Several months ago I had the pleasure of listening to Ben Cameron speak at the National Arts Marketing Conference in Miami. If you haven't had the opportunity to listen to Ben speak, jump at the chance if you get it. One of the points he made was that potential audiences no longer believe the fake hype that marketers use when designing their advertising campaigns for productions. Seriously--if you listen to some of us, every show that we promote is going to be a life altering event. There are some of us that make promises that we cannot deliver, and our potential audiences are seeing through these promises.
Arena Stage is in the middle of a rebranding campaign, and I have been clear that we need to stick to brand promises that we know that we can deliver. If you are doing consistently good work, then it will speak for itself. We need to be mindful to not "over promise."
So I found an article on Playbill today that I found fascinating. British authorities have now made it illegal to pull a couple of words out of context from a review in an attempt to deliberately mislead consumers. We have all been tempted after unfavorable reviews to use a reviewer's words against them, but once again we would be lying to our customers. The times have changed. Information flows too quickly for us to falsely spin or hype a show that doesn't merit it. Be strong. Don't give into temptation. Or else you will pay for it later (literally if you live in Great Britain).