“To sue, or not to sue: that is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer The slings and arrows of outrageous online reviews, Or to take suit against a sea of social media, And by opposing end them?” – HeathG with apologies to Shakespeare It seems that some business still don’t appreciate the perils of trying to silence critics with defamation suits. From McLibel, to the NYC Skank and Lindsay Lohan – businesses and celebrities are learning the hard way that suing your critics in to submission can be a very risky proposition.The latest example comes all the way from Kalamazoo, and it’s a classic example of what not to do in the the hyperconnected age of social media.
This week has seen a couple of examples of organisations generating publicity via controversy. Sometimes controversy works as a publicity tool and other times – one has to question whether it risks diluting or obscuring the real message. For the promoters of the film Kick-Ass, upsetting groups like ‘Focus on Family‘ is probably great publicity. When your target audience is 16-24 year olds, having religious groups fulminating in a tabloid news story about the violence and lewdness of your film seems like a win. Perhaps the main complaint of the Kick-Ass promoters would be that the controversy seems to have died down too quickly. Meanwhile, VicRoads looks to have generated more controversy than it originally intended with a series of YouTube videos targeted at young […]
David Penberthy’s article in ‘The Punch” today looks at the role of celebrity agent / PR man Max Markson in the recent Lara Bingle affair. The thrust of Penberthey’s article is that Markson’s attempts to maximise the short term revenue opportunity from the recent media attention has in fact harmed, rather than helped, Bingle’s reputation. Penberthy is well aware of the irony of his moral outrage: “I’m under no illusions about the perception of journalists and journalism. And, as a former editor of The Daily Telegraph, I’m not about to embark on a career as an ethicist. “ (The Punch, 15/03/2010) Maybe not a career as an ethicist, but perhaps the ABC should consider him as the next host of Media Watch. Whilst he’s no ‘clean skin’, […]