Harry Potter and the circulation of markets
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Why certain companies make such great bozos

Want to see some major corporate twaddle? Check this out. It's the fake blog of a fake persona, along with fake profiles littering the web from Facebook to Twitter. All brought to you from the company headed by this guy.               

In case you'd rather keep reading than clicking for the reference points, what I'm referring to is an online Microsoft "campaign" that's nothing less than a sterling waste of dollars on drivel.

Parker Whittle, the fictional name of a fictional character with his own very real but fictionalized Linkedin profile, is supposedly on a daily mission. Here's how he describes it on his slog... ah, blog.

who am I & why am I doing this

ParkerMy name is Parker, and I’m just a guy with a computer and good intentions. A couple of months ago, I found out about the i’m Initiative.

It’s a Microsoft program that gives to a social cause every time you use Windows Live Messenger or Windows Live Hotmail. I saw an ad that said, “The more you talk, the more we give.” So I thought, if I get a bunch of people talking for 30 days, how much will they give?

I hope you join me. Thanks for checking out the Talkathon!

I found it via an ad on the Huffington Post. Which sort of led me to lose my respect for them. I'm in marketing. I know media depends on ads. Still, there's something disconcerting to see it featured front page on a site that supposedly is about honesty and setting things straight. Honestly, in the next few weeks I'll link to something more disturbing, as soon as I find it again. Another respectable site taking ad dollars from something much more frightening. But for now the most scary thing here is that people who must have some measure of intelligence are investing in such branding efforts.  More like an anti-branding effort. Who is it designed for? What is it designed to do? Do they really think the public is that idiotic that they'd sign up under this persuasion? I guess. Microsoft can blabber all they want about Yahoo's inept management under Jerry Yang, but other than XBox - which if I understand correctly operates almost autonomously - these guys have no clue about the basics of media.


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