Bad publicity is real and it seriously hurts your bottom line.

We’ve all heard this before, and like many things in life, if it gets repeated long enough and loud enough it becomes true even if it isn’t.

Let’s think specifically about the old adage, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity or good publicity. There’s just publicity”.

Wrong. Very wrong.

Just ask Paypal: Paypal accused of ruining Christmas

I’m always careful with branding and advertising because I know just how long bad publicity outlives good publicity. Especially today, with the internet records that hold on to those negative concepts and messages long after you delete them.

Bad publicity becomes a negative lingering association with you and your business because those negative opinions last on the web.

And yes, bad advertising and marketing concepts do elicit a ton of attention, reactions and sharing on social media. Yes it’s publicity, just not the kind you’re looking for. You want to draw attention to yourself in a positive way.

The Balancing Act Between Marketing and Creativity 

There are many extremely creative people in the ad/marketing sector. And their creativity has led to some of the greatest campaigns of all times. But, they’ve also accounted for some of the biggest blunders imaginable.


In the creative world there is a huge emphasis on coming up with the latest, greatest, never been done before concepts. That often leaves the actual message lost in the process.

Instead, a tried and true marketing approach for most entrepreneurs is to balance creativity with reality.

How do you do that?

Using a simple “litmus” test.

The Marketing/Creativity Litmus Test


Once my team has nailed down a concept, I always run it by friends and acquaintances to get reactions and gauge the messaging. Their reactions tell me how potential consumers would react.

I do this simple test because I know that the consumer reaction may be totally different than the message created in the heat of creativity.

Here are a couple of great websites to show you what I mean. Let’s call it the “seemed like a good idea at the time” list…. 10 Worst Ad Campaigns

Paypal accused of ruining Christmas

Steve Martel

Steve Martel is a serial 8-figures/yr business magnet, real estate mogul, millionaire philanthropist, author, educator, public figure & happily married father of 4 little munchkins under 10. His teachings and concepts have revolutionized the lives of over 100,000 entrepreneurs around the world and he has consulted 428 clients who’ve collectively created businesses worth over $560 million in the last 5 years alone.