An anti-abortion group, Colorado for Equal Rights, is gathering signatures to get a constitutional amendment on the 2008 statewide ballot. The amendment, called the "Definition of a Person Act," would confer full legal rights upon fertilized human embryos. Other anti-abortion groups are simultaneously advancing similar measures in other states under different names.
U.S. Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy Karen Hughes is leaving the Bush administration. Hughes, a long-time confidant of President Bush's, served as a counselor during Bush's first term, then officially left the White House in 2002, only to return as the nation's PR czar in 2005. Her last day will be in December. In announcing her resignation, Hughes stressed that improving the U.S.'s image around the world is a "long-term challenge." At the State Department, Hughes increased the number of "interviews with Arabic media," and "set up three rapid public relations response centers overseas to monitor and respond to the news. She nearly doubled the public diplomacy budget, to nearly $900m annually, and sent U.S. sports stars Michelle Kwan and Cal Ripken abroad as unofficial diplomats. But polls show no improvement in the world's view of the U.S. since she took over. A Pew Research survey earlier said the unpopular Iraq war is a persistent drag on the U.S. image and has helped push favorable opinion of America in Muslim Indonesia, for instance, from 75% in 2000 to 30% last year." Hughes' key deputy, Dina Habib Powell, left the State Department earlier this year, "to become director of global corporate engagement for Goldman Sachs Group," notes PR Week.
Peggy O'Mara, the editor of Mothering Magazine, reports that "in addition to the inaccurate information on breastfeeding" by the media, the "marketing practices of the formula companies continue to undermine breastfeeding." She notes the existence of several "stealth" websites "that appear to be grassroots advocacy sites, but are actually mouthpieces for the formula industry." One of the websites, MomsFeedingFreedom.com, is campaigning against proposed restrictions on the free bags of infant
Babies that are not breast fed suffer higher rates of health problems including sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), diabetes, lymphoma, leukemia, Hodgkin's disease, obesity, high cholesterol and asthma. Unfortunately, many parents are still unaware of these risks, thanks to the infant formula industry.
The biggest U.S. advertiser, Procter & Gamble, is launching "a new multibrand campaign called 'My Black Is Beautiful,'" reports Advertising Age.
PR Week has more on McDonald's "moms' quality correspondence" PR campaign. The fast food giant met with the six mothers in early June, "at the company's global headquarters in Oak Brook, IL. Future interactions will include a visit to a beef supplier in August and a 'farm field' and produce supplier in September. ...
In an attempt to deflect criticism that its fast food makes children fat, McDonald's is recruiting mothers as "quality correspondents" to observe and report on its operations.