If the mainstream media’s obsession with Oakland, California-based radio magnate Harold E. Camping teaches us anything — it should be that our country hosts a Rapture Industrial Complex (RIC) of sizable proportions. The RIC is a multimedia colossus that involves books, radio, movies, TV, newspapers, and dog care service providers. How big is the RIC?
Before getting into that, it’s worth pointing out that there were 6,709 Google News stories Tuesday morning on Camping’s revised date for the Rapture — a story about the world ending while sucking believers — he estimates 2% to 3% of the world’s population – up to heaven and leaving everyone else behind to “face months of tribulation before perishing in the Earth’s destruction.”
Camping got the Rapture’s date wrong in 1994 and again last Saturday. But that has done nothing to stop the worldwide media from covering his announcement of a new date — only five more months to wait until his next wrong call (unless the third time’s a charm). This level of media attention suggests that editors believe that there is a significant – though difficult to quantify – advertising market targeting the Rapture-curious.
Peter Cohan writes the “The Startup Economy” blog for Forbes.com. He is president of Peter S. Cohan & Associates, a management consulting and venture capital firm he founded in 1994. He teaches business strategy to undergraduate and graduate students at Babson College.” To continue reading his blog post on Forbes.com, click here.