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Target & Drillteam Media busted for stealth word of mouth

Target has been busted for some very unethical stealthy behavior.  They are running an program called "Target Rounders" with volunteer college evangelists who are asked to promote the company.

The problem: They have asked the participants to hide their involvement in the program and lie when asked if they are working for target.  Their MySpace and Facebook groups are full of obviously planted fake messages.  This is a) dirty and b) a blatant violation of the WOMMA Ethics Code.

Read the complete story here on Professor Kaye Sweester’s blog.  She says it well, so I don’t need to repeat it here.

The news:  The agency behind this program is Drillteam Media. (WOMMA: You should investigate! They are a member.)

The lessons:

  1. Word of mouth marketing requires the absolute highest standards of ethics and honesty.
  2. You don’t get to hide behind your agency.  When they do something sleazy, your brand takes the hit.
  3. You will get busted.

Use the WOMMA 20 Questions to stay out of trouble. 

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Comments

  1. Bill Gammell November 29, 2007 at 3:10 pm #

    Andy,
    Oh, my. I didn’t know that the company behind this was a member of WOMMA? The plot thickens.

  2. Andy Sernovitz November 29, 2007 at 3:18 pm #

    Plot? WOMMA’s purpose is to STOP behaviors like this.

  3. Bill Gammell November 30, 2007 at 3:35 pm #

    Andy,
    Maybe “plot” wasn’t the best term. I did not mean to infer a plot between Drillteam Media and WOMMA. What I meant was that it is even more disturbing that Drillteam Media would even join, agree abide and then willfully snub the very ideals of WOMMA.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Fair Warning - October 27, 2009

    […] a few idiots get busted, all of our reputations take a hit. The lack of response to the Target/DrillTeam scandal is just one more example of sweeping it under the rug.  Where is the WOMMA […]

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