Annual events that we all know and love, especially those in the U.S., began more often than not, as cheap publicity stunts. The Miss America pageant started as a stunt to lure tourists to Atlantic City in 1921.
The stunts became so shameless in their purpose, that by the late 1920’s the American Association of Publishers tried to persuade its members to ignore the covering of pageants due to their aims, claiming it was “the most flagrant use of free publicity”. Inevitably, all the papers ignored the suggestion as the content was so compelling.
It only went to show that a great stunt was more powerful than journalistic ethics, especially when it involved beautiful women in a state of undress.