PRSA Presses Freedom of Speech

PRSA filed a friend of the court brief last week in the Supreme
Court's Nike vs. Kasky case. A ruling in the case, which many
corporate PR departments regard as a seminal factor in their
corporate freedom of speech, is expected by July. The case is an
appeal of an earlier decision from the California Supreme Court,
which ruled that Nike's responses to attacks from activist
organizations were "commercial speech" and subject to the same laws
that govern advertising (PRN, Aug. 12, 2002). This brief joins
those filed by the Bush administration, the U.S. Chamber of
Commerce, the American Civil Liberties Union, organized labor and
major corporations. PRSA was joined by the Council of PR Firms, the
Arthur Page Society, The Public Affairs Council and The Institute
for Public Relations in a brief that stated the California Supreme
Court's decision "will have an unfair, unprecedented and materially
chilling impact on the ability of companies ... to speak on issues
of public concern."