New Media Risks

JCPenneyDown-home, Midwestern brand JCPenney is typically known for erring on the side of caution, rather than scandal. However, as of late, JCP has entered the new media sphere with a series of ads that beg to become viral, including last Christmas’ “Aviator.” 

However, reports of a racy sex-charged teenage ad showcasing the Texas brand lent itself to criticism and speculation on whether or not the ad was sanctioned by JCP or created by JCP’s ad agency, Saatchi & Saatchi.

This begs you to ask the question—how do you draw a line between what is real and what is fake within the online sphere. Just yesterday I mentioned the Gatorade ad, which was an ad created by Gatorade’s ad agency but was leaked online, only to become a viral sensation. Is JCPenney following suit, but sinking due to the content?

CMO Mike Boylson echoes his disappointment in the article that made the Wall-Street Journal two weeks ago, but the ad continues to strike a frenzy with conservative JCPenney-ites across the country.

So where do we draw the line between what we consider real, and respond to appropriately, and what we consider fake and respond to irrationally? Where will new media stand amidst the doctored commercials, and who decides what is good press versus bad press?


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