When does a public relations firm turn down a huge international client looking for reputation management?

When it’s dubbed “mission impossible” by the industry.

FIFA, the world soccer body that organizes the quadrennial World Cup tournament, is looking for a public relations firm as it prepares to improve its reputation ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, both of which are being held in countries which have reportedly abused human rights. PRWeek reports several high-profile international firms have pulled themselves from contention for the contract.

SM& President and crisis communications expert Ashley McCown weighs in on the thought process behind industry leaders taking a pass on this challenge in the PRWeek report.

“An agency that takes on FIFA risks violating their own core principles as company. I would be more worried about that rather than thinking about whether or not you’d have a credible shot of doing great work for them,” McCown said.

You can read the full article here.