Is All Publicity Good Publicity?

December 22, 2019

We all know “those brands.” The brands that put out ads, whether intentional or not, that cause mass controversy. Megabrand Peloton recently became one of “those brands” that caused quite a media uproar when they released an ad that critics claim is sexist.

Hallmark also joined the ranks of those receiving mass criticism when they released an ad of a same-sex couple kissing and then later removed it from their channel. When incidents like this happen, it makes us wonder if the old saying “all publicity is good publicity” is really true. Truth is, it all depends on how you look at it.

How are Stock Prices and Sales Impacted?

With the holidays right around the corner, it’s unlikely that Hallmark will face a substantial lack of sales solely because of the ad. Peloton experienced a dip in their stock price, but that doesn’t mean they are down for the count. Only time will tell how – and if – they recover. When brands find themselves at the forefront of media attention, they have to ride the wave of controversy and do damage control along the way to keep sales intact.

What are the Repercussions?

It’s never good when a brand faces a social media crisis that generates traditional news coverage. Once a brand has reached the point of no return, it’s time for them to strategize. The best ways a brand can do damage control is by taking responsibility, apologizing, and then telling the public how they plan to remedy the situation. If they take these steps and show their audience that they are genuinely sorry, then they have a better chance at recovering.

Reputation Control

When faced with a controversy, it’s always important to look at the bigger picture. Is controversy going to help or hurt the brand? In almost every scenario, it causes more damage than it does good. Some brands use controversy to gain publicity, but it could potentially backfire and ultimately hurt their brand in the long run. When looking for ways to gain publicity, consider other tactics to achieve your goals before turning to controversy.