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January 25, 2005 10:24 AM   Subscribe

Not only is pop star Ashlee Simpson lip syncing and manufactured, but so are some of her fans:
"I just read about Ashlee in us weekly. Those guys at the football game were total jerks." -- mandyc19

Welcome to the world of message forum viral marketing, "street team" advertising, and corporate shills. That "fan" posting in forums about Court TV, The Smoking Gun, or shows on Fox isn't a fan at all -- just another type of spammer -- only this time employed by giant media corporations.
posted by jca (85 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Awesome post. And I just read last night that her album sold 4 million copies. Americans deserve their slop (speaking as an American).
posted by bardic at 10:32 AM on January 25, 2005


Welcome to the spin zoooooone
posted by elpapacito at 10:32 AM on January 25, 2005


Everything on the intarnets isn't true? What's next, professional wrestling is fake?
posted by thedevildancedlightly at 10:33 AM on January 25, 2005


That's not true at all. I suggest you chill out with a Pepsi.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:33 AM on January 25, 2005


I don't believe that for a second.
posted by jsavimbi at 10:33 AM on January 25, 2005


What an interesting phenomenon. Truly.

(What's with your Fox link? I don't understand how the google search is related...)
posted by odinsdream at 10:33 AM on January 25, 2005


It would be awful if someone posted a link to this page on each of those forums.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:40 AM on January 25, 2005


Yo - have you guys heard about this????!!!! There's this metafilter thing that is SO cool!!!!! I totally heard from my friend that you get like a dollar off if you say, like "matt haughy" real loud when you order a Bacardi Knicker Twister® before February 28th!!!
posted by jalexei at 10:42 AM on January 25, 2005


Those guys at the game *were* jerks though.
posted by greasy_skillet at 10:43 AM on January 25, 2005


Ack! They've already gotten to greasy_skillet!
posted by theFlyingSquirrel at 10:45 AM on January 25, 2005


only this time employed by giant media corporations.

I don't doubt this really, but for the FPP's sake, it'd be better if you backed this up with just one more link to back this claim up...

Good post.
posted by santiagogo at 10:47 AM on January 25, 2005


so - it's official now?

*checks watch*
posted by petebest at 10:48 AM on January 25, 2005


I just read about Ashlee in us weekly. Those guys at the football game were total jerks.
posted by the theory of revolution at 10:51 AM on January 25, 2005


I just read about Ashlee in us weekly. Those guys at the football game were total jerks.
posted by gwint at 10:52 AM on January 25, 2005


I just hope she gets to tell her side!
posted by Armen Tanzarian at 10:53 AM on January 25, 2005


I just read about Mandy on MetaFilter. Those guys at the viral marketing firm were total jerks!
posted by fandango_matt at 11:01 AM on January 25, 2005


I saw Ashlee on some stupid tv show last night. What a stone-cold no-talent dumbshit. The premise was something to the effect of recording a new album. They wrote songs in an hour, she sang tunelessly, the producer told her she was garbage, she spazzed, she sulked, she ranted, there was ass-kissing ("I meant the band Garbage!"), there was more tuneless, talentless singing, and then the kids thankfully changed the channel.

Ashlee is only fit for working at McDonald's. And at the fry tanks, not the front counter.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:03 AM on January 25, 2005


Ashleyturfing?

Is it time to scream like a triffid?
posted by fleacircus at 11:05 AM on January 25, 2005


or was that bodysnatcher, er...
posted by fleacircus at 11:06 AM on January 25, 2005


bob dylan got booed when he went electric
prince got booed when he opened for the stones
in 20 years, ashlee will look back at this and laugh.

paid for by the swift boat amateurs for ashlee
posted by tsarfan at 11:06 AM on January 25, 2005


manufactured sanging *_*
posted by Hands of Manos at 11:06 AM on January 25, 2005


Can they please at least find some freakin' pop tart who's decent looking? This annoying twit is ugly, talentless and stupid but then, I guess that's the new mantra for America, isn't it?

