from the wow dept
Nicholas Carlson has an astounding story about a health insurance astroturf group that is using those social gaming "offer" services to get gamers to contact their elected officials to oppose health care reform in exchange for virtual currency in games. Yes, health insurance companies are basically trying to bribe a bunch of Farmville and Mafia Wars players on Facebook to send messages to their representatives, that say: "I am concerned a new government plan could cause me to lose the employer coverage I have today. More government bureaucracy will only create more problems, not solve the ones we have." In exchange, you get some virtual currency to spend.
The group behind this virtual bribery astroturfing effort is backed by a who's who of insurance trade associations... and when Carlson tried to contact them for comment, the email bounced. Nice to see that some of the scammiest lobbying groups out there have found some of the scammiest marketing techniques out there as well.