Anna Nicole: crafty or clueless?
As Anna Nicole Smith’s multi-layered Bahamian saga appears to draw to a close, we’re left with the myriad lessons in shrewd media placement that so often follow in her wake. The stripper-turned-spokesmodel — who allegedly retreated to the Bahamas so she could have a little privacy — instead generated more press than she had since the days of her E! reality series in 2003. In a regrettably characteristic series of events, Ms. Anna witnessed the accidental death of her 20-year-old son Daniel, gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and reportedly married her long-time attorney, Howard K. Stern, all in the space of a week — and all with the rapt publicity assistance of Larry King, among other top-notch outlets.
After an extensive investigation, it seems that Smith’s son died following the ingestion of methadone, Lexapro, and Zoloft, a medication cocktail not meant to be combined. And her newborn daughter, it appears, is the result of a union between Smith and lawyer Stern — as of Thursday, Mr. Anna Nicole. Here’s where the PR lessons come in. While Daniel’s premature death surely added a depressing undertone to Smith’s oddly timed nuptials, any celebrity marriage is a boost for the Bahamian tourism industry.
Secondly, Smith says she’ll do whatever it takes to keep medicine-related tragedies from happening in other families; it could offer the opportunity for Lexapro or Zoloft to address brand safety issues with a high-profile spokesperson. (Of course, there are also certain anti-psychology drug proponents just licking their chops to get Smith to represent their organizations; we’ll see who gets to her first.) But perhaps the most valuable message here transcends PR entirely, a life lesson few people tell better than Anna Nicole and Howard K. Stern: If you hang around long enough, and make through some really difficult situations, you eventually get want you want.