“There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” How often have you heard that?
I’m not so sure…
Take this press release for the latest by Harlan Coben.
In the magazine business we’re bombarded with press releases all the time, from companies wanting us to promote their goods. Being fiction ed means that most of the companies who approach me are publishers.
I received this press package a couple of weeks ago – and it made an impact for all the wrong reasons.
The book is Run Away by Harlan Coben. The blurb reads:
You’ve lost your daughter. She’s addicted to drugs and to an abusive boyfriend. And she’s made it clear she doesn’t want to be found.
Then, quite by chance, you see her busking in New York’s Central Park. But she’s not the girl you remember. This woman is wasted, frightened and clearly in trouble. You don’t stop to think. You approach her, beg her to come home. She runs. And you follow her into a dark and dangerous world you never knew existed. Where criminal gangs rule, where drugs are the main currency, and murder is commonplace.
Now, that will strike fear in the heart of parents everywhere, who might have a young daughter they worry about, either because they are in this kind of trouble or just because of the potential for it.
I might be one of those parents. So might anyone on the average mailing list. But even if we’re not…. Do you know what the PR agency chose to send out in the press package? That little packet of orange “pills” you can see in the pic.
On one side, the book’s title. On the other the letter E. Yup. They’ve made them look like drugs.
What were they thinking? Oh, how jolly. Oh, what a wheeze. Let’s trivialise the whole tragic issue.
Irresponsible doesn’t even come close.
For more book reviews – though not of this one! – have a look here