I never saw the Gillette ad, but the social media furore made me reach for my iPhone to google it. I imagine many others did the same. Result? P&G say sales are healthy and campaign a success
Next came the Army's snowflake campaign. Outrage as the protagonist in the ad's main shot claimed he had never given permission to be called a 'snowflake' and had been subjected to subsequent bullying. Result? Army announced that the 'snowflake' ad has led to an 'unprecedented wave of youngsters signing up.'
Finally there was the extraordinary interview with Liam Neeson. The remarks sparked a huge backlash against him and commentators pronounced the film box office poison. Result? Cold Pursuit is a $10m hit -despite race scandal.
You can't always predict how people are going to react to moral outrage. PR people know their audiences and even though people will protest outwardly they will behave quite differently when it comes to making a choice. The trick is to know where the red lines are and where reputational damage would cross them.
But people have high tolerance levels. And we have seen some interesting behaviour when it comes to the public supporting people who have low moral compasses.
And then, quite calmly, under no pressure, in the middle of a press junket, when he could’ve just droned on about how the filming conditions were really chilly or something, a movie star baldly announces that he once went round with a cosh for a week in the hope of killing someone black. It feels like a hallucination.