Sometimes I wonder what sort of qualification you need to be a "publicist." At the very least, you would think that it would help to be familiar with the basics of The Streisand Effect
, and making sure that you don't make something worse. Apparently, that's not the case for the publicist that Beyonce hired to try to get "unflattering" images taken of her at the Super Bowl disappeared. It all started with Buzzfeed doing what Buzzfeed does -- pulling together a silly collection of images. In this case, The 33 Fiercest Moments From Beyonce's Halftime Show
. That apparently resulted in a quick phone call from someone working as a publicist complaining that some of those photos were "unflattering," which was then followed up by an email... which Buzzfeed chose to post publicly as: The "Unflattering" Photos Beyonce's Publicist Doesn't Want You To See
If you can't read that, the important part says:
Thanks for taking my call. As discussed, there are some unflattering photos on your current feed that we are respectfully asking you to change. I am certain you will be able to find some better photos.
Now, to their credit, the publicist did not demand that the photos be changed, nor make any kind of legal threat. While that may seem obvious since there would be no legal basis for Beyonce to make such a threat, we've certainly seen others make similar legal threats in the past. So it was a respectful "request." And, you can certainly make the argument that Buzzfeed's response was anything but respectful. But, come on. This is Buzzfeed
we're talking about. Pageviews uber alles. So of course they're going to get more attention for it.
The end result? Suddenly lots and lots of sites are talking about it
and (of course) highlighting the unflattering photos
Some will argue, of course, that "any publicity is good publicity" and perhaps that was the strategy all along. That's a dubious argument however. Beyonce was getting a ton of great press for her Super Bowl performance. Why sully it with suddenly hunting down "unflattering" images that weren't doing any damage to her reputation in the first place? Asking for those images to be taken down hurts her image a lot more than any of the photos in question.