PR antics: the not-so-good, the bad and the ugly

ShrekThe not-so-good

To some ad executives and business owners, having a gorgeous model for a product photoshoot might sound like jolly good idea and a guaranteed ticket into the papers. So far, so good. Surely no picturedesk would pay any attention to an ugly punter trying to sell ice cream, right?

But is it really necessary to have Georgia Salpa and her babe troop stripped to their bikinis for every single shoot regardless of the product, from vouchers to lottery tickets? Or indeed the season? No matter how gorgeous Georgia might be, babe-shots are not just sexist but also tacky and passé. It doesn’t matter how effective they might be at getting your product shot into the papers, they show poor taste and give a negative image of your company. Besides, who remembers what was Georgia actually promoting?

The bad

Club Orange’s ‘do you like my bits?’ video has got the public talking about sexism in ad campaigns – again. It feels like round two of the Hunky Dory’s ‘are you staring at my crisps?’ malarkey. So much that we were actually wondering if it is the same creative team behind both campaigns. Apart from any offence it might cause, the Club Orange ad is plainly silly – of the schoolyard type (yes, we know, bits rhymes with tits). It is not clever, it is not funny and it is definitely not good. But if Marketing heads were looking for the shock factor and quick column inches, they’ve done a fantastic job. Now, do you like their bits? We don’t.

The ugly

We are still trying to find out if Beautiful People’s Shrek virus warning is genuine or just very clever marketing – also of the shocking type. The dating site announced a few days ago that ‘malware’ had been placed by a former employee affecting the site’s software and letting 30,000 ugly people join (horror!) and be accepted into the ‘exclusive’ site. Of course, those ‘uglies’ will be now up for eviction by peer condemnation and kicked out – as the site operates on a ‘vote in the beauties’ and ‘vote out the ugly ones’ system. The virus, called ‘Shrek’, hasn’t compromised private details of any members – funnily enough – but has given the dating site huge publicity globally. So we vote for the second option: it is a PR stunt, ugly but effective.

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