There was a sort of reverse psychology to the bad reviews Gossip Girl got, and the people promoting the show knew it. The article in that link talks about the ad campaign for the show which we showed in the episode.
Initially, we wanted to include advertiser Martin Lindstrom’s observations about how “realistic” details like swear words and teens’ racy behaviors draw more viewers, but we couldn’t fit it in. We thought we’d include it here as an example of advertisers’ strategies. See the post about how we changed the script for the Gossip Girl episode for more.
If you’re interested in other aspects of advertising and Gossip Girl, consider that it, along with the new 90210 show and the movie The Killers have followed a new and unusual marketing strategy: NOT making the shows available to reviewers until very close to the release date, if at all. Talking about the racy, scandalous aspects of a show is one way to generate reviewer buzz (where no buzz is bad buzz and any buzz is good for ratings); what do you think is the effect of not letting reviewers see things before they air? (Here’s a spoiler for what happened to The Killers.)