copyright © 2002 Lee Moyer

A PR Crisis

By Lee Moyer

(434) 297-4137

Written 11/6/01 • Revised 3/30/02


Charles (Lee Moyer): What we once called a secretary, now an Executive Assistant...

Varice Delamere (Annaliese Moyer): PR flack par excellence. Hates Eddy but sees his work as a means to becoming VP. High-class yet sexy Biz attire

Eddy Z (Trent Westbrook) Young hip adman on the rise. Has the professional and unprofessional hots for Varice. Cool clothes. Leather.

The Sultan (Clinton Johnston) Turban, long beard, jacket and black gloves. Inscrutable.



Charles (from offstage): Boyle, Bane, and Downer. How may I help you?

Yes Sir.

Yes Sir.

Miss Delamere suggests that with the holidays approaching, early ’94 would probably work better for your meeting.

Yes Sir.

January 12th it is then Sir.

Miss Delamere looks forward to meeting with the Sultan.

No, thank you sir.

[Lights Fade up]

Varice and Eddy sitting next to each other at a conference table:

Varice (contemptuously dangling little bear from a well-manicured hand): So, I think the bear is all right, but where’s the hook? Where’s your trademark edge? We’re not paying… (looks at watch) oh, hold on Eddy…

(into speaker phone): Charles, would you pull the Sultan’s file for me? Thanks doll…

(to Eddy again) I haven’t so much as looked at this guy’s account, so just work follow my lead.

Eddy (Continuing from before):Well, it’s not just the bear! Obviously. That’s been done to death. Please!!!

It’s the little Bull that makes it. I mean a goring bull! Talk about your killer metaphor. The kids of our target execs are gonna eat… it… up. I mean, you’re never to young to learn that the Bull beats the Bear, y’know? And this Bear is designed to fall into little…

Charles quickly enters the room, and drops a thin file folder between Varice and Eddy. Almost curtsies.

Charles: Ma’am, the Sultan and his men have arrived. They seem… impatient. Would you like me to send them in?

Varice: No.

Charles & Eddy: No?

Varice: No. Keep the flunkies in the holding pen Charles. But send the mighty Sultan on in.

Charles: But how am I supposed to keep the bodyguards out Ma’am?

Varice: Tell them that if they’ve done their research properly, then they know they won’t be needed in the high-level meeting room. And if they haven’t, well, then we don’t need their custom.

Charles (gulps)… Very good, Ma’am.

Charles departs.

Eddy: (picks up folder, flips through it absently.) Ooh, I like it. A little Ad Judo early on, and we have the advantage of numbers. You know how to win a war Varice. I like your style, finest PR in New York. That’s the reason I’m here.

Varice: Enough brown-nosing Eddy, it’s… (stops talking quickly as…)

Sultan enters. Charles pops in only long enough to pull the door closed quickly behind him (as if trying to keep others out).

Eddy and Varice stand.

Eddy has the files in his right hand and awkwardly offers his left to shake hands. The Sultan declines and sits down untouched.

Sultan: You know why I’ve come?

Varice: Sultan, I’m Varice Delamere, senior partner here at B,B & D. My associate Eddy Z. and I were reviewing your file, and while we feel we’ve got a good handle on the brief, we would like to hear from you directly. Your campaign is aimed at…

Sultan: My people. They need to believe that I represent their interests- Their God- over all others. All others.

Varice: But the good news is, you do. Right?

Sultan nods once, gravely.

Eddy: Well it’s always refreshing to sell the truth. (chuckles)

Varice gives Eddy a withering glance and continues.

Varice: So your campaign needs moving pictures and more moving copy. Stuff that’ll play on the Arab street. Got it. Lots that can be done on that front. The "Death to America" campaign that Holcross has been working on for the Iranians might be a good model, have you considered a variation on that?

Sultan nods.

Varice: Saddam has had really good results with the whole war thing that Tompkins and Librand put together for him. I mean, who’s gonna support anyone else now? He just took out the opposition, the marshes and the Kurds in one shot- so to speak. Pretty hard to outrun that kind of log-rolling. And war would certainly be more difficult for you than for Saddam. Not enough small-fry dictatorships next door…and you wouldn’t want to piss of the Indians.

No, a man of your obvious taste and vision needs something new. Something up to date. Something just a bit radical. Am I right?

That’s why Eddy is sitting in with us today. Don’t be fooled by his blithe manner, he’s got his finger on the pulse. Don’t you Eddy?

Eddy: You may have seen the Choke On It campaign, the What’s your Damage campaign, and the Buffalo Are Gone For a Reason campaign. Look for the Yeti Confetti campaign in the next…

Sultan: I believe I am familiar with your work.

Varice: So Eddy, we’ve all seen the effigies, the chanting on against a religious backdrop. What’s the next step? What differentiates our client here? What elevates him above the crowd clustered round the mosque?

Eddy: Your people see the same media our people do, and what all our focus groups are saying is that folks are really responding to the big Jerry Bruckheimer sort of epic. Your Independence Days and your Armageddons… Those sorts of things. Not unlike what the Hong Kong boys are doing, but bigger. I’m talking branding on a global scale. This campaign should be the biggest in…

Varice: (Interrupts) ahem…Big budget entertainment costs money of course, but we’re in luck there too.

So Eddy, you see it as a Big rollout and then paced follow-ons?

Eddy: I’m actually thinking some small starters to begin with, word-of-mouth generators. Then we drop the bomb.

Sultan: The bomb? (picks up bear and examines it. Eventually pocketing it).

Eddy: Well, not a bomb per se. heh heh. Though that might do the job. Any kind of sudden media hit. Gotta be a Hindenberg, a Titanic, a Pearl Harbor, that kind of thing. Nothing less will really grab the attention I think we’re looking for here. I mean this kind of campaign demands…

(lost in thought for a moment)

No offense excellency, but I think "the Great Satan" needs to be involved here, don’t you? I mean, you people need us to co-opt the media machine. The U S of A is where the PR djinni lives, and we are the ones that know just how to rub the….

Varice: (giving Eddy another look) I think that what Eddy is saying is that a strong media play should be made here in America, starting right here in New York.

A big opening at… say, the UN. Or maybe the statue of Liberty or even in these very buildings would be just the thing… A platform to make your case on a global scale.

And then maybe a sequel in Washington.

Take this thing right to the top.

Eddy (interjecting): Yeah! Stick it to the man. If…

Varice elbows him.

An awkward silence

Sultan (looks happier): Yes Mister Zee, Miss Delamere, I see that you are correct. You’ve given me a lot to think about. My People and I thank you most sincerely. I’ll be in touch.

Sultan stands and exits.

Another moment of silence.

Varice: Shit, Eddy! You dumb little bastard! You just lost me an account! " I’ll be in touch." my ass… Dollars to Doughnuts we’ll never see that man’s face in this country again…

Eddy: Hey, where’d the bear go? Did he take my bear?



"A PR Crisis" debuted April 5, 2002, performed by Lee Moyer, Annaliese Moyer, Trent Westbrook, Clinton Johnston.

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