Thursday, November 18, 2010

Latest Victim: Netflix

It’s like banging your head against the wall. Every good corporate citizen today knows the name of the game is full disclosure (it’s an essential component of integrity). Yet even some very visible companies still try to get away with violating the fundamental rule of transparency – and think they will not get caught. But they mostly do.

Here’s the latest victim: Netflix.

Netflix made a HUGE mistake when it faked customer endorsements by hiring actors to deliver praise at the Canadian press launch of its new service – for which it later apologized.

According to an article in Boing Boing, “Netflix has had to apologize after it was revealed that the enthusiastic customers talking to the press at its Canadian launch were actors hired for the occasion, reciting lines from a prepared script.”

Literally extras were encouraged to move into the streets and play types, for example, mothers, film buffs, etc. An information sheet from Netflix distributed to extras said: “Extras are to behave as members of the public, out and about enjoying their day-to-day life, who happen upon a street event for Netflix and stop by to check it out.”

This makes you wonder what the Netflix folks were thinking – should one of these actors be invited by the press to do an interview. For all its press launch planning and execution, all the good has been undone in one fell swoop.

Technorati Tags: disclosure ,corporate citizen,Netflix, communications, public relations, business, Makovsky


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