when PR gets it wrong

14 09 2011

Sometimes marketing and PR companies try to be too tricky….and fail big-time.

Case No 1. Toyota Stalker Campaign. (Saatchi and Saatchi) A California woman is suing Saatchi and Saatchi and Toyota after a guerilla marketing campaign which she claims “freaked [her] out”. After clicking on an email which offered her a personality profile, she started receiving emails from a man who knew things about her and said he was heading to her house where he wanted to stay. He was in trouble with a motel manager (who sent her a bill for damages). A MySpace page had been set up in the same name.

The campaign was aimed at young males who the company profiled as liking to prank each other. A friend signed you up for the hoax, chose a character who would them bombard the victim with emails, phone messages, text messages and videos for five days.

In their defence they claimed that in agreeing to the terms of the personality profile, the woman had unknowingly agreed to having emails sent to her.

More details here.

Case No. 2 ConAgraTV Dinner Con (Ketchum)

If you were going to annoy a load of people through a con – would you pick people with an active blog and a large following?

That’s what ConAgra did. They invite a load of food bloggers – those dedicated to natural whole and organic foods, low salt, no preservatives, etc – to a special dinner to be prepared for them by chef George Duran, host of Ultimate Cake off.

Then they served these bloggers a TV dinner, complete with the usual perservatives – Marie Callender’s three-cheese lasagne. Now while they apparently had reasonable approval rates (62.5% approval rating), the bloggers were not pleased to be conned and made their opinions known – where else, on their blogs.

ConAgra has said they will not be using the hidden video footage of the dinner.

More information on this one here.

Case No. 3. Comcast Phishing emails
Blogger Carol Tice writes about a suspicious email she received from Comcast telling her her computer was infected by Bots! and they have a great product to help her, Constant Guard.

The email was set up very much like the phishing emails that try to get you to click on their links and buy their “antivirus” product. Closer inspection showed that in fact the email said that her computer “may” be infected. Too little, too late.

Again, another too clever by half marketing campaign that probably got deleted by most people who received it, and disbelieved by the rest.

Carol’s blog is here.

Message to PR and Marketing companies: We don’t like to be conned!




3 responses

8 10 2011
Stalker-net part II « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

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8 10 2011
Desperado – PR stunts that FAIL « Mud Map to Life in the Modern Age

[…] you liked this you might also like When PR gets it wrong. Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditStumbleUponDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to […]

19 07 2012

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