Has The Sun played a PR blinder with its Page 3 stunt? Certainly it’s got the newspaper in the news and generated lively debate on social media, but in the fullness of time will it have done the newspaper’s reputation any good?
Reports that The Sun had decided to quietly drop the feature, following several days of its absence, were met with great delight by many different groups including MPs, equal rights campaigners and some celebrities. Its re-appearance, just 3 days after it had seemingly disappeared, has been met with both celebration and dismay.
Whether consumers are in favour of the page or not, The Sun’s handling of the situation can surely have done it no favours, namely, the smug comments, open goading of opponents by sending tweets of the said picture to them, and wry observations that, indeed, the story is something of the public’s own making. The Sun never confirmed or denied that the page had been axed and instead let its silence turn something that was just a rumour into ‘fact’ via Twitter and national media reports.
If the stunt has done anything, it has strengthened and reinvigorated the No More Page 3 campaign with people who were previously indifferent now fired up and lending it strong and vocal support.
Although there will always be those who are in favour of the page, The Sun has perhaps shown itself to be outdated and arrogant. While it may not lose any readers over the furore, and indeed may have cemented their loyalty, it remains to be seen whether it will gain any over the next few months.