Local companies Metabolife International, Inc. and MP3.com were among those noted when industry magazine PR Week released its roundup of the best and worst publicity of 1999.
La Jolla-based MP3’s recording software was listed 10th under best product publicity. Metabolife was fourth in the category of best job by company or group in overcoming a difficult situation.
As of late, the company had been under particularly intense media scrutiny on the safety of its diet pills. ABC News recently did a story on it, and the company had made its own tape of the interview the network did with Metabolife CEO Michael Ellis.
To rebut the story before it came out, the company posted the tape and transcript of the interview with ABC News on its Web site.
The Web site placed eighth in best publicity stunt.
Cisco, Intel, U.S. Women’s national soccer team, Apple, Hewlett-Packard, Gap, IBM, eBay, General Electric and the World Wrestling Federation were, in order, named as receiving the best publicity.
The list of companies and groups that received the worst PR was led by Seattle-based Microsoft. The rest, in order, were the National Rifle Association, Coca-Cola, the Republican Party, the International Olympic Committee, Mattel, Yosemite National Park, Monsanto, American Bankers Association and Brown & Williamson.
The Web site for the suspense/horror movie, “Blair Witch Project,” won for best publicity stunt. Among the worst publicity stunts were the BASE jumping death of Jan Davis at Yosemite, the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton and the announcement of singer Celine Dion’s semi-retirement.