Is The Era Of ‘All Publicity Is Good Publicity’ Over?

Is The Era Of ‘All Publicity Is Good Publicity’ Over?
SHARE
THIS



In her latest post for B&T, 3 Phase Marketing’s Marnie Vinall (pictured below) argues that in the digital age, there’s little benefit to be had when the reviews turn sour…

According to Cambridge Dictionary, the saying ‘any publicity is good publicity’ or ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’ is said to emphasise that it is better that something receives bad publicity than no publicity at all. But in 2019, is this really still the case?

0

The phrase is rumoured to have first been said in the 19th century by American showman and circus owner Phineas T.Barnum. The notion also follows sentiment suit of Oscar Wilde’s famous quote, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about”.

This may have been true in the days where consumer’s options were more limited than they are today. The digital evolution had yet to spiral into the giant it now is and consumers favoured convenience and price-point of a product or service far over its social and environmental values and impact. But the world has changed since then and along with it, how consumers choose where to spend their money and who on.

Today, bad publicity for a brand can put nails in its coffin. Companies can see unrecoverable down falls from PR nightmares where bad publicity really is bad publicity.

Take business partners Kyle Stagoll and Dave Nelson who recently closed their sushi-pizza restaurant in Surry Hills, Sydney, after having the business go into liquidation with debts of $436,000. As reported in The Sydney Morning Herald, the pair blamed the business going bust just three months after opening on high wages, high rents, a slowdown in consumer spending and UberEats.

Stagoll was quoted in the article saying, “Does that mean hospo workers are drastically over paid for the value they produce for a business? Probably.” To this, the pair received a mammoth about of backlash online. There was many news and opinion pieces circulating just hours after the SMH piece went live, slamming the pair for blaming their downfall on having to pay their workers correctly and not on the fact that they sold sushi-pizza. A potentially under researched idea before implementation – at best.

Overnight, the two names which no one outside their friends, family and employees knew, now were being condemned in the public eye and their reputation in the hospitality industry took a massive hit – potentially one they wouldn’t recover from. Now, if they wanted to get a loan to open a new place, or form partnerships to grow their business, they are going to have a lot more trouble than if nobody knew who they were.

Socially conscious consumers

When it comes to products and services, consumers have more choice than ever before, meaning they can buy with their values along with their budgets and preferences. If a brand is slammed in the media for poor working conditions, their customer-base can pretty easily jump ship to their competitors without too much hassle or thought.

In 2017, beauty brand giant Nars saw many of their existing customers boycott the company after it introduced animal testing on its make-up in order to sell in China. After the announce, the brand saw a wave of criticism and an e-petition to see the company stop selling in China, which racked up close to 250,000 signatures.

BBC UK reported that a previous fan wrote online, “Guess I just won’t be buying Nars anymore. Animal lives are more important than reaching another market.”

Consumers could easily make the choice to stop buying Nars because the competition and choice of similar products to what the brand makes is so high. The bad publicity meant that once loyal customers were changing their alliance based on their personal values.

With the rise and spread of information across the web, when brands take a PR hit like this one, they don’t just get increased mentions online and added brand awareness, they lose their customer base.

Nowadays, brands aren’t just competing with the consumer on price point and product, but also the brand and products social, environmental or political impacts.

That’s not say brands or companies can’t turn PR blunders into wins, but the work needs to be done in order to see positive outcomes from bad publicity. It’s no longer going to work for brands to shrug off bad PR and say, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. We’re now living in an era where bad publicity not only exists but can also destroy businesses and the people who run them too.

Please login with linkedin to comment

Marnie Vinall

Latest News

The Key To Understanding Your Competitors
  • Opinion

The Key To Understanding Your Competitors

Suzzanne Laidlaw (pictured below) is an internationally accredited business coach, global leader in business planning and author of the new book, “What’s Your Plan?”. In this guest post, Laidlaw argues that examining your competitors might be just as important for post COVID-19 success as examining your own… The industries around you are always changing, new […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
George Savvides Appointed As SBS Chair
  • Media

George Savvides Appointed As SBS Chair

SBS has appointed George Savvides AM as the new SBS Chair, as announced by the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts for Communications, Paul Fletcher MP, today.  SBS Managing Director, James Taylor; said: “On behalf of the Board and SBS, I’d like to congratulate George on his appointment. Since being appointed as Deputy […]

Tasmanian Paper Rejigs Aussie Map, Moving Victoria Off The Mainland
  • Media

Tasmanian Paper Rejigs Aussie Map, Moving Victoria Off The Mainland

Tasmania’s Hobart-based Mercury has decided to rearrange the Australian map by moving itself onto the mainland and pushing Victoria off. As Victoria’s rise in COVID-19 cases continues, the Tassie newspaper decided to take matters into its own hands and physically banish the state, placing Tasmania between South Australia and NSW instead. Rivalry between Australian states […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
QUT Launches Refreshed ‘Real World’ Campaign Via BCM
  • Campaigns

QUT Launches Refreshed ‘Real World’ Campaign Via BCM

QUT’s long-term partner BCM has developed brand and student recruitment campaigns for the university for the past 19 years, featuring real student stories about their QUT experiences and real-world success as graduates. But what makes this year different? To reflect QUT’s vision for 2020, BCM has revisited the ‘classic’ QUT graduate success story formula, but […]

Big Brother & Kargo Team Up In Market-First Branded Takeover Ad
  • Technology

Big Brother & Kargo Team Up In Market-First Branded Takeover Ad

To coincide with the launch of Seven’s Big Brother, creative performance company Kargo has announced the findings of its launch campaign for the program, utilizing the advertising industry’s only mobile, 100% share of voice Branded Takeover solution. Working with a variety of publishers, Channel 7 harnessed Kargo’s Branded Takeover campaign during promotion for the new […]

Stateside Sports Selects Emarsys For CDP Technology
  • Technology

Stateside Sports Selects Emarsys For CDP Technology

Stateside Sports, Australia’s home of United States sports lifestyle, has partnered with Emarsys, the only omnichannel customer engagement platform built to accelerate business outcomes, as it looks to double its customer database and retail presence within the next two years.