The folks at the Boston Business Journal held a Valentine’s Day party today to present awards to some of the area’s “most admired businesses.”
Just who was doing the admiring of these businesses was not exactly clear. Nor were the reasons behind all the admiration. In fact, some of the businesses getting the awards were in the headlines recently and really wish they hadn’t been.
Liberty Mutual, for example, which in 2011 accepted $46 million in tax breaks to build its new headquarters in Boston and spent $4.5 million renovating the CEO’s bathroom, was honored for “meeting clients’ ever changing needs since 1912″ (and for keeping up with the latest in high-end plumbing fixtures).
State Street Bank, which in 2012 received a $11.5 million tax break to construct a new office building, then laid off 260 more employees — for a total of more than 1200 in three years — was honored for being “a global force dedicated to finding better ways” (of shrinking payroll costs).
And Deloitte, which only two days ago was confessing to a Legislative Committee that the system it designed to manage the state’s unemployment benefits system and for which it has been paid $46 million, still has “more than 100 defects” seven months after its launch, was honored for “helping clients solve their toughest problems” (evidently, the first 100 don’t count).
Maybe next year, the Boston Business Journal ‘s Valentine’s Day event will include awards for public relations firms that excel at transforming notoriety into admiration. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it.