Posted by Abe Sauer on January 12, 2011 05:00 PM
Unwanted exposure is a reality of brand ownership.
A brand marketer everything possible to portray a brand in a positive light, only to have so much of it eroded by some negative publicity that's completely out of the brand's control.
Consider the so-called Craig's List Killer ... Best Buy and the "God Squad" ... the rogue video-making Dominos employees ... or Accenture and Tiger Woods. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.
But a smaller-scale kind of negative exposure is emerging as newspapers catch on to the grim popularity of publishing mug shots in a police blotter section.
In addition to The Smoking Gun website, news outlets across the US, from St. Louis to Kentucky to Ft. Myers, are increasingly featuring mug shots. (Last year, Change.org even posed the question, "Can mug shots save the newspaper industry?")
Many of these mug shots are of employees in branded, work-related garb, leaving one to wonder if, and to what degree, positive brand perception is being eroded with potential consumers?
As the Internet enables us to gawk at the misfortune of others, so too are we, even subconsciously, taking in the misfortune of the associated brand.
BP and other brands who've been mugged by mug shots:
Wow. That was easy.
Mugshots from The Smoking Gun.