‘PR is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you…’ (CIPR) and, when delivered correctly, it has the power to deliver exceptional results on a widespread scale.
However, PR campaigns don’t always run smoothly or go according to plan, with LG’s latest publicity stunt generating interest for all of the wrong reasons.
The global electronics giant was recently forced to pull the plug on a series of publicity stunts aimed at promoting its new G2 smartphone after one of them unfortunately didn’t go according to plan.
LG’s PR team had decided to release 100 helium balloons, each containing a voucher entitling the recipient to a free G2 smartphone. Members of the public were then encouraged via social media to look out for and grab the balloons after they had been released.
However, rather than just simply trying to bag themselves a ‘winning’ balloon, members of the public immediately realised the most sure-fire way of walking away with a voucher-filled balloon, was to try and burst them. As soon as the balloons were airborne, people shot and stabbed at them with all manner of items, ranging from BB guns to knives and sticks.
And as people scrambled to grab and take aim at the balloons, a scrum broke out in which 20 people were injured. What may have seemed like a good idea on paper, resulted in LG being forced to cancel any similar future activities it had planned, compensate those who had been injured and set to work on repairing its damaged reputation.
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