anniversary," said Michael Cobb, marketing director for Twinings North America, Inc. "Their relationships with key media and the team's experience in the food and beverage industry will help increase awareness of Twinings as a leader in the tea arena. In addition, they have excellent experience delivering world-class corporate anniversary programs for a variety of clients."

See PRNewswire for the full press release.

Here is the email I sent to Ruder Finn, for those interested.

From: save twinings <> Mailed-By:
Date: Dec 31, 2007 4:54 PM
Subject: False Statements on your website


I am the owner/writer of a blog entitled Save Twinings ( You reference my blog as a case study on your website, here:

Your case study is incorrect. I have never visited Twinings, though I would be interested in doing so. I have not agreed I was mistaken - I maintain my suspicion that Twinings changed the formula of the tea. Finally, I have not stopped my campaign.

I would appreciate it if you post a correction to your website. If these statements were true, I wouldn't mind you using your work as a case study. They are, however, false, and I oppose the propagation of misinformation by any source, but particularly by public relations and advertising professionals.

thank you,
Save Twinings