PATH: BS | Business | Marketing | Viral Marketing

Republicans Launch Secret 'Amateur Video' Gore Smear Campaign

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[Viral Marketing]
A tiny little movie making fun of Al Gore, supposedly made by an amateur filmmaker, recently appeared on the popular Web site YouTube.com.

At first blush, the spoof seemed like a scrappy little homemade film poking fun at Gore and his anti-global warming crusade.

Unfortunately, ABC News has found out the supposed amateur video is likely part of a professional effort coordinated by the Republican party (and likely oil company benefactors) to discredit Gore and his global warming educational campaign.

In an effort to smokescreen the global warming issue, the spoof says Al Gore claims global warming is responsible for everything from the Middle East crisis to the outcome of American Idol. Whatever humor the PAC firm DCI Group, LLC were trying to deliver is overshadowed by the totally mean-spirited and intellectually dishonest manner in which they completely distort reality.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-08-17 23:24:20 | Comment on this Article

United Airlines Running Government Propaganda In Flight

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[Viral Marketing]
United Airlines has begun showing an in-flight video about military glamor jobs that was produced and funded by the Department of Defense--a fact passengers do not learn from watching it.

Sandwiched between NBC sitcoms and Discovery Channel previews, "Today's Military," as the 13-minute program is called, highlights five jobs that few members of the armed forces could point to as their own.

It shows only one soldier beyond U.S. borders, who's "doing humanitarian work in Thailand" -- a remarkable focus at a time of war. The Defense Department paid United $36,000 to run the video for one month.

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Your Porn-Buying History May Now Be Public

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[Viral Marketing]
Seventeen million customers of the online payment service iBill have had their personal information released onto the internet, where it's been bought and sold in a black market made up of fraud artists and spammers, security experts say.

The stolen data, examined by Wired News, includes names, phone numbers, addresses, e-mail addresses and internet IP addresses. Other fields in the compromised databases appear to be logins and passwords, credit-card types and purchase amounts, but credit-card numbers are not included.

It appears spammers have been buying and selling these lists and using them as sources for solicitations. So if you're getting more spam than usual, it could be because your personal information has been leaked to the black market.

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Wal-Mart Cautions Blogger-Shills to Avoid Being Caught

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[Viral Marketing]
Wal-Mart, in an effort to change public opinion is now mobilizing armies of bloggers to push the pro-company line and counter other sites who are critical of the retail giant. However, some of its blogger army are intentionally reprinting the company's dictates word-for-word and the monster corporation is concerned they may get "ripped" for being the shams they are.

READ MORE | 1 comment since 2006-03-15 01:56:59 | Comment on this Article

Yahoo and Match.com Accused of "Date Baiting"

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[Viral Marketing]
[Pubic Relations]
There are two separate class action lawsuits being brought against various dating web sites, claiming that the companies posted fictitious ads, bogus solicitations, and even had paid employees bait people into renewing their subscriptions to popular online dating sites.

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Big Pharma Uses Fiction To Create Fiction

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[Viral Marketing]
Following up on a story that first surfaced in the gossip pages of the New York Daily News, The LA Times examines the details of a bizarre scheme aimed at scaring U.S. citizens away from importing cheap drugs from Canada.

Marketing executives at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) agreed to pay a couple of writers to craft a fictional thriller in which a group of terrorists "uses Canadian Web sites to murder millions of unwitting Americans looking for cut-rate pharmaceuticals." Kenin Spivak, one of the novelists, says a PhRMA marketing executive was "intimately involved" in shaping details of the story's plot, characterization and tone. "They said they wanted it somewhat dumbed down for women, with a lot more fluff in it, and more about the wife of the head Croatian terrorist, who is a former Miss Mexico," Spivak said.

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New Jersey Churns Out Taxpayer-Funded Fake News

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[Viral Marketing]
The mayor and city council of Newark, New Jersey "hired a fledging newspaper called Newark Weekly News to publish 'positive news' about the city - and will pay $100,000 over the next year for it." The no-bid contract specifies that the paper will "generate stories based on leads" from the mayor's spokesperson and city communications staff. A senior scholar at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies said, "If you are publishing government propaganda in the guise of neutral, detached reporting, that's about as unethical as you can get."

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Telemarketers Stop Harassing the Dead for a Dollar

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[Viral Marketing]
So you're home for your dad's funeral. Your mother is a zombie, your brothers and sisters are freaked out, and you're not feeling so swell yourself. The phone rings. Your mom goes to answer it; you figure it's yet another condolence call from a concerned friend, or maybe a neighbor offering a casserole.

But without saying a word beyond "hello," your mom bursts into tears and slams down the phone.

Surprise! You've just been contacted by a telemarketer asking for the deceased by name, hoping to sell him affordable, high-quality aluminum siding.

Well, never fear, my friend. The Direct Marketing Association is looking out for you.

READ MORE | 2 comments since 2005-08-13 14:02:43 | Comment on this Article

President Exploits Troops; Shills For Gimmick Merchandiser

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[Viral Marketing]
In a national address, the President took advantage of the holiday and directed people towards a new web site, AmericaSupportsYou.mil - touted as a way to show support for the troops. Apparently one of those ways is to purchase yet another crappy ribbon lapel pin from a Pennsylvania marketing association (whose claim to fame is making a toaster that burns the Target logo on bread, and a stilletto heel that doubles as a beverage holder). Are any of these products actually made in America? Does any of the revenue generated go towards supporting our troops? Are you kidding me?

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Pimp Out Terry Bradshaw For Only $29k

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[Viral Marketing]
"For the bargain-basement price of $29,000, your company could be touted by the Hall of Fame quarterback in slots on CNBC and MSNBC," writes PR Week's Julia Hood, about Terry Bradshaw's "Winners Circle" and "Pick of the Week" TV segments. The segments praise companies for their "forward thinking and consistent principles," in what may seem like "a neutral third-party endorsement," but is actually "a paid placement that inconsistently identifies itself as such." The segments are produced by Broadcast News Corporation (BNC), which also pays to air them on MSNBC, CNBC and CNN Headline News. "We're doing this so we can tell a good story about companies," said one BNC producer. PR Week found that MSNBC either ran "a subtle disclaimer" or none at all marking the segments as paid commercial programming.

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