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The Flack

The Flack™ for Friday, June 16, 2023

The Flack highlights changes and trends in the news, examples of communications practices, and content we at BYRNE PR thought you might find useful.

We hope you enjoy, and we always welcome your feedback.


Companies That Embraced Social Issues Have Second Thoughts – Over the past few months several companies (and brands) have faced consumer backlash and boycotts regarding their stand on a variety of divisive social issues, and the impact has been substantial. Since consumer boycotts began at Target, the company’s stock has dropped more than 20% – resulting in a loss of more than $16 billion. And this all happened over the course of a few weeks. Now, it seems many companies are having second thoughts about embracing divisive social issues. The Wall Street Journal has the story.

Secrecy, Cigars and a Venetian Wedding: How the PGA Tour Made a Deal with Saudi Arabia – The PGA Tour recently shocked the sports world when it announced its merger with LIV GOLF, the controversial upstart golf league backed by Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund. LIV had been poaching some of the PGA Tour’s best players for the past year, creating chaos and confusion for fans and the Tour itself. But how did the strangest, most controversial merger in sports come to be? The New York Times has the details.

AI vs. Hollywood: Writers Battle “Plagiarism Machines” in Union Talks  – The Writers Guild of America (WGA) is on strike for the first time in more than 15 years, and at the core of the Guild’s concerns is … you guessed it … artificial intelligence. The WGA is a labor union representing thousands of members who write content for TV, film, digital media and news. The concern is AI tools such as ChatGPT could be used to develop first drafts of scripts, which would cut into the income of union writers. Ars Technica takes a look at what might happen when a strong union takes on artificial intelligence.

One Man’s Quest to Make Pickleball Quiet – We know. You’re sick of reading about pickleball, and you’re probably really sick of listening to it. Over the past few years, this hybrid of tennis and ping pong (mostly ping pong) has taken over parks, racquet clubs and neighborhood conversations across the country. And while pickleball’s popularity has exploded, it’s not without controversy. Pickleball is LOUD. But one man is looking to change that. The Hustle digs into the issue and one man’s potential solution.

Companies Quiet Diversity and Sustainability Talk Amid Culture War Boycotts – Lately companies in nearly every industry have had a lot to say about their commitments to diversity, sustainability, support of LGBTQ+ issues and other causes. However, over the past few months, mentions of such topics on earnings calls have fallen off sharply. The Wall Street Journal looks into the data and what’s causing the change.


Beach Reads:

To Truly Understand the Past, Pick Up an Old Magazine

What the Duck’ No More: Apple Will Stop Autocorrecting Your Favorite Swear Word

A Barman Who Served Kate Moss and ‘All the James Bonds’ Leaves the Ritz




: one who provides publicity



: to act as a press agent or promoter for something

The word flack was first used as a noun meaning “publicity agent” during the late 1930s. According to one rumor, the word was coined in tribute to a well-known movie publicist of the time, Gene Flack.