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« The "Conversational Crossroads" | Main | Shutter Controlled Co-Creation »

September 27, 2006


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The call was a great start. I wish someone would survey someone other that marketing pros about their reaction to the LonelyGirl15s of this world. Do they care about the deception (I did but I never really watched the show nor am I the "filmmaker's target).

So here is something we created on behalf of Unilever. We launched this site a week ago. The next version of the site launches Monday when it will be obvious that the marketer behind the site is Unilever/Bertolli Skillet Dinners. We hid the source for the first two weeks but always made it obvious that this was a "wink-and-a-nod" spoof. So, no one wonders if it is marketing, they just wonder who the marketer is and what is the complete story...until Monday, of course.

We did this to help media relations in a NYC-specific campaign which breaks across other media (OOH, print,etc..) on Monday. We did not expect a grassroots swell of traffic, per se, over such a short period of time.

This kind of mystery has to be ok by WOMMA guidelines. Set aside the argument as to whether you find it effective. We did. And more importantly, we need the room to experiment with clients.


Excellent start in establishing principles for disclosure. At EarthLink, where I work, I would discourage employees from commenting anonymously, or worse, pretending to be someone else.

Beyond the guidelines for disclosure, we need to identify the penalties or consequences for failing to disclose.

It has to be made clear that the long term ramifications for concealment are far worse than the short term gain from trying to put one past the blogging community.

Taking a page from Hawthorne's Scarlet Letter, we should have a big "D" for those who fail to disclose who they are.

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