But then, I'm curious, how can I get a job just speading whatever manure someone tells me to all over the internet?

And did they actually sell those albums or did they hire kids to buy them?
posted by fenriq at 11:07 AM on January 25, 2005


The Internet is like Echelon for fake celebrities.
posted by orange clock at 11:10 AM on January 25, 2005


is this a bzzzagent of some sort? (NYT article)
posted by dabitch at 11:11 AM on January 25, 2005


This annoying twit is ugly, talentless and stupid but then, I guess that's the new mantra for America, isn't it?

It's not nice to insult someone for not being attractive, it's not like they had a choice when they were born.

It's pretty cheap also.
posted by orange clock at 11:11 AM on January 25, 2005



That's not true at all. I suggest you chill out with a Pepsi.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 12:33 PM CST on January 25

It's Pepsi Blue, PG, Pepsi Blue!
posted by graventy at 11:19 AM on January 25, 2005


fenriq - i think she's cute ... i also think she ought to quit singing

hey ... did you know that you can get an apple i-pod free?
posted by pyramid termite at 11:22 AM on January 25, 2005


"Great," I thought when I first heard about Simpson getting booed, "we're a country that boos Ashlee Simpson and elects George Bush."
posted by octobersurprise at 11:25 AM on January 25, 2005


"bob dylan got booed when he went electric
prince got booed when he opened for the stones
in 20 years, ashlee will look back at this and laugh."

Well yeah, but... it'll be an alcohol-hazed hysterical laugh.

(Of course, Kylie Minogue has shown us there is life beyond "Locomotion".)
posted by Mike D at 11:27 AM on January 25, 2005


It'd be better if you backed this up with just one more link to back this claim up...

Well, santiagogo, the Electric Artists website is on hiatus for retooling, it appears, but here's an article about how the company built online buzz for Christina Aguilera back in '99 using viral-marketing techniques such as planting info in chatrooms.

Aguilera was the breakthrough for Electric Artists, and its client list now features practically every major media conglomerate on the planet. Wouldn't surprise me if they - or some other firm just like them - were responsible for these Ashlee posts.

Also, I'm pretty sure I just read about Ashlee in us weekly. Those guys at the football game were total jerks. just became the So this broomstick . . . it vibrates? of 2005.
posted by gompa at 11:28 AM on January 25, 2005


Where is the link that shows this person is a corporate lackey? I missed it. considering that is the point of the post, shouldn't there be more of that? (agree with santiagogo)
posted by evening at 11:30 AM on January 25, 2005


d'oh
posted by evening at 11:30 AM on January 25, 2005


In the spirit of viral marketing, self-link Ashlee Simpson cartoon.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 11:37 AM on January 25, 2005


I'm with frenriq: I need to know how I can become a cog in the viral marketing machine...
posted by Specklet at 11:37 AM on January 25, 2005


you can't really stop this sort of thing. which is ok ... i mean, obviously, there are a few people who recognize this form of marketing. the fact that it bothers some of us is that the recognition of it requires the use of critical thinking. it reinforces the notion that we have to be mentally on-guard, and it frustrates us that there are those with no consideration of that. but -- it beats falling for propoganda.
posted by moz at 11:42 AM on January 25, 2005


WTF?! Wannabe (2005/II) A group of aspiring entertainers try to establish careers for themselves in the city of Los Angeles.

Tagline: She thought she'd do a hoe-down.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:44 AM on January 25, 2005


bob dylan got booed when he went electric

...and yet he didn't get booed when he made a commerical for Victoria's Secret. It's a funny old world.
posted by 327.ca at 11:50 AM on January 25, 2005


Nice imitation of Faze tsarfan!

Does anyone feel that the viral marketing mentality is also related to the censorship mentality?
posted by juiceCake at 11:50 AM on January 25, 2005


Please, for a moment, think of Mandy. Exactly what does that copy/paste moment look like, what are her/ his surroundings, what Dilbert cartoons grace Mandy's pod, what air conditing units hum for Mandy as he enters one chat room after another. What price freedom, Mandy?
posted by juggernautco at 11:55 AM on January 25, 2005


"Those guys at the game *were* jerks though."

