Zidane apologizes?

July 13, 2006

I heard on tv last night that Zidane finally apologized. Typical, I thought. Like most companies caught in a crisis with their reputation at stake, they finally think about long enough, consult with all the attorneys in the Outlook, get lots of conflicting advice, and then do the right thing. Too little. Too late.

The problem with Zidane’s presumed apology is that I can’t find it. The Seattle news station who carried the story didn’t show Zidane apologizing, they showed video clips about how the French treat tourists (you guessed it, a whole series of vicious headbutts with the words “merci.”

And now I did a quick search of news sites and I can’t find the apology. What I do find are more and more videos that not only replay the vicious headbutt but take it to outrageous new extremes. Here’s one from a UK website that shows the headbutt as seen by the Germans, French, Italians, Americans, etc. Pretty good.

But for crisis communicators there’s a really big lesson here. Apologize early, apologize often, and get it out there fast. If you don’t you will get lost on the far more entertaining comment that is web-driven and far more compelling than your most tearful mea culpa.

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One Response to “Zidane apologizes?”

  1. ashley Says:

    I heard a short blurb about the apology but it sounded like he just apologized to the children who happened to have been watching the match.


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