Octo Mom's PR Firm Surrenders After a Week of Threats
This week, the story of Whittier's "Octo Mom" began to gather nation-wide steam as the new mother of octuplets--plus 6 other kids--hit the media with her unique story. Navigating the world of PR isn't something one should go alone, which is why 33-year-old Nadya Suleman accepted the offer from Los Angeles's Killeen Furtney Group for pro bono PR services. With the hope of finding the public's "oooohhh, babies!" soft spot, they launched the "Nadya Suleman Family" website, where people could leave good wishes and, of course, donations.
But things haven't been all baby powder fresh and snuggly bunnies for Killeen Furtney. The PR group "is stepping down because of death threats," according to abc7.com. Suleman is now working with Nashville-based agent Wes Yoder, who may be more equipped to handle controversial properties, since he's "the same man who arranged book and music deals for the McCaughey septuplets a decade ago and publicity for controversial pastor Rick Warren." Yoder's "Ambassador Agency, Inc., bills itself as the oldest Christian-based talent agency in the United States." It may well take the patience of a (Christian) saint to deal with the public's powerful backlash against single-mom Suleman and her family of 14, all conceived by in vitro fertilization at the hands of a Beverly Hills doc who's under scrutiny from the state Medical Board.
Killeen Furtney said they've gotten "at least 100 graphic e-mailed threats and swarms of nasty voicemails that went to the Los Angeles agency and even to some of its other clients." Some are aimed at "Octo Mom" herself, but others, like that "they'd put [her rep] in the wood chipper and throw [her] in the bottom of the ocean and hope [she dies]" went right for the agency, and now local police are investigating some of the threats. The agency says they've never experienced this kind of reaction with any other client before. The Suleman family website remains up; Yoder's team has yet to launch their first PR move.