Wednesday, June 25, 2008

As Long as They Spell the Name Right

Free Publicity

That’s one of the humorous addenda to the famous axiom that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity.” (Another one is “except for your own obituary.”) The expression that all publicity is good isn’t always the case, of course — just ask the folks at Menu Foods — but generally speaking, it holds true, barring extraordinary circumstances.

So how exactly is it “ridiculous for people to assume the attention was good for business” as Jennifer Wright, the founder of Green Shift Inc. contends in The Ottawa Citizen today? As noted by Garth Turner on his blog: “It [GSI] has received non-stop national publicity. Millions of people who never knew it existed, do now. This traffic, headlines, notoriety and attention cost the company nothing. To achieve this level of brand recognition would have taken a marketing budget bigger than, I suspect, gross sales.”

Clearly, this attention might certainly have been unequivocally “good for business” had the matter been handled differently by the folks at GSI. According to Alexa, the company’s internet traffic has “shifted” in a positive direction by 3.3 million places in the last week. Untold numbers of people are now familiar with the company’s brand, as well as its various products and services. Had GSI simply posted a disclaimer on their site — as the Liberals did on theirs — stating they were in no way affiliated with the LPC’s “Green Shift” policy surely there would have been no possible confusion whatsoever. That might have been a considerably more productive strategy as opposed to say, calling the LPC “this stupid party”...

As indicated by LPC spokesman Joseph Mayer, “We’ve clearly stated on our website that we’re not affiliated, and we’re not a company that’s trying to steal business from them or anything. It’s not even a situation where our version of the green shift is somehow in conflict with what they’re doing. I think there’s a commonality of interests.”

Update: Jeff Davidson raises some good points here and concludes — “One more time, I hope Jennifer Wright realizes that the support she has received from the legions of right-wing nutjobs who suddenly support environmental organizations like hers is fleeting. Once the story has died, and it’s barely breathing now, they will soon forget about her and her company. They certainly won’t buy her products and services. They don’t believe in the cause.”