A 'Weak' BBC Apology Compounds the Need for a 'Perfect' Apology

Here's an interesting case of executives of a major media outlet, Britain's BBC Radio 2, exacerbating a public relations crisis by failing to issue something approaching a 'good', let alone a 'perfect', apology after racist comments DJ Sarah Kennedy. Kennedy was complaining on-air about almost hitting an "invisible" black pedestrian who was wearing dark clothes -- "It's lucky he opened his mouth to yawn or do something and I saw him."


For whatever convoluted reason, BBC executives mistakenly concluded that a well crafted, on-air and very public apology by Kennedy's would have insulted or re-offended too many people by reminding them of what Kennedy said. The radio station instead decided to issue an off-air apology, which offended many more people. Even assuming BBC officials believed they were being sensitive it's astonishing that none of the BBC's PR or marketing experts raised the possibility that everyone else in the country would logically interpret their actions as an effort to minimize the costs of a PR disaster.