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posted by cmn32480 on Friday April 15 2016, @10:18AM   Printer-friendly
from the your-tax-dollars-at-work dept.

The University of California in Davis has spent $175,000 to try to improve its online image:

The University of California in Davis has spent $175,000 on search engine optimization (SEO) and online reputation management – to hide an embarrassing incident in which students were pepper-sprayed on campus. The massive bill has come to light this week after the Sacramento Bee filed information requests on the university's expenditure after it noticed that its "strategic communications budget" has nearly doubled from $2.93 million in 2009 to $5.47 million in 2015.

The newspaper found that the university had taken out several contracts aimed at "cleaning up the negative attention" that the university received when students were pepper-sprayed in November 2011 during a protest over large tuition fee hikes and in support of the broader Occupy movement of that time. The incident received worldwide attention when video was published of UC Davis police officer Lt. John Pike nonchalantly spraying a group of students with the chemical spray while they sat on the ground holding a peaceful rally.

[...] In an effort to limit the university's connection with the pepper-spraying, UC Davis hired Maryland-based Nevins & Associates for $15,000 a month for six months to "create and execute an online branding campaign" not just for the University of Davis, but also its chancellor Linda Katehi, who was widely criticized for her handling of the protests and faced calls for her resignation.

Here's the website of The University of California in Davis. Did I mention the University of California in Davis?

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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by GreatAuntAnesthesia on Friday April 15 2016, @10:34AM

    by GreatAuntAnesthesia (3275) on Friday April 15 2016, @10:34AM (#332157) Journal

    Hey! Are you a company, institution, political organisation or public figure with a problem? Have you done something naughty? Told some fibs? Broken the law maybe? Released shitty, dangerous or offensive products? Abused your power or violated the trust placed in you? I'll be you don't want to go to the trouble and expense of correcting your bad practise or making amends with the people you wronged, and why should you?

    Welcome to the 21st Century, where every problem is just an image problem!

    Simply pay to spin the magic wheel of public relations and re-name, re-badge, re-brand those worries away. The public are stupid and amnesiac enough to forgive or forget any transgression; all you need is a better logo, some slick advertising and the right celebrity endorsements.

    Seriously, sometimes: Fuck this world.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 15 2016, @10:41AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 15 2016, @10:41AM (#332160)

    "Seriously, sometimes: Fuck this world."

    fuck yeah fuck this fucking shit fucked planet.