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Hot Diggitty Dam!

Our New recruit Alex Ferguson writes:


In my time covering the (re)insurance business I’ve seen some interesting twists and turns in the wild ways of PR.

There was the external PR girl who decided it might be a good idea to pump out a press release just after an oil refinery had blown up in the USA, killing 15 and injuring over 100.

The release was to remind us what fabulous energy insurance broking services her client offered in the wake of such a disaster.

The problem? Her client already did a huge amount of business with the oil company who owned the refinery!

Then there’s one about the chief executive who despises being called a reinsurer – or a (re)insurer, despite the fact that he writes some reinsurance and even retro.

But Willis – yes, readers, the same broker that encouraged its own to wear garish badges telling everyone who would listen to ‘Bring it On!’ went one better when I read their press release yesterday:

“Willis China Appointed Insurance Consultant for the Operational Assets of the World’s Largest Hydropower Project, the Three Gorges Dam”

Sorry, was that the Three Gorges Dam?

The same one that displaced around 1.4m people from their homes and, (if you listen to the anti-capitalist/anti-globalisation anti-everything protest brigade) almost drove a species of rare dolphin into extinction?

We don’t wish to pry, but surely on the very same day the firm managed to get off the Burma 'dirty list'

(apparently, the sandal-wearing veggie-munchers weren’t too happy about Willis doing business in such a politically volatile area), was it the world’s best idea for Joe Plumeri, Willis’ chairman and CEO to write how proud he was to be associated with:

“…one of the greatest engineering feats of the twenty-first century”?

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