WordPress just deleted my post so I’ll have to write it again. (exasperated sigh)

Over the last few days there has been a confusing array of good publicity that is actually bad, and pad publicity that is actually good. (along side the regular and less confusing stuff.)

It’s bad but actally good to call bush crap, but it’s bad but actually bad for your batteries to blow up. It’s bad for your batteries to blow up but it’s good when those of a competitior blow up etc…

It struck me however, whilst reading an article in the York Press, that astroturfing can be used as much to generate artificial outcry as artificial support. The article was about York’s first ever adult club and it is a prime example of this tactic. The article featured several quotes from councillors and residents (all aged 60 + with crusty, old sounding names) alongside a quote from the advert for “attractife confident [girls] aged between 18 and 35.” It also contained opening times, the opening date, the name and the location of the club.

I couldn’t work out whether the subtly managed outcry was diabolically clever or simply diabolical but it struck me that pubilitcy is all about context.  If 50 cent had boycotted hoodies for some macho reason like he though it wasn’t cool that he couldn’t look people in the eye (or whatever) it would have done many times more harm than the government’s hate a hoodie campaign. 

Publicity’s value depends on who’s saying what, when. So there really is no such thing as bad publicity just context dependent publicity. (I doubt, however, that this will catch on as a soundbite.)

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