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No Publicity is Bad Publicity?

The Curate’s Egg: Good and Bad in Parts 

They say ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’ but perhaps that belief belongs to the Max Clifford School of thinking.  For most companies involved in business communications, bad publicity is not a good thing at all.The winner of the ‘Funniest Joke’ at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Comedian Zoe Lyons, in her Mangled Mantra of the Messed-up Modern Mind Show, took a pot-shot at troubled singer Amy Winehouse. 

Her winning one-liner was: “I can’t believe Amy Winehouse self-harms. She’s so irritating she must be able to find someone to do it for her.”

Afterwards Lyons defended her joke, agreeing that while self harm was not funny, her joke was. Lyons was lambasted for her crack about self harm, yet we all now recognize her name for ‘the Amy Winehouse joke’. This bad publicity has raised the comedian’s profile internationally.

However, if we view it from Amy Winehouse’s PR house it is not so good, as it re-emphasizes the negative side to her life and not her showmanship. Sometimes beginning a PR campaign whether it be business or celebrity can appear to open the door to cracks and jibes from all sides. 

As a predominantly B2B PR company, we normally advise our clients to make sure their house is in order before going public with their news. And if things do go awry, then straight talking is the only way to manage the fall out.  Having said that, none of our clients have been pilloried at the Fringe Festival so maybe they, and us, are doing something right!





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