Bad Publicity Stunts

stupid publicitySome people say that there is no such thing as bad publicity. I beg to differ. Take this one for example.  Todd Davis, CEO of identity protection company LifeLock, decided to put his own identity on the line as a publicity stunt for the company. He plastered his social security number all over billboards, internet ads, trucks and television commercials. When he was done, he challenged the world to steal his identity –  and not surprisingly, that was precisely what happened.

After two years of boldly sharing his SSN with the world, it was revealed that Davis had been the victim of identity theft thirteen times, and there were an additional eighty-seven or more attempts which were unsuccessful. Davis asserted that this just proved that LifeLock worked: his SSN was everywhere for years, and there were 0nly thirteen successful attempts at turning a profit from it. Many disagreed, slamming the CEO and filing lawsuits against the company.
Following the incident the company was fined 12M by the federal trade commission and was accused of operating a scam. My opinion? There really is such thing as bad publicity.

For more bad publicity stunts, sign up for the next issue of the M-Dash here.

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