PR is an interesting game of moves and counter moves. Where genius publicity stunts have generated brand value and free publicity worth several millions, there have also been disastrous attempts that taint the industry. The latest addition to the PR hall of shame is the case of the Australian PR firm sending dead fish to media.
The idea – that was meant to use the gold fish as a promo gift to encourage media agencies to promote South Australia – ended with several dead fish and a very foul smell.
Advantage SA and its co-brand Advantage Adelaide delivered 55 goldfish in a bowl with the text: “Be the big fish in a small pond and come test the water,” as a promo gift to encourage media agencies to promote South Australia.
The company says the fish were hand-delivered alive to the offices of media reps and left with six months’ worth of food.
Unfortunately, many didn’t survive the wait for their intended recipients, leaving many unimpressed media workers at their next shift.
One person, who received the unexpected gift, anonymously posted the following on marketing website Mumbrella: “Not a good look for Advantage SA, which is trying to promote South Australia as an attractive place to advertise.
“We get a deluge of gifts this time of year, although not all smell quite as bad.
What is left to be seen now is how the experts swim out of troubled waters.
How do you get rid of the stench?