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November 12, 2010
Amazon's Tone-Deaf PR
 
Where were Amazon's sensibility screeners when a book promoting pedophilia went on sale at its Kindle store? It took a firestorm of objections to prompt Amazon finally to remove the self-published book, "The Pedophile's Guide to Love and Pleasure: a Child-lover's Code of Conduct." Wouldn't a title like that set off alarm bells virtually anywhere else? This isn't about prudery, but conduct that's either illegal or grossly offensive to most people.

Should Amazon be beckoning people to "post your creepy texts here"? More pertinent to commentary on public relations, good PR requires vigilance and responsibility. If PR staff members aren't exercising alertness, why have them around?

Amazon's "Terms of Use" state that "Amazon Services has the right but not the obligation to monitor and edit or remove any activity or content." That may be intended to protect the retailer when it's asleep at the switch, but sound public relations requires eternal vigilance. Really.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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