Shankar Gupta over at MediaPost reports today in his article, Sony Confesses To Creating 'Flog,' Shutters Comments, that:
"Sony Wednesday released a statement acknowledging that the blog was phony. 'Sony Computer Entertainment America developed alliwantforxmasisapsp.com as a humorous site targeting those interested in getting a PSP system this holiday season,' it read. 'We've now added a posting that provides this clarification to consumers visiting the site.' The company did not comment further."
Here's the Blog posting from All I Want For Xmas Is A PSP:
"Busted. Nailed. Snagged. As many of you have figured out (maybe our speech was a little too funky fresh???), Peter isn't a real hip-hop maven and this site was actually developed by Sony. Guess we were trying to be just a little too clever. From this point forward, we will just stick to making cool products, and use this site to give you nothing but the facts on the PSP. - Sony Computer Entertainment America."
I'm disappointed and sad on many levels.
1. I wish that Zipatoni had come forward sooner. If Sony can muster up the powers-that-be to get a statement out, there's no reason why Zipatoni could not.
2. I fear that fake Blogs are actually becoming a valuable marketing opportunity. They get tons of press and publicity at a fairly cheap budget (I know, but at what cost to integrity?).
3. I fear that we're getting numb to hearing about fake Blogs and, because of this, it will become acceptable.
4. I have hopes that these types of non-transparent acts will not tarnish Social Media and will not quell the passions of online dialogue and community building around brands that we love.
5. I wonder what this will do to the reputation of Zipatoni? If nothing happens and it's business as usual as advertisers continue to use their services, that's sad. If this incident has tremendous ramifications on the company and the people that work there, then that's sad too. I'm sure Zipatoni is full of creative and passionate marketers who will now become part of the collateral damage.
6. If Sony asked Zipatoni to do this, that's sad. If Zipatoni pitched this as an idea to Sony, that's sadder.
I'm still interested in hearing from Zipatoni. Let's see if they will agree to discuss what happened.
You can read the back-story here: