How far is too far in PR? – Madonna at the Brits 2015
Last night Madonna at the 2015 Brit Awards had a ‘wardrobe malfunction’. But rather than expose herself, which she does anyway as a regular fashion statement, she got caught in her cape. The tumble saw her tugged by the neck down a flight of stairs.
I was watching it live and noted two things. She struggled to undo the cape in the first place and after the fall I took an audible intake of breath, but then I quickly realised that the crowd at the O2 did not have the same reaction. No one made a peep. Silence reigned. Which made me wonder if everyone had just witnessed what I had? Was that real? Thank god for the rewind button.
Visibly shaken, she powered through her big finale. A true professional.
Today, the day after rumours have been flying left, right and centre that this was in fact a PR stunt.
Will we ever know if this is true? Probably not.
But it raises a really good question…
In PR, how far is too far?
There can be a lot of grey areas in PR. For me, risking someones health in any way is most definitely a step too far. I’m sure most people would agree with me.
Would the material girl, Queen of pop, risk falling from a height to establish headlines? Surely not?
No doubt it has secured her virtually every post-Brit headline, lit up social media and set tongues wagging round the office water coolers of the western world.
‘Someones getting fired’ and ‘Where there’s a blame, there’s a claim’ have certainly done the rounds today.
It also drew attention to the cape’s designer, Armani, with the sketch going out in every news article as well as being used by Madonna herself (well her PR team) on Instagram…
Does the reward outweigh the risk?
When Red Bull sponsored a man jumping from the edge of space and broadcast it live they were taking the biggest risk in their brand history, in fact in any brands history. If anything had gone wrong it would have destroyed Red Bulls reputation. But the risk paid off and secured their notoriety.
If this was a PR stunt, then it is similar to Red Bull. Someone’s life was risked for PR. It only works if if is successful. Otherwise the reputation of the brand, service or person is damaged beyond belief.
Everyone today is commenting on Madonna’s professionalism. That will be her legacy from last night. It’s also done an excellent job in introducing her to a whole new generation of music fans.
So it’s clear to see why it was called in to question that this was a ‘PR stunt’. But like I said…we’ll never know!
What do you think?