Just when you thought you heard about Janet Jackson’s boob for the last time, along comes a group of NY flacks to the stars telling Ad Age that the stunt was great and that they aspire to have their clients top it.
What did the completely cluelss star flackers miss? A relevant message! A clever idea! Guerilla marketing is nothing new. Its foundations are rooted in interactions between peoples in long lost ancient civilizations. But when the masters of PR do stunts they are creative, interesting, and/or fun. Occasionally they are even meaningful. The Jackson stunt was anything but.
Celebrity publicist James LaForce of the NY flack house LaForce & Stevens insipidly tells Ad Age, the Jackson episode was “extremely successful. … We love stunts at our agency and she opened the door for more people to take risks,” he added. “It raises the bar for all of us.” Yeah, right!
The Downside is Clear
Desiree Gruber, president of Full Picture, a PR management company that counts as clients Lisa Marie Presley and Arnold Schwarzenegger (and we all know how classy the Gropinator can be,) notes that in terms of coverage, Ms. Jackson certainly overshadowed the main event, both the game and the commercials.
Said Andy Morris, principal at Andy Morris & Co., a New York PR firm that works closely with the music industry: “It is the ultimate stunt. I don’t see any downside for her. It fits perfectly with the new CD that’s about sex.” Here’s the downside: it made Jackson a laughing stock, cost her a Grammy Awards Show appearance, and let the world know that she is just as weird as brother Michael.
Image building isn’t about cheap stunts. It is about great products, creatively promoted over time. Jackson’s stunt wasn’t clever, funny, sexy, smart or interesting. It was a cheap shot in every sense of the word. And the PR firms that revere it are what give the industry a bad name.
Time to tuck that boob back in and get on with our lives.