Wednesday, April 18, 2007

“No Such Thing As Bad Publicity” Applies Only In Hollywood

Anyone remember the Atkins diet craze and what happened when Dr. Atkins died? Since his death four years ago this month, the Atkins diet and its related consumer products have fallen into disfavor as if the diet guru had died of heart failure connected to his protein-heavy, fat-laced Atkins plan.

Media reports swirled linking his death to a heart attack. But, in fact, head trauma from a fall caused his demise. One could argue media scrutiny brought the diet approach to its knees. A statement released to the media by his wife suggests that there is such a thing as bad publicity for consumer products.

We counsel our clients that the adage “there is no such thing as bad publicity” applies only in Hollywood. Movies and TV programs may benefit from whatever coverage they or their stars can get—good or bad. Products and services sold in the B2B domain, however, rarely suffer the sensational publicity garnered by the rich and famous.

But B2B media efforts do frequently suffer from being off-strategy and off-message, and these misguided media efforts amount to “bad publicity.” In B2B-wood, not just any publicity, but publicity designed to reinforce overall brand positioning is the way to support blockbuster results at the home office and achieve a star on the B2B walk of fame.

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