The PR Guru

September 29, 2010

Australia’s Next Top Model PR Disaster

Here at Richard Swancott Associates we are always on the lookout for PR Gaffes to share with you and there seems to be a never-ending supply.

Yet another PR disaster hit the headlines last night, with the news that Australia’s Next Top Model announced the wrong winner during the live final of its sixth series.

This is obviously a PR crisis for the TV show because, in the digital age, the announcement would have been spread across Twitter and the Internet as it happened. It has also found its way onto YouTube, here.

Kelsey Martinovich had been revealed as the champion (through the public voting system that is so popular these days) and was making an acceptance speech when presenter Sarah Murdoch (Rupert’s daughter-in-law, a model and TV presenter) interrupted her.

Ironically, Sarah was completely distraught to have to announce that the real winner was 18 year old Amanda Ware, but Martinovich took the news really well.

The most intriguing thing for us though is the way they attempted to cover up the gaffe by claiming that the lead kept changing and that it was an incredibly close decision. They also said that this was one of the drawbacks of live television.

Fox obviously felt obliged to compensate Martinovich for the mistake and gave her the equivalent of £15,162 and a free trip to the US by way of apology. Ware won an eight-page spread in a women’s magazine, a contract with a modelling agency, a Levi’s campaign, a cash prize, a new car and a trip to New York.

However, this is not the first bit of conspiracy surrounding the show. When Jodhi Meares was host she blundered her way through the show’s 2007 final, and pulled out of the 2008 broadcast with just 48 hours’ notice. It seems that the finals are cursed.

This news brings back memories for me of the 2008 Strictly Come Dancing final, when Tom Chambers won. Many felt that the winner had been wrongly announced then. Let’s hope that the new series, which starts on Friday, has none of these hiccups.


1 Comment »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Dianne Lowther, Richard Swancott. Richard Swancott said: Australia's Next Top Model PR Disaster – […]

    Pingback by Tweets that mention Australia’s Next Top Model PR Disaster « The PR Guru -- — September 29, 2010 @ 9:57 am | Reply

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