When PR Stunts take it too far

PR Stunts

With all the media attention that this advertising campaign has been getting, be it with positive or negative sentiment, you have to admit it makes you wonder about the strategy having gone into this PR Stunt. You be the judge; stroke of genius or marketing catastrophe? It has been proven that great controversy builds unsurpassable engagement. After this pr stunt, there’s no doubt that The Men In The High Castle have people talking.

PR Stunts and Experiential Marketing in NYC


Amazon has a new drama series called The Man in the High Castle which envisions a time in which the Axis powers won World War II. New York City has become part of the Greater Nazi Reich. So what’s the line between real and make-believe — or controversy versus publicity? This seems to be the question going around Manhattan after benches on some 42nd Street Shuttle subway cars were emblazoned with the Iron Cross associated with Nazi Germany or a modified Rising Sun emblem of Imperial Japan.

NYC Pr Stunt Social Commentary

Is this an ethical issue or a legal one? Should the city’s Transit Authority even have allowed the advertising campaign to be placed on its trains? While the stunt is bound to offend any number of subway riders,  What do you think of this campaign?

NYC Pr Stunt Social Commentary

Mayor Bill de Blasio called on Amazon to remove the ‘irresponsible and offensive’ ads for the show, which depicts an alternate reality in which Germany and Japan won World War II.

‘While these ads technically may be within MTA guidelines, they’re irresponsible and offensive to World War II and Holocaust survivors, their families, and countless other New Yorkers,’ said de Blasio, referring to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which operates the subway system. 

‘Amazon should take them down.’

After also facing backlash on social media about the ads, Amazon decided to end the campaign, a move that was confirmed by MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz, CNN reported.

He previously confirmed the advertisements do not violate the agency’s content-neutral guidelines.

PR Stunts

‘The MTA is a government agency and can’t accept or reject ads based on how we feel about them; we have to follow the standards approved by our board,’ said spokesman Kevin Ortiz.

The campaign, which also included 260 subway station posters that were supposed to be displayed, was scheduled to run until December 14.

Viral PR Strategy or Marketing Catastrophe? Let us know what you think!

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3331485/NYC-commuters-angry-Nazi-decorated-subway-trains.html#ixzz3sXINsojK

If you have questions about experiential marketing, content marketing or pr stunts contact BeCore today!