Are you ready for these quite interesting 5 publicity stunts that went horribly wrong? Good, keep on reading then!
They say “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” in the marketing world, but the reality is that things aren’t quite that easy out there in the real world, where outlandish publicity stunts can result in embarrassment, irate customers, and a loss of reputation. In a bid to get attention from the masses, companies sometimes go to extreme limits and fail badly.
Here are some of the most famous publicity stunts that went horribly wrong, which were staged by Lifelock Inc (NYSE:LOCK), Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE:DPS), Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), and Dell Technologies Inc (NYSE:DVMT).
5. Lifelock’s Persistent PR Failures
Lifelock Inc (NYSE:LOCK), an identity theft protection company, ran a years-long campaign in which it put CEO Todd Davis’ social security number on its website and public billboards, and dared anyone to try and steal his identity. The intention was to prove the mettle of the company’s guaranteed protection system and the level of confidence it had in its services. On the website, Davis claimed he was “absolutely confident” that Lifelock was protecting his social security number and name. But this publicity stunt went horribly wrong, as Davis’ identity was stolen over 12 times. In 2007, someone used the Lifelock CEO’s social security number to obtain a $500 loan from a check-cashing company. Later that year, someone from Georgia used the SSN proudly provided by Davis to open an AT&T/Cingular wireless account. There were many other cases revealed afterwards, which proved that Davis’ identity was ripped off by numerous people around the country. If that wasn’t bad enough in and of itself, Lifelock Inc (NYSE:LOCK) later agreed to pay a $12 million settlement to the Federal Trade Commission on charges of making “deceptive claims” about its services.