I just found out that my ex works in viral marketing.
I haven't yet decided if this falls under the umbrella of shady market practises, as was my first though, or if it's actually a stroke of genius.
I mean I know that word-of-mouth has an incredible market penetration. Good products get referred to by other users, and need for the product and/or service is created.
However, harnessing this by sending advertisers out under a cloak of secrecy to create this viral buzz, might just be crossing the boundary to what is acceptable in marketing.
I suppose time will tell on this particular subject, but my stance right now is that viral marketing (guerilla marketing, if you will) is something the devil cooked up in his (or her, as per your preference) spare time to pester the unsuspecting public.
Words like fraud come to mind.
Sure, I can't blame my ex for doing it, it's just that I probably would have chosen a different line of employment.
It's like a con with corporate backup.
Get the confidence, sell the product, and damn the consequences.
I mean with regular commercials, at least you know it's a commercial.
From now on, I can't trust anything anybody tells me anymore online, for fear that they are actually secretly employed by one of these guerilla organizations for spreading word that isn't necessarily true.
WOMMA (their organization) has these ethics rules that companies probably pay lax attention to, at best.
The social effects of this remain to be seen, but I predict that increasing distrust of people and companies will follow. Soon, you won't be able to take anybodies word for anything, since that word might be backed by corporate sponsors.
It's a fucked up world we live in, ladies and gentlemen, and there isn't' a single thing we can do about it.
Grassroots movements you say, and communities of people, working towards a single goal...
I'll give you two guesses as to what's on the top of WOMMAs list of places to start your campaigns...
(for now, atleast, my words are not corporately sponsored)