Lameflix: Netflix Hires Actors To Give Interviews Pretending To Be Excited About Canadian Netflix Launch

from the eh? dept

We've talked in the past about how Netflix has done a lot right over the years, but that doesn't preclude them from making a wrong step. Apparently, with the company's launch in Canada, it decided to hire actors to pretend they were really excited at the launch event (found via Mathew Ingram). Not only that, but many of the paid "actors" were then made available to journalists to interviews about how excited they were... without revealing that they were being paid by Netflix. They were apparently given the following instructions:
"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," reads an information sheet handed out to extras.

"Extras are to look really excited, particularly if asked by media to do any interviews about the prospect of Netflix in Canada."
Netflix has since apologized, and claimed that the "script" wasn't supposed to be given to the "extras," but was merely to get the permit for the launch event, which they had described as a "documentary." Either way, the fact that no one saw a problem with this before it got this far is pretty damning.

Filed Under: canada, pr, shills
Companies: netflix

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. icon
    TW Burger (profile), 22 Sep 2010 @ 2:48pm

    Hurray for Twitter, Shame on the Journalists

    I find it odd and upsetting that the journalists could be fooled so easily by actors and a Twitter storm was the source of uncovering the deception.

    When I was reporting technology news it was always obvious who was the paid shill at an announcement or what wasn't being told to the audience. I remember when Lotus showed us a new 123 release in the 1980s (now I've aged myself). It was suspiciously fast and most of us spotted it after an amazingly short recalculation time. When pressed the spokeswoman admitted the CPU was a new experimental core called Pentium that Intel had loaned to Lotus for lab testing and the marketing team had usurped for Dog and Pony shows. It seems that cheating is common when a large amount of money is involved and should always be looked for. Perhaps the real story is the apparent laziness and gullibility and ignorance of the press.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Shop Now: Copying Is Not Theft
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.