An attitude that bolsters arrogance in the name of confidence is often volatile when it comes to public relations. This sentiment was proven true last week when the Outdoor Advertising Agency (OAA) launched a radical advertising campaign in London. In order to prove their point that you can grab someone’s attention through outdoor advertising, the OAA placed large banners and billboards on the sides of buildings and buses reading: “Career Women Make Bad Mothers.”
Wow. I just heard millions of jaws hitting the pavement. I am going to try and fit my big feet into a woman’s shoes. Yep, I would be outraged. The pompous nerve of the very statement is insulting to, quite frankly, everyone. I am the son of a working mother. She did a great job. She is one of the reasons I can write this blog today.
So what lessons in mass communication can we derive from this awful, demeaning display of human integrity? First, a loud message can make a statement, it can draw attention. Utilizing what attracts people is one of the most important parts of advertising. Second, you can be bold without being stupid. The poor choice of topic could have easily read something just as bold and less offensive. Which brings me to my final and most important point; you cannot neglect to research a plan before acting on it. As practitioners of healthy public relations, we are taught to always become well acquainted with the facts and background information of the project we are working on. A simple screening of the advertisements before they were placed would have revealed how much damage they would cause.
The OAA has since canceled the campaign and removed all the advertisements. All the OAA had to do was follow the textbook principles of PR to avoid public embarrassment and humiliation.
- Professional Development Starts with “PR”
- The Art of Communications
- News that Gets Noticed
- Old Navy’s “The SuperModelquins” Commercials
- The Psychographics of Media Planning