Click here for full list of my favorite marketing flops.

On October 4, 2012, Gawker, a former blog that eventually sold to Univison for $135 million, published a blog post about Hulk Hogan (Terry Gene Bollea) that led to their total, and compete downfall as a blog, and company.

If you want depressing, read the founder's final post on the former company's abandoned website.

So, how did one stupid blog posting lead to a judgement of $140 MILLION in damages, and finally a $31 MILLION dollar settlement?

The Gawker blog posting in question, you see, contained a sex tape of the Hulk, for the whole world to see.

The trial only lasted 2 weeks, but the damages were obviously huge.

 

 

I have never seen the video, nor do I want to. The Hulk wasn't my favorite wrestler when I was a kid (Ravishing Rick Rude was); however, I wouldn't want to see the man making love even if he was.

I understand that the media, or certain fringes of the media, want to shove a camera into every place imaginable just to sell advertising. After all, I'm in advertising; however, I take strong exception to when people's personal statements and actions, behind closed doors, become products for website and cable networks to distribute in exchange for increased ratings and web traffic.

I didn't like when President Trump's private conversation was broadcasted, nor would I like it if someone filmed President Obama having sex. It's just not right.

In June 2016, Gawker Media declared bankruptcy, and in August, a number of its websites, including Jezebel and Gizmodo, were acquired by Univision for a reported $135 million, though the deal did not include the group’s flagship site, Gawker.com, which was shuttered. That same month, Denton filed for personal bankruptcy protection.

Gawker had a marketing plan to generate clickbait, and that plan turned out to be harmful to others for no reason at all, besides revenue.

That's not marketing, that's just bad taste.

Here is what the founder, Nick Denton, had to say in his last posting:

In cultural and business terms, this is an act of destruction, because Gawker.com was a popular and profitable digital media property—before the legal bills mounted. Gawker will be missed. But in dramatic terms, it is a fitting conclusion to this experiment in what happens when you let journalists say what they really think.

Mr. Denton, journalists can say what they think, they just can't distribute a man having sex, in private, without his permission. Hopefully the Hulk, and Mr. Denton, are doing better now, and learned something from this terrible mistake.

Don't compete — DOMINATE.

 

Matt Steffen

"Don't compete -- DOMINATE!"

Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn

More Marketing Flops

Hillary Clinton Labels Trump Supporters “Deplorable”

Hillary Clinton Labels Trump Supporters “Deplorable”

During the 2016 Presidential race, Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton said Trump’s supporters belong in a "basket of deplorables." Donald Trump went to to defeat Hillary in a sweeping victory, claiming 306 electoral...

YouTube Pisses Off (and loses) Advertisers

YouTube Pisses Off (and loses) Advertisers

Imagine browsing through Facebook, and seeing a video a friend of yours shared. You click the link simply to see what it's all about, only to discover a racist, hateful tirade from some disturbed individual, and an ad for...

Get My Free Updates

Matt Steffen was Listed by Forbes as the #1 Marketing Consultant Who Avoids the B.S.

Cognito.load("forms", { id: "27" });
s2Member®