Bimbo Banter

BIMBO Nominees for January 2018

  • Bimbo
  • January 3, 2018
  • by Spaeth Communications

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Happy New Year! With each new year comes new public relations blunders, and we hope this Memo continues to serve as a healthy reminder of what NOT to say! This year, we challenge each of you to add developing your communication skills to your list of New Year’s resolutions. We can develop a plan to help you reach your goals. Let “no BIMBO comments” be one resolution you keep!


"First and foremost, we have never — and would never — do anything to intentionally shorten the life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to drive customer upgrades," Apple said in a statement responding to rumors that it was purposely slowing down the speed of older iPhones. A few days later, Apple issued an apology for – slowing down speed. Think communication doesn’t matter? Despite offering a hefty discount for replacement batteries, the confirmation triggered breach-of-contract lawsuits. What should they have said? They should have come clean from the beginning. It was bound to get out and cause problems. Their apology is a classic example of a company that’s not really sorry, only sorry it got caught., “Apple apologizes for iPhone slowdowns, lowers cost of replacement batteries,” Dec. 28, 2017


“I deny most of the allegations,” said Don Hazen, executive editor of AlterNet, after seven women accused him of sexual harassment. He added that he thought other accusations have been “mischaracterized.” (Here’s another example of where it would have paid off to think the response through before shooting off the mouth. A few days later, Hazen said that in “the atmosphere of lots of discussion about editorial topics like sex and drugs,” he had “lost track of some boundaries.” Also, apparently of common sense. This is an example of how we hear statistics. You can’t deny “most” of the allegations. That makes “some” true, which provides substance for all the allegations. His explanations were transparently laughable. One female staff member said he would point at something and his hand would touch her breast. His response was that this was “accidental.”)

BuzzFeed News, “Five Women Are Accusing A Top Left-Leaning Media Executive Of Sexually Harassing Them,” Dec. 21, 2017

“Our schools have nothing to hide,” said Sarah Flanagan, vice president for government relations and policy development at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), trying to duck questions about why no information is available to parents who want to know post-graduation job and earning potential for all fields of study. (NAICU claims they are concerned about privacy, but what they are really concerned with is the information that a degree in classical studies may cost $250,000 but only prepare a student for a minimum wage instructor job. What should she have said? “This is a perennial debate and statistics can be highly misleading.” It would be nice to add that these colleges prepare students to think critically and give them a sound education.)

The New York Times, “Want to Search for Earnings for English Majors by College? You Can’t,” Dec. 1, 2017


The BIMBO Memo is a reminder not to repeat and deny a negative word because of how the listener hears words. When you repeat and deny a negative word, the listener is likely to overlook the denial and hear the opposite of what the speaker is trying to say. It’s named for the young woman who was caught with a high profile, but alas married man. She held a press conference and announced, “I am not a BIMBO,” thus causing everyone to think she was.

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