September 1, 2014

Cool Ringtones (Fake) Blog

Posted by: of on 08/31/04
Cindy Schmelky (not)

Yet another example (apparently) of a fake blog for a consumer product. Attention marketers: passing fake blogs off as real io LAAAAAME!!! You will get outed and look like asses.

I’ve said before I don’t mind fake blogs in some cases. I think the distinction is when they are obviously fake, or better yet admit to being fake or in some limited cases part of a publicity stunt (though, that model is growing old fast), they can sometimes be cool. But I can’t think of an exception when you are playing to your core audience pretending to be something you’re not (in this case, a 15-year-old girl) is not just piss-poor marketing likely to bite you in the ass. You’re playing your customers for fools. That is not cool.

Ringtonia has the scoop:

Cool Ringtones Blog which I’ve mentioned in Ringtonia before, is not like a initially thought, the blog of a teenager age who loves ringtones, but the business blog of, a provider of ringtones, wallpapers, online games…
Though the blog introduces Cindy Schmelky, 15, from Wayne, Penn with a picture and a quote “I love ringtones more than life”, she’s really just a figurehead for those articles as various members of the company’s team write them, according to Ringingphone co-owner Bob Bentz.

That a ringtone company has a blog is a great idea. But there is no need to mislead readers into thinking the blog is written by a 15 year-old, when it’s not.

All that said, naming the fake blogger “Cindy Schmelky” was a nice touch, as it doesn’t sound like the kind of name you’d come up with for a fake person. Her tagline ” I love ringtones more than life” is especially creepy.

Check out the comments; a representative from Ringtones apologizes for the deceptive nature of the blog, saying they’ve learned their lesson and stopped faking the bloggers identity. Indeed, they still use the young woman’s photo, but they don’t pretend she’s a real person anymore. They simply refer to the blogger’s identity now as “The Staff at Cool Ringtones Blog.” Real names of those blogging would be a better improvement, but this is certainly something.


1 comment for Cool Ringtones (Fake) Blog »

  1. I appreciate your comments. The blog was originally set up by interns this summer and apparently poor judgement was used. The site has since been changed to not infer that it is being written by somebody other than our staff members. Ringingphone apologizes for the error in judgement.

    Comment by Bob Bentz — October 22, 2004 @ 9:37 am

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