In April 2001, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer accused Merrill Lynch of fraud, creating a public relations crisis for the investment firm. The crisis was caused by the disclosure of damaging emails in which analysts referred to stocks that they were selling as “a piece of junk” or “trash.” Consequently, this monograph examines the apologetic crisis management discourse proffered by Merrill Lynch to restore its reputation. It argues that since companies are unwilling to admit responsibility due to liability concerns, in contemporary discourse compensation should be read as an argot that functions as an admission of culpability.
Public Relations Review – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2004
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