9 Tasteless Television PR Stunts Besides The Kardashian Wedding

Tuesday, November 1 by

Madonna Kisses Britney

Ugh. Apparently aware that her career had approached the “power down” phase, Madonna took to the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards to do something shocking to show that she was still a “dangerous” celebrity.

She did this by kissing Britney Spears.

There isn’t much to say about this ploy, other than it wreaked of desperation on Madonna’s end, and a total lack of judgment on Britney Spears’. The nation expressed all the shock that a person expresses when they find gum on their shoe. It felt cheap and staged when it was happening, and during the days after, it felt downright cringe-worthy.

It would be like Heidi Montag kissing Spencer Pratt today.

LeBron “The Decision”

On July 8, 2010, LeBron James publicly squandered more goodwill than any athlete in history by starring in The Decision, a live special on ESPN in which he would reveal which team he would be joining for the 2010-2011 season.

LeBron’s heart was probably in the right place, as he was meeting demand for such spectacle and gave all commercial proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club, but what he didn’t account for was the amount of empathy the nation would have for the city of Cleveland.

Cleveland got screwed over yet again (this time on a national stage) as LeBron disclosed that he would be taking his talents to South Beach to play with Dwyane Wade. The next day, center Chris Bosh signed with the team, signaling that LeBron had made his decision well in advance, drawing out the agony of Cavs fans.

Fortunately, the world was righted as Wade, Bosh, LeBron, and LeBron’s shinebox all got pummeled in the 2011 Finals. The victory was so decisive that the league decided that there would be no need for a 2011-2012 season, and things would resume as normal the following season.

Ross Perot’s Infomercials

Ross Perot positioned himself as the first serious third-party candidate in generations by presenting himself as a renegade capable of financing his own campaign without contributions or swayed interests. This spoke to voters. What did not really speak to voters was Perot himself.

Perot was tough to listen to for a three-second sound byte, so when he started buying late night informercial blocks to lay out his platform, he looked and sounded like an informercial host. One homespun idiom every so often made Perot seem endearing and accessible. Several over a span of thirty minutes made him appear to be clinically insane.

Perot didn’t win the election.

Let me fact-check that.

Yeah. He lost.

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