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When PR stunts go wrong

Posted by putsimply on 30th October 2009

There have been some truly memorable PR stunts that will stick in the mind forever and that raised the awareness of a particular campaign or company beyond all expectations. The tourism Queensland advert for the ‘best job in the world‘ being one. However there are some that should never have left the meeting in which they were conceived.

The latest attempt from Latvia falls into the latter category.

A mobile phone operator decided (for no conceivable reason) to hoax a meteorite crash which resulted in the military and emergency services being called out to investigate. The company said that the stunt was intended to ‘distract attention from the country’s economic crisis and give people something ‘creative and exciting’ to talk about.’

Well they’ve certainly done that.

The Latvian Government didn’t see any funny side though and have cut its ties with the company and the police have said they will be launching an investigation that could result in criminal charges.

I’ll admit that in various brainstorms at EML we’ve come up with some pretty daft ideas that we’ve all had a giggle at. But these ideas were just that, daft and instantly filed as such. Instances like this make you wonder just how the idea got all the way through the company and approved by those at the highest level without someone thinking it might just not be such a good idea.