B.L. Ochman doesn't agree, though, BTW, thanks to her blogging about the Hotel Campari campaign (promoting Italian liquor). Apparently, MRM Worldwide -- the agency -- has set up fake profiles on Flickr, MySpace and YouTube in conjunction with the campaign. (See Richard MacManus for details.)
I think this campaign is just as unethical as Wal-mart and other flogs. And that it abuses the trust upon which social media is built. What do you think?The Edelman/Wal-Mart fake blogs were purposefully deceitful. Intended to look like a grass-roots, genuine effort. That was wrong.
However, unlike Edelman/Wal-Mart, we know from the get-go the Hotel Campari blog and the social media profiles are fake. If a blog is upfront, fake is fine. It makes it into a game. That's what many social networking sites are about anyway -- entertainment.
If a company wants to try to sell me along the way, that's fine. Transparently fake is fine.
Just look at John Tucker or Borat. Those are obviously fictional characters set up on MySpace to promote a movie. (Disclosure: Borat is a friend.)
So, go ahead and set up fake blogs and social profiles. Involve us. Just make damn well sure we know it's fake.