AFL will eventually learn what Rugby Union is only just discovering.
Publicity stunts can be very expensive.
While that is possible, I think there is a big difference between AFL and Union. The main one is that the AFL is bringing in Rugby League players into AFL teams in Rugby League strong areas (Western Sydney and the Gold Coast). This is very smart by the AFL as they are very likely to draw Rugby League supporters with them and as long as the product is good, they may stay. Secondly, the majority of both Hunt's and Folau's pay packet is made up from media and PR activities, so they will be out trying to strengthen AFL in these areas. This could very well be a master stroke by the AFL, and lets be honest, they are doing much better in Australia to expand the game than the NRL and RU.
Obviously, RU just bought league players and then put them in already strong union areas. If the Rebels got some great AFL players, then that would be interesting!