HOWTO: Feed Off the Dead Without Appearing Unseemly

Of course, it would take a marketing flack named David Berkowitz to offer guidance on squeezing dollars from death while dodging questions of bad taste. After noting that some online advertisers pushed to grab keyword searches for "Cory Lidle" merchandise after Lidle's plane crash, placing targeted ads for Lidle/Yankee products next to content discussing his death ("That may or may not be offensive."), Berkowitz goes on to cite several cases of high-dollar Lidle merch for sale immediately post-crash. He concludes, "That can, at least in my book, justify some advertising even after a tragedy; the consumers have spoken." If anything, Berkowitz faults outlets like eBay for insufficient enthusiasm when cashing in on Lidle's death, dismissing their Lidle ads as "too generic." He tries very hard to coin the phrase "ghoulish boom" for this effect, and we might approve if it didn't represent turning a negative into a positive with no shame whatsoever (see also "viral marketing").

Tragedy Strikes, Searches Spike [SearchInsider]