Some would argue that bad publicity is still publicity. As long as it gets people’s attention, the promoters or product owners would be satisfied. Last year, we saw some people relying on cheap gimmicks to promote their business and it certainly got people talking after it went viral.
Some celebrities have also been accused of using gimmicks and bad publicity to gain attraction to promote their latest projects. While there’s nothing necessarily wrong relying on this method, there’s no longevity in it.
Last week, baking influencer Azra Rahman wanted to promote the A&R Urban Hotel in Kuala Lumpur by tweeting several photos of one of the rooms with a caption that reads, “Hook-up hotel but make it aesthetic. They even have l’occitane soap sis!”. The tweet has since gone viral now reaching over 3.5 million views, 5.9k retweets, and 1.3k quote tweets.
While some netizens understood the baker’s humour for using the word ‘hook-up’ or kongkek in Malay, most felt that her approach to promoting the hotel was rather inappropriate, especially for a mother of two children. The public figure received a lot of criticism with many condemning her for normalising sex and hook-up culture in Malaysia.
After receiving backlash, Azra tweeted an apology saying that the tweet was only meant for her followers who know her sense of humour and did not expect it to go viral. “To the people who were offended by the word, I apologise from the bottom of my heart. It was meant only for my followers who have known me for years and are familiar with how I talk,” she tweeted.
The mother-of-two ended the tweet by encouraging everyone to visit the hotel as it’s worth its price, according to her. At the time of writing, A&R Urban Hotel has yet to respond to the viral tweet. As for the pricing for a room at the urban hotel, it depends on where you’re booking from. An overnight stay for 1 guest is RM67 on Agoda while 2 guests would cost up to RM261.
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