Virgin Mobile Gets Naked for Publicity

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Virgin Mobile’s Stip2clothe campaign to get people to strip on YouTube so homeless kids could get some new clothes, was changed to “blank” 2clothe (upload a vid of yourself doing anything inane) under pressure by some of the charities lacking a sense of humor.

Every 5 views gets a kid a piece of new clothing, explains Grammy-nominated singer Ace Young in his own video.

Virgin, way down on the list of mobile providers with about 5 million customers, did get much needed mainstream publicity because of the outcry, including a nice big Wall Street Journal article this morning.

The Journal article mischaracterizes Virgin Mobile’s response as “damage control,” though they so nicely remind of us of the whacked out “Christmahanukwanzakah” ad from 2004 and include the clip.

I’m currently reading the book Damage Control by Eric Dezenhall and John Weber. Damage control is one of your executives shows up stripping on YouTube, not when your adoring customers do.

Perhaps there is an argument that this is not Responsible Marketing but it’s not bad PR.