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Why Bad Publicity Is Good Publicity

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Header image of the article: "Why Bad Publicity Is Good Publicity". Reasons why you can leverage bad publicity to your advantage.

We have all heard the saying “Any publicity is good publicity”. Do you really believe it is factually correct?

It's more dependent on the  brand. The product or brand evaluation can get hurt by a negative impression. For example, a negative movie or book review can decrease its sales

These findings seem to contradict in a number of other examples. Negative publicity can boost your brand awareness if yours is a relatively less known or unknown product or brand.

For instance, the film Borat made ruthless fun of Kazakhstan and after that, Hotel.com reported a 300% increase in request for information about the country.

According to a research in the journal, Marketing Science, if the New York Times Book Review critique gave negative feedback about a book by an unknown author, it increased its sales by 45% than the expected sales.

Furthermore, being reviewed by the New York Times is in itself a signal that it is an outstanding book compared to the world of available books.

However, through product awareness and accessibility, negative publicity can have a positive impact. 

Moreover, further studies show that as time passes, people forget the relation in which they heard about things, they just start recognizing the brand and hence start following it.

Thus the associated negativity is forgotten. 

Why Bad Publicity Is Good Publicity


The effect of negative publicity becomes positive after a time period but its instant effect depends on the level of negativity.

  • Hearing that a friend hated a restaurant, you will not like to visit it but the name gets stuck in your head. You might consider dining at the same place after a long time, forgetting what you heard from your friend.  
Did you know, sometimes brands willingly plan such PR stunt to dominate the news? The potential payoffs can come huge. There are many ways you can leverage bad publicity to your advantage.


The most benefiting industry from bad publicity is Entertainment. Often, a negative move by the actors, films, or TV programmes are exaggerated so much that it turn out to be favourable for them.

Moreover, new entrants gain more from such PR strategies. As it stimulates their presence in the industry and also people like to see the dramatic reality of the public.

Michael Jackson’s music sales increased when he was in news for child molestation.  

How To React To Bad Publicity


 Featured in the article: "Why Bad Publicity Is Good Publicity". Speaker scaring people with bad publicity.

When bad publicity hits you, coming out strong and bold can really help to promote anything.

  • For example, when media named popular singer Taylor Swift as capricious man-eater, because of the subsequent songs about her love life, she launched “Blank Space” album and poked fun of her own dating life. Hence, making the album a huge hit.
Nowadays, a majority of the audience is on social media. It intrigues more of the controversial news. After all, people love conflict.

  • During Miss Universe Pageant 2015, the host Steve Harvey accidentally announced the wrong winner. The incident got popular and also remembered for the memes it inspired. 
  • After the pageant, it received a 199% increase in press mention and 123% increase on monthly organic traffic to MissUniverse.com, compared to the previous year.

Is Bad Publicity Always Good?


 Featured in the article: "Why Bad Publicity Is Good Publicity". News stand, publicity.

Negative publicity can have a neutral to positive effect. Although the smaller brands receive less attention than larger ones, the impact of bad publicity is much greater on smaller business.

Moreover, brands with negative stories cover more social share and headlines than positive ones. 

Publicity influences information processing, attitudes, memory, word of mouth, etc. As we saw, controversial stories circulate more among the people and benefit the brand in unexpected ways.

So, try to find what’s bizarre, or novel about your brand and plan your PR pitches accordingly.

Some say bad publicity or good publicity, is all publicity! You only have to leverage bad publicity to your advantage and capitalize on it.


Share this article with your social followers and show them how bad publicity is good publicity after all.
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Lyuthar Jacobs is working as a blog editor at Dealslands.co.uk. He loves to write about Lifestyle, self-improvement and motivation. Here in the above post he is sharing about things ways you can leverage bad publicity to your advantage.


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