Every election people complain about smear campaigns and swear that they wish that politicians would fight a clean fight. But people do pay attention to negative publicity. And the old adage that any publicity is good publicity is not always true.
Smear campaigns and negative publicity would not be used so extensively if they did not work. Period. We may not want to encourage bad press about anyone but our ears prick up and our heads swivel around the minute some celebrity is arrested or slaps some paparazzo.
It is big enough business that Facebook is now in trouble for trying to pay journalists to say bad things about Google. I know, wait, what? But it seems to be true. The rumors were flying fast and furious as to whether it was Microsoft or Apple that was talking trash about Google and now we know… it was Facebook. You can read the details here.