For those yet to see the footage, confusion hit the stage at this year’s Academy Awards when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced the incorrect winner of the Best Picture award as ‘La La Land’, not ‘Moonlight’ after they were given the wrong envelope on stage.
Originally everyone believed it to be a blunder from the actors presenting the award who were there to mark the 50th anniversary of the release of the film Bonnie and Clyde where the pair played the infamous crime duo in the iconic 1967 movie.
Crime doesn’t pay and neither does a well-respected accounting firm getting something so publically wrong, PricewaterhouseCoopers put forward their guilty plea, their people had handed the wrong envelope over. Hashtag #envelopegate entered the Twittersphere.
The error was believed to be seen by 32.9M viewers not to mention the millions who watched the balls up on-line in news feeds Monday; ouch that’s got to hurt.
It certainly got brand strategists and brand owners throughout the globe ruminating over the impact this will have on brand PWC and how they can bounce back from this mistake.
“PwC has had this Oscars gig for 83 years and it’s a very public opportunity for them to show off the attributes of the PwC brand—their accuracy, their integrity and their ability to keep things confidential.” Katie Sprehe, director of corporate reputation and brand strategy at APCO Worldwide said.
“I’m surprised it took them so long to pull something together, my advice to any client is you need to apologise immediately and take responsibility. You want to be the one controlling the message,” she added.
PWC have since moved quickly to accept the blame and from now into the future transparency about what went wrong and how it won’t happen again will be the key to keeping their brand’s reputation intact and for its opportunistic competitors the perfect time to take advantage of this unenviable situation.
I suspect the curtain call cannot come quickly enough to end this year’s Oscars drama for PWC.
Pic courtesy of Variety