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It occurred to me last night that I might not have been seeing the bigger picture.
Imagine this: you have a weight loss product you want to sell. It’s protein-based, like many others on the market. You create an ad to be displayed on public transport. Do you:
A) hope it works
B) hire a bunch of pale size 12 girls in bikinis to fake their outrage, deface your posters and generate huge amounts of publicity knowing that anyone truly offended isn’t in your target market anyway then watch your revenue climb to £2m in a month
I’m not saying that’s what happened, but it’s not a bad theory either. Besides, all marketing is manipulative. And if it’s not, it’s not very good marketing.