PR News Roundup: Lawsuits, Tax Evasion, and PR Success
Check out the headlines below to see some news we missed from the last week related to the Public Relations industry – here’s some news round ups:
Employees File Class Action Lawsuit against the BBG
Several workers at the broadcasting institution filed a lawsuit on Monday against the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an American government entity. In the $400 million class action suit, the workers claim the agency misclassified them as independent contractors to avoid paying full salaries and giving benefits.
The lawsuit claims the BBG put a system in place allowing Voice of America to hire ‘independent contractors’ in theory. But in practice, the workers provided the same functions and services as regular employees.
“The class likely includes more than 1,000 individuals wrongly deemed ‘purchase order vendors,’ each of whom was shortchanged $20,000 to $30,000 in pay and benefits because of the misclassification, according to the lawsuit. The total injury, excluding damages, is around $200 million,” the lawsuit claims.
BBG – whose board includes Michael Kempner, CEO of MWW PR – declined to comment on the issue.
The Refaelis under Investigation for Tax Evasion
A recent look into the high life of the rich and famous sparked a debate among public relations experts. The findings included large sums of money earned by celebrities for simple, and sometimes menial, tasks. The experts fail to agree on whether this is normal for other celebrities in Israel and the rest of the world. But everyone agrees many businesses turn to celebrities to jump start success in the market.
Conducted by the Israel Tax Authority, the inquiry looked at large unreported incomes earned by celebrities. Much of this income came from discounts and cash for just appearing as guests at events and venues. Others included discounts for using a product or service,
The investigation targeted Bar Refaeli and her mother. Authorities suspect that the two women lied about the supermodel’s resident status in the country. The Israeli Tax Authority also suspects the two women failed to report income of $257,000 from discounts on real estate, cars, and other items.
The thriving business of using celebrities in Israel shows the path PR has taken. These days, companies build brands via celebrities endorsing them, and not the actual value of the product or service.
The authorities hope this sends a message to celebrities about the importance of reporting income and paying taxes.
LSU Students Receive Second Place Award in PR Competition
The National Donation Awareness competition honored a group of LSU students with a second place standing. The students built a campaign for the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency aiming to increase awareness across the campus.
As part of their studies, participants created and ran a PR firm on campus, called Impact Communications. The firm worked with LOPA launching their campaign all through the semester. The success of the campaign showed that “139 people signed up for organ donation” by the end.
A 2015 Manship School graduate, Francesca Brewer, thanked her professor and the LOPA community educator for preparing them to win.