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Link to Ebru's story -
'But for the sake of some little mouthful of flesh, we deprive a soul of the sun and light, and of that portion of life and time it had been born into the world to enjoy.'
(Maria Daines/Paul Killington)
A PR Lesson for the Marmara Hotel
Picture by Engin Gercek
A PR Lesson for the Marmara Hotel
In a day marked by the tragedy of the loss of Ebru, the stray
dog, one of Istanbul's most endearing symbols we have witnessed one
of the most blatantly misguided examples of a PR exercise.
The Marmara cared flawlessly for Ebru for over a decade. They
allowed her to stay on the premises, they feed her, water her and
provided for all veterinary treatment. The Marmara was, and still
is, an example of how a company should exercise its civic and humane
duty. So… up to here is great.
But then the unexpected happens. Ebru gets kicked like a ball by
some thug or thugs in the vicinity. The animal the hotel had
protected for so long is fatally injured and ends up dead 48 hours
What would have been just a sad but quiet event some years ago
inmediately found its way onto the computer screens of many
thousands of people in a manner of minutes. And this presented a PR
challenge for the Marmara hotel.
It was a matter of choice:
a) Present themselves as the concerned entity that had lost an
b) Rush to the veterinary clinic, collect the body in a hurry to
avoid further questioning and issue a statement saying the poor
innocent Ebru died of old age. In short, pretend it didn't happen.
Conventional wisdom would have said The Marmara choose option A. It
would have been a great opportunity to show the human side of a
Instead it choose option B.
Since the Press caught on the unfortunate event the Public
Relations Team of the Hotel has been working overtime issuing press
statements, and sending emails to its Business/Gold members stating
that Ebru died of old age.
Why would they do that? They obviously cared for that animal. Why
would they go to such extend as to fake the cause of death?
The answer its simple: Its bad for business.
What would people think about the ability of the Marmara to take
care of its guests if they cannot even take care of their dog? Is
the Taxim area a safe place to stay? Is it advisable to walk around
On one side you have Turkish largest animal protection network,
who, unfortunately, has to deal with similar cases on a daily basis,
presenting accompanying pictures showing Ebru just out of an
operation and showing a massive scar across her belly. That
operation lasted for hours and it wouldn't have been perform hadn't
it been because of its extreme urgency. Ebru presented clear signs
of trauma and this had nothing to do with old age.
On the other hand you have a nervous Public Relation executive
desperately trying to deal with a situation for which he was clearly
Here are the pictures and the story. Ebru is dead. Her body has
been collected by the Hotel. To this time we have no idea of what
happen with Ebru's body.
Surely, The Marmara PR Team will come out with a good answer for
that question. Our suggestion, the Marmara should look at its PR
policy and they should try a more open, transparent and honest
approach in the future. After all the Marmara group is an
institution in this country.
Lets Adopt wont engage in further discussion on this issue.
Instead we maintain our reward of USD 2000 to whomever provides
vital information which leads to the conviction of Ebru's killers.
LAST UPDATE: Ilhan, the veterinary surgeon at Animalia has
declined to make any statements on the issue of Ebrus death.
Some of you will find this puzzling. It is not so. Ilhan is an
excellent professional and he cannot release false statements. He
would never announce Ebrus cause of death old age.
Once again, we applaud the work of the Maramara hotel for the
last 12-14 years… unfortunately they decided to follow the advice of
a wrong PR adviser..
There are already calls for a Boycott to the Marmara Hotel. Lets Adopt will NOT support any calls for Boycott to the Marmara Hotel, on the contrary, we hope their business continues to flourish and they keep to their pet-friendly policy, support of the Istanbul stray and sponsor of some of the most dedicated animal protectors in this city.