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Hachette abandons plan to turn a real woman into a girl with a dragon tattoo

When we published a roughly 500-word lamentation over horrible marketing ideas in the book publishing industry, specifically railing against Hachette Australia's idea to put a real dragon tattoo on an actual person as promotion for the fourth book in the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo series, we expected that the unstoppable march of capitalism would barrel on, unfazed by the snark of a handful of online dissenters.

But Justin Ractliffe, managing director of marketing, publicity, and Australian publishing for Hachette, told B&T last week that the publisher had decided not to go through with permanently altering a human body in order to sell a book after all: "Our tattoo campaign for The Girl in the Spider's Web has received a great deal of attention as we intended it to. Much of the coverage has been positive and has reported the whole campaign in the spirit in which it was created, but some people have been offended."

I can only assume that he was talking about me, and whoever runs the truly delightful Twitter for Melville House Books:

Fortunately the Razer & JOY agency responsible for the "tatvertising" campaign has some less permanent marketing ideas up its sleeve, including custom emojis and a digital "hacking" campaign, for which no details have been provided.

We've reached out to Razer & JOY, the ad agency, for comment.


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