What publicity stunts went horribly wrong?


They say “there’s no such thing as bad publicity,” but have you ever thought about what publicity stunts went horribly wrong? In reality, things aren’t quite that easy out there in the real world, where outlandish publicity stunts can result in embarrassment, irate customers, and a loss of reputation.

These are some of the most famous publicity stunts that went horribly wrong, which were staged by Lifelock Inc (NYSE: LOCK), Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE: DPS) and others. Lifelock Inc (NYSE: LOCK), an identity theft protection company, ran a years-long campaign in which it put CEO Todd Davis’ social security number on its website and public billboards, and dared anyone to try and steal his identity. In September 2004, General Motors Company (NYSE: GM) signed a deal with Oprah Winfrey in which it would give away 276 Pontiac G6 cars, whose popularity was sputtering, to hand-picked audience members. Oprah Winfrey praised the car on her massively popular show for about 30 minutes, telling the audience that the Pontiac G6 had “one of the most powerful” engines and a satellite radio. You are not going to believe what had happened.
A publicity stunt is a planned event designed to attract the public’s attention to the event’s organizers or their cause. Publicity stunts can be professionally organized, or set up by amateurs.uch events are frequently utilized by advertisers, celebrities, athletes, and politicians.Organizations sometimes seek publicity by staging newsworthy events that attract media coverage. They can be in the form of groundbreakings, world record attempts, dedications, press conferences or organized protests. By staging and managing the event, the organization tries to gain some control over what is reported in the media. Successful publicity stunts have news value, offer photo, video, and sound bite opportunities, and are arranged primarily for media coverage. It is sometimes hard for organizations to design successful publicity stunts that highlight the message instead of burying it.The importance of publicity stunts is generating news interest and awareness for the concept, product or service being marketed.

If you want to see what publicity stunts went horribly wrong, check Insider Monkey’s list of 5 Publicity Stunts That Went Horribly Wrong and find out more about this interesting topic.