The excerpt I got to download ended before the booing started, unless they were booing very softly, but from what
I saw I'd've booed too. "You make me wanna la la" makes me wanna upchuck.

As for "manufactured celebrities", what about the Gabor Sisters?
posted by davy at 12:01 PM on January 25, 2005


"As for "manufactured celebrities", what about the Gabor Sisters?"

Come on, Green Acres was fucking awesome, and it's available for pre-order on DVD for just $20.99!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:06 PM on January 25, 2005


Is this really new? I mean, this sort of thing has been going on in movie reviews ("The best movie of 2005" -- John Shiller, Ackron Screen-Door Manufacturers' Weekly), and even Amazon, for years, right?

I came across an ex-girlfriend's screen name in the comments section of a Washington Post restaurant review. Her comments sounded a bit too enthusiastic, so I did some googling. I found out she's the new marketing rep for the restaurant being reviewed. I reported the review to the Post, but it's still there. I'd link it, but, really, this girl had some serious stalker tendencies, so I wouldn't want her to think I'm, um, stalking her.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:07 PM on January 25, 2005


Ashlee Simpsonis apparently a regular on 7th Heaven - looking after the stepford twins. Who scare the hell out of me. No, I don't watch it. Unless I'm so hung-over it hurts to turn the channel. Which is basically my Thursday. Anyhow - apparently one of the kids - the other scary aryan blond one, is back from college soon and looking to have some freaky pre-marital sex. Possibly with his old flame Cecilia - played by a certain person a bunch of football jerks were just really mean to. You heard it hear first. Just because I love you - I won't post the theme song. Oh, all right:

Seventh heaven,when I see their happy faces,smiling back at me

Seventh heaven,I know there's no greater feeling that the love of family

Where can you go,when the world don't treat you right

The answer is home,that's the one place that you'll find

Seventh heaven, oooh Seventh heaven


Truly I am of the darkness.
posted by Sparx at 12:08 PM on January 25, 2005


Life imitates marketing - marketing imitates life.
posted by homodigitalis at 12:12 PM on January 25, 2005


If I were at the game I would have booed her no-talent having ass too.

I don't think there are any football fans who actually *like* Ashlee Simpson, N'Sync or Paul McCartney, so why do the networks constantly put them on extended halftime performances? Are the networks that out of touch?

Why don't they just have Toby Keith do every halftime show? He was the only one not jeered at the Rose Bowl
posted by b_thinky at 12:15 PM on January 25, 2005


It seems to me that ad execs don't care if football fans like the show; football fans are already watching. The execs are trying to bring in new viewers, folks who'll tune in just for the show. I know I watch the Super Bowl for the commercials, not the game.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:18 PM on January 25, 2005


You know, doing this in such a ham fisted way only makes Ashlee look more lame. The marketing wonks that were responsible for this really should lose their jobs.

Seriously, "Mandy" should have at least written a bunch of original messages, altered her name on different boards and made an attempt to *appear* like they were going to be regular participants in those forums. This cut and paste method is too easy to track and, like I said, makes the "artist" look bad.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:22 PM on January 25, 2005


Checking out a couple of those links makes me happy that we aren't allowed signatures on the Blue.
posted by jeffmik at 12:22 PM on January 25, 2005


this kind of thing has been happening for years, far longer than ashlee simpson has plagued us.

i remember way back when the psx first launched and was competing against the n64 and whatever sega's superior but poorly marketed system was. you could go over to the rec.videogames boards and see people posting who were obviously employed by one of the three companies. now, i don't know if they were doing this on company time or their own time, but they usually would include highly conspicuous claims that they didn't work for any of the companies involved, then make posts about how such and such system was obviously better than system x, backed up with specs that only somebody on the inside could have known.

i think this sort of thing also happens in political discussions: i swear i've seen some people who preface their arguments with "i'm not a bush supporter, but..." use wording that was lifted from whatever talking points memo was passed around that day. not saying they all do that, but it's happened enough to make me say "hmmm."

btw, although i'm not connected to it's manufacture or sale in any way, i hope people are enjoying a nice cold red stripe while reading metafilter. hooray beer!

