Digital pebbles

Clarke Mulder Purdie on PR, media and other random topics

Slurred of mouth (and the wonder that is Winehouse)

Posted by Emily on February 14, 2008

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘there is no such thing as bad press’? I don’t know who came up with this but it’s rubbish. In the world of PR, reputation is king.

With the exception of perhaps Amy Winehouse (who can inject who-knows-what in who-knows-where on her battle scarred body and people will still buy her records) bad press can bring down giants. This is why good press is so sought after, and what press can be better than word of mouth? It is like your customers doing your advertising for you – for free. The apparanetly spontaneous spreading of positive word of mouth is like the Holy Grail and is one of those magical things that is difficult to force but invaluable to experience.

If your customers are saying positive things about you, you have struck gold, right?

According to a recent article in Marketing Week, the sharp increase in the volume and frequency women drink is showing on the radars of alcoholic drinks marketers. The category of women who consume a high amount of alcohol are apparently the most likely to ‘amplify’ the brand through word of mouth. The theory is, the more women drink, the more women know about different drink brands and the more likely they are to convince others of their opinion.

Surely you can see what is coming next? If the audience you are relying on to market the merits of your product are binge drinking young women, I would imagine the message may be somewhat compromised. On top of this there is the distinct possibility that those who are receptive to this coveted word of mouth will likely have forgotten the message in the morning anyway.

I can’t say I would really respect a brand that relies on inebriated young women to do its work for it. The positive brand message may be spreading amongst these women but so is cirrhosis of the liver. 


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