In what might possibly be the most egregious PR sabotage ever, a spokesman for Berlin’s long delayed new airport called the project “shit” and said a person would have to be addicted to drugs to guarantee it would be ready on time.
PR manager Daniel Abbou was fired after he made the comments about BER airport, which is billions of euros over budget and years behind schedule, during an interview with PR Magazine.
The airport, which was supposed to have been completed in 2012 but is still not finished, has been dubbed Germany’s most embarrassing planning disaster ever.
Costs have rocketed from a projected €1.7bn in 2004 to €6.5bn today for the site, which will be officially named Willy Brandt airport upon its opening after the former German chancellor and Berlin mayor.
Despite all the money spent there have been a succession of major problems, including incorrectly laid cables, faulty fire proofing and the installation of heavy fans that risked collapsing ceilings.
In a particularly embarrassing episode a technical mishap meant it wasn’t possible to turn off electricity at the site, which resulted in the airport’s lights being left on for days.
It all became too much for Abbou, hired in January to help reinvigorate public opinion on the project, who decided the whole thing was a lost cause – despite officials being expected to announce a new finish date of 2017 in the coming days.
“Up until now official statements always said that the project was going well. That’s bullshit. Take responsibility when something has been a shit show.
“No one, unless he is addicted to drugs, will give you any fixed guarantees for this airport,” Abbou told PR Magazine.
After the interview was published, airport chief Karsten Mühlenfeld confirmed to the press that Abbou had been sacked because “the interview wasn’t agreed upon with company bosses.”
Something tells me Abbou wasn’t too surprised when they gave him the news.