Brands find danger in using controversy to court buzz

05/13/2013 | New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

A number of big-name advertisers -- such as Ford, GM, Reebok and PepsiCo -- have been forced to issue apologies in recent weeks after running racy ads that offended some viewers. Marketers say the pursuit of digital buzz is leading some brands to overreach in the attempt to produce hip or edgy content. "It's the pressure to create 'viral' advertising, the urge to get more views online, that leads people to push the envelope," said Tor Myhren, chief creative officer at Grey New York.

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New York Times (tiered subscription model), The

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