Is shock value the only thing that counts in marketing?

If a tree falls and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound? We don’t know, but when a brand makes a tasteless attempt at promoting its namesake, it comes in loud and clear.

Last week, shoemaker Kenneth Cole sent an Egypt-related tweet that most observers deemed tasteless. During the Super Bowl on Sunday, Groupon — a daily-deal website — aired three commercials poking fun at celebrity-endorsed PSAs. Both incidents sparked massive backlash on social media channels, such as Twitter and Facebook.

What’s the implication for marketers worldwide?

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