One of the things I like to remind people is that, in most cases, bad press is still good press. You don’t want to be caught doing something particularly heinous, but if someone gets angry at you for something that most people are going to be okay with – they just handed you free advertising. In almost all forms of media this holds true and the more aggressively you try to squash something, the more people will hear about it. It’s related to the “Streisand Effect” where trying to censor, hide, or refute information will ultimately amplify it. Your efforts to put a stop to something will, in turn, make people look that direction.
J.K. Rowling found this out personally when she went from a successful but niche author to a worldwide sensation when evangelicals decided that Harry Potter needed to be used as kindling. Overnight, people screaming about witchcraft made her a household name that crossed generations. For a children’s author, it’s pretty good to get kids reading your books around the world, but a good little bonfire managed to get their parents to read it too. In trying to silence this author, they managed to light the fire behind her career.
Similarly, on television, Married… with Children saw middling success through most of its early run on the fledgling Fox Network before being boycotted rather publicly. People who hadn’t watched this show suddenly tuned in to find out what had happened, resulting in the next 6 seasons having more than double the ratings of the first two seasons of the series . Years later, Married… with Children came to an end with 11 Seasons under its belt and ratings never dropping to the level the first two seasons experienced. The boycott backfired.
Today, the organization most familiar with this fact is the always offended One Million Moms. In fact, you could say they’re masters at…