I picked this tale up from the excellent www.odwyerpr.com site. I am sure this is a scam.
H&K VS. DE NIRO
Hill & Knowlton is handling PR for the National Italian American Foundation, which is spearheading a coalition to persuade Italy to drop its plan to award honorary citizenship to Robert De Niro. The coalition is upset with De Niro for providing the voice to Lino, the leader of a mob of great white sharks in “Shark Tale,” the animated film from DreamWorks.
That role furthers a negative stereotype of Italian-Americans, according to Steve Aiello, senior counselor at H&K and a trustee of NIAF’s board. Aiello told O’Dwyer’s that the Italian-American community is especially upset because the film is marketed to children. Studies, he said, show that negative stereotyping targeted at young children has a long-lasting damaging effect. Those studies include one funded by Steven Spielberg, a DreamWorks founder.
Aiello said Italy has put the De Niro matter on hold. “Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is now re-looking the decision to honor De Niro,” after receiving complaints from the coalition, which includes Sons of Italy, Columbus Citizens Foundation and Unico.
The Foundation, on Oct. 27, sent a letter to De Niro’s PR firm, Stan Rosenfield PR in Los Angeles, which outlined its complaints.
It has not received a reply.