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SAMSUNG Media 2.0 seeding by the Viral Company fails spectacularly due to deep throat, clearly someone with insight to how the Viral Company operates has been calling each spammy-styled forum posting shilling Samsung out. The key to finding each post was searching for the domain moltoman.com/tracker/, and presto you'd find each forum post that had an embedded smiley in it. The domain moltoman.com belongs to Oscar Trollheden (you can't make stuff like this up), and he owns 30 more domains if anyone fancies opening pandoras box.
Meanwhile over in the UK, Computeractive found similar shills in their own forums.
But, is the problem limited to one rogue agency in Sweden? Some interesting posts on Computeractive's own online forum suggest otherwise. Take a look at this post, for example.
Since this users entire posting history is about glowing reviews of Samsung products, either a Korean fellar who really loves Samsung logged on to their forums wanting to share out of purely altruistic reasons... Or, more likely he's paid to do it. What do you think?
Hot on the heels of the Advertising Age article Social Media: Consumers Trust Their Friends Less where an Edelman Study showed that only 25% of people find their peers credible (Bill Green picked them apart on that when we recorded this weeks beancast, by the way). The article states;
"The mind-set is no longer 'I can just trust it because it's somebody's opinion,'" he said. "It's, 'I can trust that specific opinion because it's someone I know.'
The question is, has anyone blindly trusted the mystery someones opinion, and if they only recently stopped, isn't that due to spammy behaviour in forums like these now demonstrated by Samsung?
When I spoke to Erik Johannesson at Samsung he made it clear that the Viral Company were hired to "place video banners". I asked if showing youtube links in forums was "placing video banners" and he responded:
"Samsung has a policy to be clear as to who the sender is in all of our advertising. What the Viral Company are doing is new to us, and going too far. We can see that this has been criticized. We've put a stop this this. We will reevaluate our internal policy over this, and we will analyze our relationship with the Viral Company, before we continue with any new campaigns."
If Samsung's actual policy is to be clear who is the sender of a message, they might need to have a worldwide look at what their advertising partners are doing.