(seriously, i'm not connected, but if anyone from red stripe is reading and needs a viral marketer, i'm your huckleberry.)
posted by lord_wolf at 12:22 PM on January 25, 2005


Manufactured celebrities owe everything to Rula Lenska.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:24 PM on January 25, 2005


Why don't they just have Toby Keith do every halftime show?

The only thing worse than a Toby Keith halftime show would be a Toby Keith wardrobe malfunction.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:27 PM on January 25, 2005


A certain somewhat well-respected film producer used to have legions of kids storm chatrooms, exhorting people to see certain films.

"MAN, CHANGING LANES CERTAINLY IS AWESOME. I MUST SEE IT AGAIN AFTER I SEE ORANGE COUNTY AGAIN."

Although, I think he's gotten rid of that little task force. I don't think it was particularly effective.
posted by Sticherbeast at 12:47 PM on January 25, 2005


Since the invention of Tivo, nobody with money watches commercials any more. Marketing people still want to get paid, so they're trying different stuff. Expect more of this, along with product placement (e.g. the overly conspicuous Ford usage in Alias).

See also Pattern Recognition
posted by jlub at 12:48 PM on January 25, 2005


If I ever see a Toby Keith nipple, somebody's gonna get a boot in the ass.
posted by namespan at 12:49 PM on January 25, 2005


Just when I thought there wasn't anything worse than a Toby Keith halftime performance...there he is on stage, bumping and grinding with Justin Timberlake, exposing himself. uuuuuggghh.
posted by Armen Tanzarian at 1:01 PM on January 25, 2005


If I ever see a Toby Keith nipple, somebody's gonna get a boot in the ass.

isn't this the title of one of his albums?
posted by lord_wolf at 1:18 PM on January 25, 2005


Best response to the post I read:
I just read about evil in AdAgency Scumfuck weekly. Those guys who didnt follow a basic rule to aim the marketing at the right target audience were total jerks. Do you think emptv is gonna play the sounds of a million souls screaming at this annoying form of sadvertising on the soulless dollar zombie show? It's on after TheWrongForum show again right? I hope they roast on the other side!
posted by monkeyboy_socal at 1:23 PM on January 25, 2005


Is it just me or is MTV running the Ashlee Simpson show 24 hours a day now? Not that I ever watch NotMusic Television anymore but it seems like it is always on when I flip past.

Hilary Duff may not be much better but she's at least cute to look at. Oh wait, she can sing, dance and act too? Nevermind, Ashlee is the inverse of Hilary Duff but I bet she drink her under the table and do waaaay more lines too! Woot!

On Preview: monkeyboy_socal, I like that "EmpTV", it fits.
posted by fenriq at 1:27 PM on January 25, 2005


Ha, suckered in by marketing! That's from FUELs first posters, the ones with Sally Struthers and the campaign asked "Where's the M in emptee-vee?" Diclaimer: self link
posted by dabitch at 1:34 PM on January 25, 2005


(Of course, Kylie Minogue has shown us there is life beyond "Locomotion".)

Where I can respect Kylie is that she ultimately embraced the campiness of her genre of music (something that I think Britney was starting to do with the video for Toxic). Ashlee and others are still playing it straight, and deserve all the scorn they get.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:44 PM on January 25, 2005


Seriously though. Is the Ashlee disaster at the Orange Bowl somehow good for ABC?
posted by b_thinky at 1:45 PM on January 25, 2005


Haha! jlub, you've noticed that? My friends and I always joke about how often she's in her Focus. If they're chasing someone in cars, it'll be Focus versus Focus. Look at those cars handle! Can anyone catch a Focus?
posted by graventy at 1:48 PM on January 25, 2005


