Monthly Archives: April 2013

Fake controversial advertisements go viral

David Waller in his preliminary study on ‘What factors make controversial advertising offensive?’ presented at the Australian and New Zealand Communications Association Conference in 2004 stated that controversial advertisings that is racist, sexist, or have violent images, particularly when targeting the female market can impact negatively on a brand. But what happens when these are fake advertisements? There is a trend for people to create fake, high quality advertisements and release them via social media with the aim of them going viral – there are even awards for fake ads. In some instances these fake advertisements can be highly controversial in their message and can result in the public relations nightmare for the actual company. Yes although fake, these can still affect the image of a company/brand and result in decrease in sales and boycotting of the product, and the end result comes down to how the company handle the fake campaign. Continue reading


The good, the bad and the ugly

Today a very tragic event happened in Boston, USA, during the charity runners part of the marathon, as most of the elite runners had already finished. It is absolutely awful that events of this nature occur in the world and my thoughts, well wishes and prayers go to those who are affected by this bombing. What people can do to other innocent people and why is beyond my comprehension. Continue reading

Not all controversial advertising is good publicity.

In today’s society, we are bombarded with advertising on a daily basis, seeing thousands, if not millions of advertisements. It is a cluttered market place; there is no doubt about that. Companies want to get through that clutter and noise so their target market can understand their message which will hopefully persuade or influence them to contact the company, visit the store, and ultimately buy the product. A few companies are now going with controversial ads to stand out from the crowd and also with the aim that the ad might go viral so more people hear their message. With social media the current trend, people tend to voice their complaints – whether on bad service or a bad ad – via this medium faster than ever before and companies then have possible collateral damage that can affect the company and the brand for a long time. There is that old saying that ‘all publicity is good publicity’, however when companies and/or brands step over the line, it can actually cause product boycotts, negative public reaction and a decrease in sales. Continue reading