THE Problem

A family-owned holiday company called us in to provide crisis communications support following a police raid on a director's home where they snatched his personal home computer that contained horrific pornographic images of children.

He was subsequently arrested and was facing a lengthy period in jail.

The family, who knew nothing of his sordid activities, was fearful that the business would be boycotted by customers if they discovered in the press, internet and broadcast media that a director had been downloading child porn on his domestic laptop.

THE Solution

We met with the family and proposed a course of action. It included demanding the immediate resignation of the offending director and insisting he left the family home to take up residence in another part of the country.

We advised the family that they should pre-warn other directors on a need-to-know basis and we put in place a series of staff statements which would only be used if a story broke in the media.

We escorted the director when he appeared in court, ensuring the press did not snatch a recognisable photograph. He was charged under his new address, thus reducing the chances that he would be associated with the family business.

When the case hit the headlines in local and regional newspapers and the internet, there was no link to the business and to this day it continues to flourish and prosper with its reputation untarnished by the reckless personal activities of the jailed former director.