I won't be surprised to see Ashlee Simpson becoming the first female US president.
posted by Harry at 2:01 PM on January 25, 2005


Makes you wonder who else is a plant.
posted by destro at 2:08 PM on January 25, 2005


You young folks are so funny with your pop culture and all...
posted by Hobgoblin at 2:17 PM on January 25, 2005



posted by petebest at 2:17 PM on January 25, 2005


Not to nitpick, dabitch, but I've seen MTV referred to as EmptyV, and its many iterations, since bread cost a nickle.
posted by haqspan at 2:25 PM on January 25, 2005


...and yet he didn't get booed when he made a commerical for Victoria's Secret.

there was plenty of booing at my house.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:17 PM on January 25, 2005


Leave it to Ashlee to screw up something as simple as forum posting.
posted by jonknee at 3:31 PM on January 25, 2005


Surely some of these forums are logging IP addresses? I'd be curious to see where Mandy is posting from.
posted by modofo at 3:47 PM on January 25, 2005


1st j-lo and ben and now this.
posted by Heatwole at 3:55 PM on January 25, 2005


1st j-lo and ben and now this.

At least Brad and Jen are still together.
posted by drezdn at 4:14 PM on January 25, 2005


"Not to nitpick, dabitch, but I've seen MTV referred to as EmptyV, and its many iterations, since bread cost a nickle."

Not to nitpick, haqspan, but if you're paying for bread with birds perhaps you ought to move up to nickels.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:26 PM on January 25, 2005


I don't understand. How are mindless forum posts going to change the fact that Ashlee Simpson is a talentless wretch riding on her disgusting sister's name?

If anything those football fans should have crucified her in the name of good taste.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:23 PM on January 25, 2005


StopAshlee.com - now with more than 140000 signatures
posted by madman at 5:47 AM on January 26, 2005


haqspan, I was joking and thought that was obvious considering the threads topic. Remind me to use smileys more often.
posted by dabitch at 6:26 AM on January 26, 2005


Manufactured celebrities? Hello, Pia Zadora.
posted by SisterHavana at 7:28 AM on January 26, 2005


Hilary Duff may not be much better but she's at least cute to look at. Oh wait, she can sing, dance and act too?

Hilary Duff has about 10 percent more talent than Ashlee, which means she has very little.

They're different sides to the same coin. Both only around for the amusement of old men and young girls, one not caring about talent and the other ignorant to the definition.
posted by justgary at 8:15 AM on January 26, 2005


manufactered celebrities=sex pistols?
posted by firemouth at 12:43 PM on January 26, 2005


She's on the cover of cosmo. I'd still do bad things to her. But no talent hack sums it up.

Anyway, does this really affect organic search as many message boards uses session IDs or cookies to browse and with the dynamic content, and google really doesn't dig too deep with that kind of stuff.

It's definitely more so controlled spin in the public face, but besides suppressing the din of disenchanted individuals, what's the point?
posted by eljuanbobo at 8:36 AM on January 27, 2005


I got this email in response to my question about logging IPs:

...the post was about "Mandyc19" and his/her spamtastic post frenzy about Ashlee Simpson. You wondered if any of the message boards had logged the IP address, and where she was coming from...well...it just so happens that they hit a board I moderate, and I am happy to report that the IP address the post came from was: 70.23.46.31

We did some checking into the user when we also got someone named "islandchica" with virtually the same message, and best we could tell, "mandy" is a Verizon customer in eastern New York state.

Yeah, so feel free to share that information...

posted by modofo at 10:33 AM on January 27, 2005


Reading this post made me a member..
posted by AloneOssifer at 11:06 PM on January 30, 2005


They showed up on a couple boards I look after this week - thanks for the heads up :)
posted by juanjamon at 11:57 AM on February 4, 2005


Wait, celebrity news is unreliable?
posted by nanojath at 7:28 PM on February 24, 2005


foiled
posted by seanyboy at 3:58 AM on February 25, 2005


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