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
    ad-critic, 28 Jun 2008 @ 10:16pm

    Funny why everyone is blaming JC Penney or Epoch films for being the culprit when Saatchi is the agency that benefits most by winning the award ; P

    It's equally funny that Saatchi has to scam ads like this when agencies like Crispin does cut through breakout viral and integrated work for big names and paying clients.

    I question the relevance of agencies like Saatchi, which can only do creative work by bypassing the client. This spot is done by Saatchi as no production agency will presume to be a client's ad agency by doing this to win awards.

    I don't really think this ad is really any good in that it does not tie with the tagline and fails to connect with the key audience for JC Penny i.e. parents.

    So what if it has gone viral? Interesting viral videos are a dime a dozen these days with limited lifespan. And most do not build brands or connect people to the brand in a meaningful manner.

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