Do You Need A Scandal?

I am always amazed at how amazingly naive people are.

When Tiger Woods had his huge scandal last summer, I told many people this was going to make him a much bigger super star then ever before. Now Tiger is back to dominating the golf course and sponsors are coming back bigger than ever.

Kanye West became a household name with his statement of “George Bush hates black people” on national TV. A couple years after that, he came out and said the MTV music awards were rigged and staged when Britney beat him out. Kanye was the talk of the interweb last year when he interrupted Taylor Swift, claiming that she did not deserve the award because his friend Beyoncé had “the best video of all time.” He does an amazing job of always keeping his name in the press.

Chris Brown beat up his girlfriend. This got national press. As a father of 2 daughters, every time I hear his song I think about what I would do to him if he beat up one of my daughters…. But he makes good music and remains on my shower/sing-a-long playlist. Ya, I know…

Britney stays in the headlines by being a complete white trash loser. But I like her and her music.

But before Tiger Woods, many years ago there was this NBA star named Michael Jordan who cheated on his wife…

Ok, but does the same apply to products?

When I was a kid (1982), I remember bottles of Tylenol had been tampered with and laced with cyanide. Many people died and it remained the top news story for months. Nobody was ever charged for the crime and it remains unsolved.

In 2000, Bridgestone Tires randomly blew up, mostly on the Ford Explorer (this example actually counts for Bridgestone and Ford). More then 200 deaths and 700 injuries occurred.

In 2007, Jet Blue made headlines for trapping customers on the runway for hours.

I could go on forever about people and products that have had so-called “bad press.”

But how many of these people/brands failed? How many of them are much bigger today than when their scandal hit? Now lecture me about how bad press isn’t good press.

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