Update, 1/21/13 – In recent days, and going forward, the Wedding Industry is dealing with public relations black eye, courtesy of ABC’s 20/20. Friday, the show aired a segment called, Wedding Confidential. As well as the series of blog post I’m writing on 20/20, I thought it would be good to share a flashback of this blog, featuring a video from Fox 5 Chicago. It, too, presents a skewed view of ‘saving money for the bride.’ It demonstrates how a single credible interview can do a lot of damage.
NEWS ANALYSIS AND OPINION of The Wedding Marketing Blog
This interview starts calmly enough, with Wedding Channel Co-Founder and Bella Pictures Co-Founder and VP of Business Development, Jenny Lefcourt being interviewed by Fox 5 Chicago TV Personality, Jan Jeffcoat.
The segment is purportedly about ‘saving money on your wedding in today’s economy.‘ It quickly devolves into a badly conceived infomercial for Bella Pictures, accompanied by a hodgepodge of mostly bad advice and misinformation about a whole range of choices facing the bride.
Fox’s Jeffcoat overly credits Lefcourt’s association with the Wedding Channel. That is a past incarnation, no longer current at the time of the interview. Lefcourt never corrects her, leaving some uncertainty as to whether she is a neutral expert or representing Bella Pictures.
After this interview aired, the Wedding Channel had to issue a firm disclaimer, stating clearly that Lefcourt was no longer associated with their firm, and they were in no way endorsing her on-air comments.
After a few days and a fair amount of heat from various directions Lefcourt wrote a very soft apology letter (PDF) (Dear Wedding Industry). The retraction is never as helpful as the original sin, however. It is clear (at least to me) that the interview (like most interviews) is prepped with talking-points and planned questions by the show’s producer. That’s common practice, but it does not serve the viewer well, in this instance.
There is nothing spontaneous about the questions or answers. To suddenly have wedding industry professionals believe that, in retrospect, mistakes or misstatements were made accidentally, is pure bunk. It was not until industry forces applied pressure that Lefcourt and Bella took a small step in retreat.
Please view the video two to three times to get the full effect of it. Please share this with every wedding professional you know. It is the worst kind of propaganda and disinformation. Things like this should never go unchallenged.
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