Agency CEO’s Book PR Stunt Makes Example Of Borders

We don’t know whether to laugh or cry or both….Aaron Shapiro, CEO of digital agency HUGE, needed to promote his new book, Users Not Customers, about companies transitioning to digital.

So he hired laid-off Borders employees—Borders being a perfect cautionary tale for what not to do, he says.

Adweek picked up on photos of ex-Borders employees selling hard copies of his books from kiosks distributed around New York. He also purchased a billboard that read in part:

So to recap: The book argues that a brick and mortar bookstore should have embraced the digital world, which is why its laid-off employees are selling a physical book from a physical location while advertising the fact that they used to work at a failed company that failed because it didn’t embrace the digital world?

Even though this strategy is making our heads explode, it appears to be working—and the Borders employees are probably not complaining.