Adweek magazine ran its version of the Redskins name story a few days ago. The main question under consideration was whether social media have "propelled" the controversy over the team's name. Yes, was the conclusion.
But the piece also blamed Snyder as much as Twitter for keeping the issue alive. In a section headed "Never Say 'Never,'" the owner gets chided by various PR experts for his "Redskins now, Redskins tomorrow, Redskins forever!" proclamation to old media (USA Today) over the summer:
His style has at times been brusque, most notably when he told USA Today: "We'll never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER—you can use caps." […]
"The comment that they will never change the name is offensive in and of itself," according to Julie Hall, managing director, Havas PR N.A.
That last part has gotta hurt Snyder. Lots. It hits him right where he lives. Or lived, anyway.
Back in 2000, Julie Hall's firm, Havas PR N.A., bought Snyder Communications, the PR and communications company that Snyder ran before buying the NFL team and its disputed name and trademarks.
The purchase included a stock deal that at the time was reportedly worth more than a billion dollars to holders of Snyder Communications shares. Snyder was said to own 13 percent of the company that bore his name. Around the same time, the company was at the center of a "slamming" investigation conducted by the Florida attorney general's office. Snyder Communications, accused of rampant forgery and fraud in the sale of telecom services, wound up paying a seven-figure fine.
Some pieces of the Snyder Communications stable retained their handles after the transaction. For example, a Boston-based division that Snyder had acquired in 1998, Arnold Worldwide, remains Arnold Worldwide. Not Snyder Communications, however. Perhaps the old guard's shady tactics had rendered the name offensive in and of itself. In any case, it was changed.