11th January 2018

The Battle For Airtime: How Far Are You Willing To Go

The name Logan Paul has been banded about the airwaves this morning after his poor judgement in both his YouTube content (and his apology) led to YouTube taking the decision to cut official ties with the 22 year-old.

For anyone who’s been hiding under a rock, the issue is that the YouTuber visited a spot well known for suicides in Japan and when he found what you might argue he was looking for, he proceeded to make light of the situation.

YouTube has loudly announced this morning that it won’t be giving the YouTuber anymore promoted airtime, but he will still be able to use the platform and create videos. However, the very act of denouncing Logan has led to global headlines…and likely a huge boom in views for the YouTuber, which has the knock on effect of pushing up his commercial value.

We’re living in an age where it’s increasingly difficult to command headlines, grab attention and stand out, both as a brand and an individual. A new generation of influencers has been born, self-published, self-managed and self-edited celebrities who use social media to grow their personal brands and then look to sell that influence on.

As it gets harder to stand out, these people push boundaries…and sometimes cross them. But what does that mean for the brands who chose to work with them?

You don’t have to be a marketing genius to work out that Logan should have either not gone to the suicide spot and made light of it, or certainly handled the situation with sensitivity and grace. Particularly since recently an individual who posted a photo of one of the Grenfell Tower victims on social media received a three month prison sentence.

This video was edited, posted and monetised…it was designed to grab headlines, stand out and grow Logan’s profile. And it has done just that. While the offending video has been removed, the headline content on LoganPaul’s social channels is not his apology video but actually his Pokemon antics in Japan and his ‘Why 2017 Was My Best Year Ever’.

Interestingly he still has branded content on his channels, he still has his ‘Teen Choice Awards’ and he has 15m subscribers on YouTube and counting, pushing up his commercial value.

Have we moved on from a time when Tiger Woods was stripped of his sponsorships after his violent incident, or Kate Moss was dropped as an ambassador after she was snapped ‘powdering her nose’ – are brands now more comfortable with these influencers pushing (and breaking) boundaries because it brings them into the spotlight too?

Is there such a thing as bad PR? What do you think?

By Anna Wilson, Head of Digital