When publicity stunts go wrong...even for George Clooney

Even the Hollywood hunk is capable of ending up red-faced following a PR stunt, as he proved in Venice this week

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When publicity stunts go wrong...even for George Clooney
Written By
Ben Dowell

It all seemed so simple. It all looked so cool.

Get George Clooney to wear shades and a T-shirt promoting his own brand of Tequila and nonchalantly ride a water taxi to his Venetian hotel where he is publicising his new film Gravity at the city’s film festival.

But not everyone was impressed, and one resident of that magical city has even called on police to take action against the actor unless he is able to produce the required licence for navigating Venice's canals.

Ooops.

The protest by local lawyer Mario D'Elia may leave Clooney red-faced as police have apparently taken the complaint seriously and are investigating.

On the plus side, it’s put us in mind of that oh-so delicious moment – the publicty stunt gone wrong.

And this is certainly my all-time favourite.

“I didn’t exect the wind to be quite so strong,” said an ashen-faced Virgin boss Richard Branson, whose cut hand, brusied nether regions and injured pride proved he had very much came off second best when he took on both gravity and the elements to jump off Las Vegas’ Palms hotel to promote the inaugural Virgin American flight from San Francisco to Las Vegas.

I mean, look at his face – the pain, the fury, probably some of it directed at the chirpy guy doing the commentary ("slow down, slow down").

No. Branson has much to learn. It takes a PR genius with even greater powers of Teflon to overcome the humiliating effects of strong wind and hard-to-control zip wire.

And that man is London Mayor Boris Johnson promoting the 2012 Olympics...

“It’s very well organised… get me a ladder. Ouch.”

Classic Boris.

Another personality who could have done with some Borisian resilience was Janet Jackson back in 2004.

Not for her the honour of singing during the Superbowl half-time alongside Justin Timberlake, and garnering the acclaim of her peers.

Oh no, she leaped at the chance to show her norks to billions of viewers.

But at least she added a new phrase to the pop culture lexicon – wardrobe malfunction. And she malfuncted in some style, as we can see here.

But for every piece of joy there is something that makes you grimace, and this has to be one of the worst.

You don't need to see video – just a still which tells it’s own story.

The moment in 2000 when Anthea Turner not only sold her wedding to OK! Magazine but also, perhaps, her soul.

She was photographed at her reception biting into a new Cadbury’s chocolate bar called Snowflake. Having already sold the photographic rights to her nuptials for around £450,000.

We’ll leave it there shall we?

 


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