After it was revealed that the floundering American International Group (AIG) had hired Burson Marsteller (B-M) as one of its PR advisers, Rachel Maddow, the host of “The Rachel Maddow Show” on MSNBC, wondered who else the firm had worked for. After a scathing review of their past clients -- including the Argentinean military dictatorship, Philip Morris, and Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu -- Maddow concluded that "when evil needs public relations, evil has Burson-Marsteller on speed dial.” In response, B-M CEO Mark Penn wrote an internal email to staff claiming that Maddow "significantly mischaracterized the nature of the firm's past." In the email, which was leaked to PR Week, Penn wrote that "we are and should be proud of the work we do. ... While we can't spend our time responding to every attack that comes our way over the internet or cable television, I do think it is important that I reach out to each of you to let you know that we have a good story to tell about the work we do."
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