Who is behind the anti-Universal billboard campaign?
Written by Robert Niles
There's been lots of big media attention in Central Florida over the past few days about Universal Orlando's ad campaign for Halloween Horror Nights.Tweet
Specifically, a mothers' group is complaining the billboards put up around the tourist corridor are too graphic and disturbing for young kids. "This year, I find the billboards truly unacceptable to our community," one mom was quoted in the Orlando Sentinel (see story linked above.)
My initial thought when reading these stories was... "you've got to be kidding." This 'protest' is simply going to give Universal Orlando a ton of free publicity for HHN. I wonder if it is real?
So I Googled "Erin Heston," the mom quoted in the Sentinel piece. Turns out she's... a PR agent. Her personal website now redirects to a parked domain page, but search-engine caches of PDFs from the site show that she is a "communications consultant" and was a PR rep for Enterprise Florida, "a public-private partnership serving as Florida’s primary organization devoted to statewide economic development."
(Erinheston.com was first registered on Aug. 30, 2006, according to NetworkSolutions.com and expired on the same day this year, which is why the domain is no longer active.)
So, if this is the same Erin Heston, and I couldn't find any records for another one in Orlando (using a variety of online people searches), we've got a PR campaign from a professional PR agent, who once represented an economic development organization, that's resulting in a ton of free pub for an event that's a huge economic boon to Central Florida in what used to be a pretty slow time of the year.
Astroturf? Or blowback? Either way, I'm sure that UO is loving the attention.
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