I was thinking recently about the idea “any publicity is good publicity.” Is that actually true? It seems counterintuitive.

When the movie Supersize Me¬†was realeased, McDonalds received a lot of negative press about their food. The company went to great lengths to fight this. They even created a forum in the UK titled supersizeme-thedebate.co.uk to tell people what criticisms they had of the movie. Unfortunately the site has been taken down (or I’m too foolish to find it).

McDonalds has had their share of negative press in the past. A while back they created a series of commercials involving a young black male named Calvin who worked at McDonalds. Everyone in his neighborhood was proud of Calvin for having a job. This received a lot of negative coverage for racially stereotyping. McDonalds ended the marketing campaign. They exercised copyright laws to take down all videos on the web. (Luckily, Dave Chapelle created a parody.)


But the idea that all publicity is good remains. I think its time that phrase disappeared because people take it too far too often.