Extreme gets ready for Crazy backlash

The Extreme Sports Channel has prepared for a media backlash against its Crazy Bastards show, a forerunner to MTV’s Jackass, with the appointment of Frank PR.

Frank joint MD Andrew Bloch described Crazy Bastards as an uncensored Jackass, the controversial MTV show that sees characters take part in acts of self-mutilation and dangerous, stomach-churning stunts.

The programme, which will air daily on the satellite TV channel from 2 October for two months, is expected to attract calls for it to be banned owing to the disturbing nature of its footage.

As well as promoting Crazy Bastards, Frank PR has been hired to media-train Extreme MD Phil Jones, head of PR and marketing Julie Hicks and PR co-ordinator Zoe Curbishley, and prepare crisis management strategies for the expected media storm.

‘We will help them to deal with the controversy this show will cause,’ said Bloch. ‘There will be outrage and calls for it to be banned, but we’ll try to steer the media debate into positive territory so that the channel will not be seen in a bad light.’

Extreme will take a responsible approach to promoting the show to 20-something-year-old males, said Hicks, by highlighting how insane the participants are rather than presenting their activities as fun. She added that it was essential to prepare for incidents that would attract media criticism, such as viewers being hurt trying to re-enact its stunts.

Crazy Bastards founder Dave Carnie is acting as the face of Extreme’s publicity for the show.

Frank PR, who beat Hill & Knowlton and Firefly Communications in a pitch for the three-month PR project, will also advise Extreme about working with the communications industry regulatory body Ofcom.

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