Warner manipulation backfires

Attempting to influence Pomos (Postmoderns) with Modernist methodology can backfire badly. Witness the case of Warner Brothers Records and a small — but highly influential — group of bloggers. The full story is from The New York Times, and it’s one every person who wishes to do business in the new paradigm should read.

In a nutshell, these bloggers write about and post MP3 files. They have heretofore operated outside the legal arm of the recording industry, so they were surprised to get a note and an MP3 from Warner about a new band that the record company was promoting. The note said Warner didn’t have a problem with what they were doing and asked them to listen to and write about the MP3. Most of the bloggers smelled a rat, but one wrote an entry and posted the MP3. Comments about the track were filled with accolades, but guess what? A group of them came from the same Warner IP address that sent the MP3. The marketer who wrote the initial request said it was probably just a group of fans from within the record company. Yeah, right.

The issue here is that the Internet really does reject manipulation, which is the core competency of any ad agency in a mass marketing world. These Warner people thought that if they could convince the MP3ers that their new band was good, then that would trickling “down” to their readers, and, voila, they’d have a hit. Not so fast.

Transparency is the rule “down here” and you people “up there” need to figure that out.


  1. Hammered at FastCompany’s blog, too. Icky boo-boo on Warner.

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