5WPR’s founder and president, Ronn Torossian, just issued this statement about the controversy engulfing his company [UPDATE: This is the revised version that the company sent out a few minutes after the first one]:
While traveling earlier this week with my family out of the country, my IT department investigated accusations which we have now learned to be true. A senior staff member failed to be transparent in dealing with client matters. He has taken full responsibility.
We have been in business since January 2003 – and according to Odwyer’s 2007 rankings our revenues exceeded $11.5M, and we are the 21st largest independent PR firm in the United States.
Growing companies often have problems in their expansion, and we continue to strive for the highest performance. We have instituted internal measures to ensure this cannot happen again. We continue to strive for the highest ethical standards.
This battle is not about blogging, it is however about protecting the highest levels of Kashrut in the Jewish community. We as a firm feel personally and professionally passionate about these, and related issues.
Critics of traditional Judaism have chosen to smear the largest provider of the highest level kashrut meat in the world. We stand with protecting kashrut.
And treif meat, too.
Seriously, though, one of the most intriguing aspects of this entire story is that 5WPR has managed to carve out two seemingly contradictory niches, representing both traditionalist Jewish groups and celebrities associated with the raunchier side of American pop culture (for example, Girls Gone Wild – that’s Torossian on the left at the 28-second mark – and Lil’ Kim). The media equivalent would be Fox, which has an entertainment division that has arguably done more than any other company to create the debased standards of decency on television that the traditionalist/conservative folks over at the news division love to rail against.
UPDATE: The Forward’s Nathaniel Popper hit on this irony back a few years ago with this profile on Torossian.