Pinocchio has mastered the art of spin control. Is the Oregonian regretting giving the restaurant a bad review?
On November 21st, critic Roger Porter’s Oregonian review of Pinocchio was published. Some choice gems:
I cannot tell a lie. Pinocchio is the most mediocre restaurant in years to occupy prime downtown real estate.
Right now the cooking smacks of airline food, but here you can’t bring your own onboard.
Tagliatelle with hazelnuts (a nod to Oregon) looks like a muddy wetland, while the nuts are jagged and hardly well integrated.
The minestrone has lots of flavor and the appropriate legumes and vegetables, but a dollop of pesto on top bathes the soup in an oily slick that reminds you of the recent spill in San Francisco Bay
It gets worse. You can read the entire review here.
A few weeks later, Pinocchio sent out a press release. First mistake, they blind copied the entire email list. As an excited friend said “Now I have the email address of just about every PR and media contact in town!”
Attached to the press release, was a .pdf file titled “Pinocchio Oregonian Review”. Wow, I thought. I’m surprised they are mentioning such negative press! Then I opened the file. It was a completely different fluff piece, written by someone named Angela Allen. She makes the restaurant sound really good, but if you pay attention, you’ll realize she never says anything bad about the food. It’s pure puffery. I’d link, but oddly for these days when every story is published on the O’s website, it seems to be missing. Don’t ask me to post it; the attachment is 14 megabytes – another gaffe.
I’m not sure whether to be disgusted with Pinocchio from trying to put such a spin on their terrible review, or impressed they did such a good job. Perhaps a little bit of both.