Target & Drillteam Media Busted!

Just read about this over at Andy Sernovitz’s Blog:

Target & Drillteam Media busted for stealth word of mouth

When I first got started in this business around 5 years ago, I had two concerns. First, that there would not be enough conversations out there. Boy was I wrong on that one!

My second concern was that there was too much spam and too many flame wars out there. That one turned out to be not quite true, but there is a kernel of truth in there.

The kernel of truth is this. Conversations between people (whether online or off) are just that – conversations between people. They are not conversations between people and corporations, or people and brands. They are people to people. Otherwise they are not conversations.

Now this Target/Drillteam initiative (can you call it that?) is evidence of my real concern. In all of our haste to get “into the conversation” with WOM marketing we (industry) are just going to trash it all. If you try to control or spam the conversation as they did, you ruin it for everyone.

It’s as if I’m in line at Potbelly asking my buddy what kind of sandwich to get and an employee dressed like a customer butts in and starts shouting at me to buy the most expensive sandwich. Or a Subway employee starts shouting at me about Subway. Yuck.

Thanks for Andy and WOMMA for taking a leadership position on ethics in social media. We need it.

TO’B

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