Will MSL Group Be Fired By Netflix For Creating Controversial “Day Without Sports” Campaign
In May of 2014, U.S. streaming media company – Netflix – awarded New York-based agency MSLGroup its new European public relations contract. This move facilitated Netflix’s expansion in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, and Luxembourg. These are the key European markets into which MSLGroup oversaw the Netflix brand expansion last year.
Perhaps MSL Group was hired by Netflix because the PR agency had experience with well-known tech brands BT, Google, and Sony. Also, Netflix selected MSLGroup for the PR firm’s expertise inassisting other U.S. brands compete against European established products and services – for example – Vivendi’s Canal Plus and Amazon Prime Instant Video.
The Netflix brand had gained recognition for upsetting the U.S. television industry because of its broad scope of content and originality of productions. MSL Paris handled the company’s debut into France, Belgium, and Luxembourg in September of 2014. MSL Germany launched the company into Germany, Austria, and Switzerland at the end of last year.
Netflix PR Day Without Sports Campaign Insults Viewers’ Intelligence
A poorly conceived pitch by MSLGroup this week – in promotion of July 15th’s “Day Without Sports” – may jeopardize its status as PR firm of record for Netflix. The agency distributed a specially selected list of rom-coms and movies available on the 15th from Netflix. The campaign was grounded in the theme of self-improvement by encouraging viewers to avoid watching professional sports for the day. And drawing their attention to rom-coms and movies that promoting empowerment, culture appreciation, and even bonding between couples.
The clumsy and poorly constructed press release was filled with stereotypes and barely veiled insults to viewers intelligence while listing shows for men to encourage their women to watch with them and instructions on how to approach the suggestions.
For the men, Netflix has put together a list of content that will help you and your girlfriend compromise on your entertainment:
Silver Linings Playbook – Satisfy her need for romance, and you’ll get the added opportunity to view Jennifer Lawrence the entire time.
Peaky Blinders – By calling out all of the good looking guys, you might be able to convince her to watch this Netflix original that’s packed with crime and action.
Scandal – Multiple episodes and scenes with the beautiful Kerry Washington. Enough said.
Rudy – Get her to realize that everyone loves a good underdog story so you can watch some football.
Friday Night Lights – Another great way to get some football in while providing the drama she loves.
One Tree Hill – If you’re more of a basketball fan, this one’s for you, as it’s packed with drama both on and off the court. Plus, Sophia Bush.
Rocky – Use words like “uplifting” and “heartfelt” to convince her this is the movie for you guys to watch
Also, just as an FYI – there’s more than 50 of ESPN’s 30 for 30 titles on Netflix if you plan to just stream on your phone or laptop while she takes over the living room.
It’s not hard to understand how this failed campaign just may have unwittingly encouraged many Netflix viewers to realize the company views them as being dim-witted and unenlightened.
Netflix may now perceive MSLGroup as an agency that feels it is okay to clumsily insult the intelligence of its consumers.