Saturday, October 11, 2008

Who's handling the PR for Atlantis?

And do they really think they're doing a good job by letting all this negative publicity surround them, without really responding to it? I know we usually say "all publicity is good publicity" but still...this has got to hurt them at some point, no?

Ever since the opening of the water-themed resort, there has been a slew of reports and articles highlighting how unprepared they were for what was meant to be a soft launch.

From parking woes to check-in fiascoes, from the lack of water (at a water-themed park...ha!) to refusing to book non-hotel guests into their restaurants, Atlantis has really been dominating the news for the past couple of weeks.

And now the latest PR blunder to have come out of Atlantis revolves around "Sammy the Shark", a whale shark that was , apparently fatigued and disoriented and placed in the Atlantis aquarium. Initially, he was meant to stay there just long enough to recover. But now, it seems, Atlantis have decided to keep the shark in the aquarium. And this has upset quite a few people, including Gulf News which has launched a "Free Sammy the Shark" campaign which has now gone global.

And yet, despite all this, Atlantis has barely uttered a word, which makes me think that:
a) They are still scrambling, trying to figure out how to
deal with the situation (release the shark...they'll never win if they keep him)
b) They are deliberately not responding, because they're getting so much publicity anyway so who cares?
c) The whole thing was staged...Sammy the Shark was never really captured off the coast of Jebel Ali, this whole thing about him being fatigued and disoriented was just a story that was spun around the shark to make Atlantis look like heroes. And they did, for a little while, not realizing that it would eventually backfire when people started asking for Sammy to be released. So now they're in deep trouble because Atlantis does not really want to release a shark that they probably bought from somewhere and probably paid a lot of money for.

Yes, I'm speculating here, but really...How convenient is it that the Atlantis "found" this shark just a couple of weeks before they launched? And how odd is it that it was the Atlantis team that announced the capture of the shark, and not some environmental body? And how coincidental is it that Atlantis had "a custom-made transport unit with a highly advanced marine life transport system that was used to ensure the safety and well-being of the animal"??

Hmm??? Sounds a bit fishy to me!


Seabee said...

I see we're writing about the same thing - and there must be a whole lot of other people out there on the same wavelength.

Their mishandling of PR should be written up in detail and used as a case study in marketing communications courses.

BuJassem said...

maybe they dunno this is about them hehehehe
maybe they think atlantis is another hotel or a nightclub.. come on.. if someone tells me let's goto atlantis, i'd think it's a clubbing place.. yukky yuk!

anyway.. like someone said on UAECB.. it's only a fish!

Anonymous said...

wat's UAECB?

i say let the shark stay. probably happier there anyway than being out there in the filthy Gulf, and generally more dangerous world of today's seas and oceans

Dubai Sunshine said...

UAECB is the UAE Community Blog (

Sara said...
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