Shameless Self Promotion in a Graceless Age

There was a time, not so very long ago, when female cultural icons were the likes of Grace Kelly and Jackie O.  These two women were not only stunningly beautiful, but both were the epitome of class and grace.

The AMC series Mad Men is a critically acclaimed television series for good reason.  The superbly written and acted scripts provide a behind the scenes glimpse into the lives of people working at a second tier ad agency in the early 1960’s.  This was a time when Marilyn Monroe was controversial,  Grace Kelly was the “it” girl and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier Kennedy’s monogram didn’t include an “O”.  In one episode, a client of the fictional advertising agency refuses to allow their spot to run during a controversial television program episode.  In the “too hot to handle” program the word abortion was mentioned.

That was then – and this is now.  Heather Rand sums it up beautifully in her post Marketing in a Graceless Age:

This idea of grace, of making informed decisions and acting with poise and self-awareness, a countenance of dignity and beyond reproach has me thinking of Grace Kelly and Jackie O.  These ladies seemed the epitome of class, and represent a bygone era where acting with circumspect and moderation were important self-governance attributes.

In her post – she’s railing against Pepsi’s New Suicide-Themed Ads and makes the observation that marketing in the new millennium seems to be “continuously pushing the boundaries of propriety”.  (Thanks Liz Strauss for introducing me to Heather’s blog!)

This is an age where our cultural icons are Brittney Spears, Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan.   To get noticed, to create a marketing message that “goes viral“, you’d better be pushing the boundaries of propriety.   It seems that morality is joining traditional media in the death march to extinction.   Unfortunately in the age of reality television, that feat is becoming more and more difficult to achieve without making the commitment to acting like a Filthy Marketing Whore.

Well – there is another way and that’s to file a frivolous law suit – which is exactly what Liskula Cohen, a Canadian model, has done.  If you’ve never heard of Liskula Cohen – well, you’re not alone but that’s about to change because she has obviously embarked upon a campaign to raise her visibility.  Her act of shameless self promotion is a graceless age is to sue Google because one of it’s many blogger blogs is the now infamous Skanks in NYC.

This act of shameless self promotion has been remarkably effective.  According to Caroline McCarthy over at Cnet news:

Meanwhile, the search terms “Liskula Cohen” and “Skanks in NYC” skyrocketed to the top of (ironically) Google Trends, earning “on fire” ratings. Hey, considering that I’d never heard of Liskula Cohen before, and I’m sure that I’m not the only one, this might’ve been the best thing that ever happened to her.

Gyutae Park assures me that being Snarky will come back to bite those seeking shameless self promotion in a graceless age.   Tom assures me that authenticity is still the necessary ingredient in the search for success. Stacey assures me that this too shall pass.

I certainly hope they’re right.


  1. Snark can be such fun – but the fun doesn’t last. It’s hard work to keep it up – cynics and curmudgeons have to be exhausted maintaining the persona, no?

    I’m going to hunt out my pearls! 🙂


  2. Thanks for the link love and for introducing me to Heather Rand’s blog. People we admire and respect will find their way to the media!

  3. Betsy,
    It may be fun to be temporarily snarky but it’s a lousy strategy for building a business in the long run – don’t you agree?

    Heather is an undiscovered treasure, isn’t she?
    Here’s to the respectable and the admirable winning in the end!

  4. Kathy – it would be lousy for me, I know. Only a few have done snark successfully. I just think all the negativity would be bad karma.

    Betsy Wuebkers last blog post..OLD MEDIA AND JOURNALISM COMMENTS ON FIRE

  5. Hey Kathy,
    Nice blog, thanks a lot for the mention here. 🙂

    Sometimes you do need to shamelessly promote yourself if you want to get big. Of course, getting others to talk about you is a lot more effective, but sometimes a little flare to get attention doesn’t hurt.

    Gyutae Parks last blog post..Stop Building Invisible Links – 3 Ways to Find Them

  6. Kathy,

    As usual, you’ve written a very thoughtful post. I agree with you that self promotion has gone off the track of sanity at times, but it’s good to know that there are still people who believe enough in whatever they’re promoting to stay honest and authentic. By the way, I got quite a laugh at your photo…it’s a great invitation to read the post!!!

    Saras last blog post..Happy New Year: clean your life closet!

  7. I do believe that one can shamelessly promote oneself authentically. In fact if you truly are authentic then it’s easier to be shameless. Who knows public displays of lewdness and dissemination of sex tapes may be authentic for Paris?

    Tom Volkar / Delightful Works last blog post..A Guided Meditation for Authentic Expression

  8. Tom – great point! Somehow, I feel like there’s a real dichotomy at work when you use “sex tapes” and “authentic” in the same sentence!!!

    Sara – thanks for the compliment

    Guyate – welcome!

    Betsy – you’re way too cool to be snarky!!! (Snarky is for those with 1/10th your personal charm!)

  9. Hi Kathy – Love the photo! 🙂 I heard about the model who is suing Google for the derogatory remarks about her on a blog. I asked myself, “is that for real?”. Let’s face it, as bloggers we read much worse than that on a daily basis. Self promotion? Yup!

    Barbara Swaffords last blog post..When Non-Blogger Friends Don’t Get It

  10. Barbara – the photo DOES fit the topic quite well – doesn’t it? And of course, it’s not REAL! Her attorney expenses should be filed under “marketing and promotion” for 2008!!! Totally a case of shameless AND graceless self promotion!


  1. […] there is a tactic of shameless self promotion where a blogger is encouraged to try to make enemies and therefore increase blog traffic and name […]