Toyota strengthened its PR bench within the Beltway last week, adding agencies Glover Park Group and Quinn Gillespie & Associates to a roster that already included Powell Tate and Golin Harris.
Now, Southern California Toyota dealers have hired Sitrick and Co., a crisis firm known mostly for their work with high profile clients like Michael Jackson, the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Paris Hilton. The agency also handled PR for rapper Chris Brown after his altercation with then girlfriend Rihanna before the Grammy’s last year. Agency namesake Michael Sitrick reportedly bills at $700 an hour.
The dealers hiring an agency does make sense, as media reports on the Toyota recall often quote dealers, who are more likely to give a straightforward take on the matter, as opposed to Toyota corporate executives, who have been fully briefed on talking points and are more likely to give the company line.
“The true and accurate story has not gotten out there. We want to make sure that, when the media reports on the issue, they get the correct facts and get the dealers’ point of view,” Sitrick told Automotive News.
Sitrick and Co. was acquired by consulting firm Resources Connection Inc. in October 2009.