Mock Outrage Over An Ad You Paid For? Reverse Streisand Effect

from the oh-come-on dept

As the concept of The Streisand Effect has become more and more well known, the question I'm most frequently asked is whether or not a company stupidly demanding something be taken down is really being done by someone that understands the likely result and is just using the resulting "attention" to their advantage -- that is, are they pulling a "reverse Streisand Effect." It's often pretty difficult to sort out these cases from the real Streisand Effect, and when in doubt, it's often best to just assume the simplest explanation that the company really was acting stupidly.

However, in this latest case, I'm really not sure -- and am starting to suspect a Reverse Streisand Effect by J.C. Penney to promote a new viral video. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that J.C. Penney is pissed off at its ad firm Saatchi & Saatchi for "leaking" a "fake" ad that "appears to be endorsing teen sex." The ad involves a young boy and girl practicing getting dressed as quickly as possible before the boy goes over to the girl's house to hang out in the basement, while the girl's mother is upstairs. Supposedly J.C. Penney "instructed Saatchi to take any action it can to have the ad removed from the Internet."

Uh huh. And now, suddenly, that ad is all over the internets. The whole thing smacks of mock outrage with a demand to takedown content knowing that it will only spread far and wide. So what do people think? Is this a Reverse Streisand Effect or is J.C. Penney just clueless?

Filed Under: commercials, reverse streisand effect, streisand effect, takedowns
Companies: j.c. penney, saatchi & saatchi


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  1. identicon
    wasnt me, 25 Jun 2008 @ 4:44am

    well considering Teen sex is becoming more and more of a hot topic, i think Saatchi & Saatchi came up with this add but JC weren't confident enough to go with it, so some1 (im thinking the team in saatchi that came up with the add) proposed to do this.

    so if the adds became too controversial JC penny would be off the hook so to speak while Saatchi would still get credit for it.

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