Brands need to braver in courting controversy. Graham Goodkind, founder of Frank PR, believes they should seek "objections, bans and complaints" through PR stunts and guerilla marketing
without being concerned by "collateral damage". Goodkind was speaking at
Advertising Week Europe to remind brands that, in his opinion, they sometimes need to offend a few people. While he
concedes brands can sometimes go too far, such as Paddy Power's banned advert regarding bets on the outcome of the Pistorius trial, this should not keep them from speaking to their target audience.
Heated debate, he believes, is great for coverage and if you annoy 'some old age pensioner in leafy Surrey' does it really matter if they are not your target audience?
Goodkind was behind a
PR stunt which offered to repay speeding fines for anyone caught over the limit on the release day of a computer game called Burnout. It was criticised by MPs and, Goodkind reveals, he was never going
to go through with the promise anyway. Constructing controversy is a valid way of getting brands noticed and also detracting from other negative news coverage.
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