Cirque founder’s space visit covered far more than Afghan mission

Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté’s 11-day trip to the International Space Station this fall generated at least 23 times more international news coverage than the Canadian mission in Afghanistan, according to a media research group Laliberté hired to analyze the coverage.

Laliberté hired Montreal-based Influence Communication to look at the coverage from 71 countries.

According to a Canadian Press report:

“The firm’s analysis says it would have cost $592.4 million to buy that much advertising for Laliberté and his environmental foundation. The Cirque founder shelled out $35 million US for his extraterrestrial flight, suggesting a rather nifty return on investment of more than 1,500 per cent.”

CP quoted McGill University management professor Karl Moore:

“This is a guy who knows, thanks to his Cirque du Soleil experience, how to get that kind of coverage and make the most of it. Maybe the numbers are overstated a bit, but I think that there is actually a fair bit of reality to them.”