PR firm ‘kills’ off Oprah’s staff in anthrax attack!

November 14th, 2007 - 10:38 am ICT by admin  

Public relations firm Markson Sparks copied, almost word-to-word, the fictional claim from a blog in a statement issued on Nov 13 promoting the advantages of careers for personal assistants.

According to the press release, PAs could have attractive lifestyles, flying first-class and earning up to 150,000 dollars - with the only drawback being the major likelihood of dying in an anthrax attack.

“A story sadly underreported is the number of celebrity personal assistants who die from opening their bosses’ anthrax-filled mail,” quoted the release, as stating.

“Oprah Winfrey’s entire staff of 45 personal assistants was wiped out by the dangerous spores,” the release said.

The firm’s client, recruitment agency PKL, is livid at being linked with the claim and described it as “trash”.

“I’m appalled … with having any association with (that) content,” PKL founder and managing director Phoebe Lane said.

Lane added that she would be “having in-depth discussions” with Markson Sparks after the episode.

However, Markson Sparks says that the comment was proposed as a joke.

Markson Sparks, which until recently was run by Max Markson and his wife Rolene, has been one of Australia’s major public relations and event management companies for more than 20 years.

From Nov 14, it will begin trading as Markson Communications and will be run by Rolene Markson.

“The final paragraph in the media release in question was supposed to be a tongue in cheek way of highlighting the mental and physical dangers of being a celebrity personal assistant,” Rolene said.

A spokesman for Winfrey’s company, Harpo Productions, confirmed that there was “absolutely no truth” to the claim that 45 of the talk show queen’s staff died after opening anthrax-filled mail. (ANI)

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