Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Marie Claire on "Fat" People: Belligerent or Brilliant?

I just happened to stumble upon an interesting debate today while casually glancing through my Twitter feed. I happened to notice that Marie Claire was a trending topic. I thought to myself, "That's weird - do people even read that magazine anymore?" And more importantly, "What's going on there that's such big news?"

It appears a blogger at Marie Claire posted an article titled, "Should 'Fatties' Get a Room?" Sure, even at first glance of the headline this article is already pissing off readers. Well, I don't want to get into that. Agree or disagree, this could turn out to be one brilliant stunt. Sure, Marie Claire may still have subscribers, but are they as in as Elle, Glamour, or InStyle? I don't even know if I've noticed Marie Claire in the checkout aisle at the grocery store in recent months. This really got the internet marketer in me thinking...

One of the tweets that stands out in my mind in particular is one that read, "Who the heck was still reading Marie Claire anyway?" This is what makes this ploy (if it truly is one) brilliant. Think about it... the title itself is controversial in and of itself. Using the term "fatties" definitely catches attention. Then after you read on, and are inevitably infuriated over the blogger's insensitivity and judgment, you (well maybe not you specifically, but enough of "you" to start the buzz) tweet about it, protest on the mag's Facebook wall, and create a media frenzy over one poorly thought out article.

Can you remember the time you last saw even one of your favorite brand's as a top trending topic in the world on Twitter? Just in the time I've spent writing this post (about 20 minutes) the mag's Facebook page has gained 15 fans. Even if they only "liked" the page to be able to protest on the Wall - they're still "fans."  Imagine the gigantic spike in traffic their website is seeing today. Just think, if they're selling ads on their website based on impressions the page gets- Marie Claire may have hit the jackpot.  Sure the brand will have to bounce back and spin it "PR style" but I know one thing for sure... Marie Claire magazine isn't dead...

Again- NOT condoning the content or point of view of this article. I just want to wait and see how this faux pas can affect their overall brand and reputation. In the age of Twitter where news is instant, the brand really needs to step up to the plate and address the situation before it gets really out of hand and they can't recover from a reputation perspective.

I challenge you to think beyond the content of the now infamous blog post - What's your take on this? Not on the hatred and disgusting display of insensitivity, but if it truly is just a PR stunt - brilliant or belligerent?