From Anthony Weiner to Mountain Dew, controversial stories have flooded the news. But does controversy hurt or help?
Controversy has been in the news a lot lately. While thousands of New Yorkers stand behind Anthony Weiner’s run for Mayor, his sexting scandal has threatened to overwhelm his politics. Rolling Stone magazine sparked a heated debate and fame after it put Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on its cover. Mountain Dew pulled an ad after people complained it was racist and JC Penney took down a billboard after a social media firestorm suggested the kettle on it looked like Hitler.
But can controversy be good for business? Does it boost buzz? Might it increase sales? As I discuss in Contagious: Why Things Catch On, the answers may not be as simple as they seem.