Posted by: Spencer Vasey
About a week ago, I read an article on the Huffington Post about a cancer survivor named Monika Allen that was furious at Self magazine for mocking her and a friend in their April issue. In a section titled “BS Meter,” there was a picture of the two women alongside a caption ridiculing them for running a marathon in tutus.
Since the story first broke a week ago, there have been articles on every major news website. Bloggers and social media users have picked up the story and ran with it, increasing publicity tenfold. Self’s Facebook page is full of nasty comments and promises of cancelled subscriptions. Self is in the midst of a major PR crisis.
Now don’t get me wrong, I feel horrible for Monika Allen and the fact that Self publicly shamed her for such a noble cause. It’s even worse that they didn’t tell her what their intentions were when they asked permission to use her picture.
However, in the week since this story broke, Allen’s business, Glam Runner, which makes tutus to support the nonprofit Girls on the Run, has almost doubled their revenue from the past three years. Allen has had the opportunity to go on national television and speak out for her cause. Self has agreed to cover future Girls on the Run events in their magazine and online.
Even though this was a negative situation, a lot of good came out of it. Think of all the young girls that will benefit from the donations and publicity this has generated for Girls on the Run.
Which begs me to ask the question, is there such a thing as bad publicity? Do you think that this Self controversy caused more harm or good for Allen and her foundation? Are there any other examples where bad publicity has actually somewhat benefited the victim?