Bjoern at Site-9 Weblog spotted something iffy with the polite email from a marketing student. The email starts off with : "First of all, let me tell you how much I like your blog. I am a last year student at university and I hope to start working in advertising next year. Your blog is a real source of inspiration." and goes on to tell about the American Express interactive Billboard we posted about on Thursday.
Bjoern did a little header-reading on the emails to see where it came from, and when he compared to his site-stats, he saw that the same IP showed up in his server logs as tmp.ogilvy.com.
dig -x 22.214.171.124
and the answer is
126.96.36.199.in-addr.arpa. 86318 IN PTR tmp.ogilvy.com.
In short, they suckered us! Ogilvy happens to be American Express' ad agency. I'll blame my lack of cynicism that day on the yearly deadline stress before the superbowl, I read the mail and took it at face value.
Well not really, I couldn't care less if they were a student, if they really did think this site was a source of inspiration or not - all I care about is the tip, and is it "report-worthy"? After sending a few images to the Amex billboard, including goatse as I mentioned in the comments I thought it was a fun little poster and posted about it. Someone at Amex server actually sifts through those images and makes sure goatse doesn't end up on the street after all, and that's pretty clever (though it might have been even more fun had the Goatse image-send worked - god knows it would have gone viral immediately then)