A couple of weeks back Mumbrella revealed an Australian marketing agency The Prosperity Principal (P2)is planning to post links within social media discussions on behalf of clients, using assumed identities. The article about Trusted Avatar became one of Mumbrella's most discussed items to date.
To address the wave of opinion that was generated by the article, P2 said they had developed operational guidelines for employees doing the service for brands. See the post for details http://mumbrella.com.au/my-rules-on-posting-comments-for-clients-9240
This form of marketing does nothing for the credibility of the brand in focus. Earlier this year Naked Communications did the hoax man in a jacket campaign for Witchery and Cummins Nitro the fake tattoo for Tourism Queenland’s best job in the world.
The article about the fake tattoo reported in the newspapers across the country
Tricking people to pay attention to your product using Social Media reminds me of the Snake Oil peddler stereotype, the authentic Chinese Snake Oil medicine was beneficial for pain relief but the imitator product sold by travelling sales reps didn’t have the skill or ingredients to replicate the original medicine.