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Sony uses interns to promote its artists on blogs
February 15, 2006 7:26 AM   Subscribe

Out of touch with today's 'yoof'? Fire your marketing team and get interns to do it for free. Sony's cynicism knows no bounds as they pollute the blogosphere with intern-generated progaganda for their artists, hot on the tails of launching their gay record label, to better plunder the pink pound. It's a shame they couldn't take the lead from the other parties burnt in the rootkit scandal and promise more transparency.
posted by NailsTheCat (41 comments total)

 
I know what you're trying to say, and I'm inclined to think you're not off the mark, but I'm not sure your links support your cynicism. Dig deeper, perhaps?
posted by mds35 at 7:35 AM on February 15, 2006


Blog spamming for college credit. Sweet!
posted by PenDevil at 7:40 AM on February 15, 2006


Oh and welcome, by the way!
posted by mds35 at 7:46 AM on February 15, 2006


Yo, this thread is off the hook!
Speaking of off the hook, you should really check out that new Ashley Simpson album. It's off the hizzooook!
posted by bstreep at 7:47 AM on February 15, 2006


Gay record label? Wtf?

What pisses me off about 'gay' music--the term seems to usually mean dance/club music--is that it's even more homogenous than the mainstream. It's all remixes of 'singers' who usually have almost no talent, either vocally or in the farms that write thri songs for them. Aren't we supposed to have taste? Isn't that the stereotype?

Oh yeah, and Sony? Seriously. Just commit seppuku now and be done with it. Oh, wait, you won't... you're too big, and people won't stop buying your products.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:54 AM on February 15, 2006


just so the keyword remains alive: Ashleeturfing
posted by jca at 7:55 AM on February 15, 2006


I wish these corporate demographers would get off my side. I look at the TV these days, and all I see are these "gay friendly" shows, like "Fretful Decorators" and "Gay Fussbudgets" which I find just as patronizing and insulting in their own way as Lost in Space's Dr. Smith.

And Internship is the devil's work. I'm seeing that everywhere now too.
posted by slatternus at 7:55 AM on February 15, 2006


Sony is a particularly scummy company. What with the "spontaneous" graffiti (that decorates my neighborhood), their root kit fiasco, and that pretty but unbelievably wasteful spot where they waste 250,000 superballs for a 1 minute ad (way to save the Earth, Sony!)

It's been a long time since they've gotten my money and I periodically send an email to their marketing department reminding them of this.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:56 AM on February 15, 2006


I only listen to music that comes with a fully functioning vagina.
posted by HTuttle at 7:56 AM on February 15, 2006


This BzzAgent-like stuff makes me want to be Amish. It's only a matter of time before we start hearing stories of personal relationships ruined when someone is discovered to be a shill. Think about how riled up we get about self-links, and then imagine someone doing it in person, maybe even someone you know well.
posted by the jam at 7:58 AM on February 15, 2006


I have nothing to add, I just wanted to see the phrase "plunder the pink pound" again.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:00 AM on February 15, 2006


Lost in Space's Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith wasn't gay, he was just a wimp. He got engaged to alien babes in several episodes, and hilarity ensued!
posted by unreason at 8:07 AM on February 15, 2006


mds35:
Thanks for the welcome. You may well be correct that the accusation is lacking a little substance... but it galls me to the teeth that Sony, having been caught time and time again bribing radio stations, set their sights on blogs.
While Amazon are doing their best to tackle the astroturfing explosion, Sony openly recruit free(!) staff to perpetuate it. For a while there I naively thought blogs were putting consumer power back in the hands of the people...

Armitage:
I thank you, sir. Aficionados always appreciate alliteration artfully... ummm... used. Damn.
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:25 AM on February 15, 2006


Um, if they pay them, it's not really for free.
posted by delmoi at 8:25 AM on February 15, 2006


I read that 'wasteful' commercial was handled well from an environmental standpoint, ie.. gutters were closed, balls were collected afterward.
posted by lyam at 8:26 AM on February 15, 2006


...unless you meant they threw all the balls away when they were done. Maybe they donated them to a clown college.
posted by lyam at 8:33 AM on February 15, 2006


Um, if they pay them, it's not really for free.

Yeah -- if they paid them. From position description:

This is a non-paying internship and interns must be able to receive college credit for their internship.
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:33 AM on February 15, 2006


Ummm... where were the links to the pages with interesting content in this FPP?

Also, please clarify, are Sony launching a record label aimed at homosexuals, called 'Pink Pound'? How can a record label be 'gay'?
posted by drill_here_fore_seismics at 8:34 AM on February 15, 2006


NTC: Word.

I too am regularly galled to the teeth by Sony and their ilk.
posted by mds35 at 8:37 AM on February 15, 2006


I'm gay but I *hate* Madonna, Cher, and all other stereotypically gay dance music. I'd rather listen to jazz, african music, dave matthews band, or soul coughing.
posted by mike3k at 8:45 AM on February 15, 2006


drill_here_fore_seismics:
Darn it. I messed up my hyperlinks (I previewed about 10 times too). Should have read:
"hot on the tails of launching their gay record label, to better plunder the pink pound"
That conceded, the interesting content (IMHO) was there. The advertisement by Epic Records for interns to "to promote artists on social networking sites".
posted by NailsTheCat at 8:46 AM on February 15, 2006


This is exactly the way the Nazis used the Hitler Youth.

To promote Chumbawamba records.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:55 AM on February 15, 2006


Nails:

Fair do's on the Gay record label, IMO I thought the advert was fine, but your links to astroturfing might have been better in the FPP rather than the comments.

Sony were also behind the graffiti campaign for the PSP weren't they? For more on big business co-opting underground/alternative culture there was a fascinating article in issue 70 of Punk Planet, a sample of which can be found here.
posted by drill_here_fore_seismics at 8:58 AM on February 15, 2006


to better plunder the pink pound.

Or to better pound the pink plunder, perhaps?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:08 AM on February 15, 2006


DHFS: Comments appreciated - can't believe I gnarled up my first post... Re. the advert being fine though: I read it and nearly choked, apoplectic rage bursting from my delicate wee ears. And I'm not normally easily riled. Thanks for the graffiti (which barely irks me at all) and other links.
posted by NailsTheCat at 9:25 AM on February 15, 2006


[fixed the hyperlinks in the FPP]
posted by jessamyn at 9:38 AM on February 15, 2006


Aficionados always appreciate alliteration artfully... ummm... used. Damn.

Afficionados always appreciate alliteration artfully applied
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:44 AM on February 15, 2006


It's only a matter of time before we start hearing stories of personal relationships ruined when someone is discovered to be a shill.

Aw, think positive! It's only a matter of time before they pay hotties to pick you up in a bar and blow you out in the parking lot, all the while talking about Nestle's new candy bar. OK maybe not at the exact same time. But you get the idea. Yay shills!
posted by sidereal at 9:54 AM on February 15, 2006


Thanks jessamyn.
dirtynumbangelboy - "applied"... bravo.
posted by NailsTheCat at 9:59 AM on February 15, 2006


I'm not trying to defend Sony but the practice of having interns hype bands on message boards, voting for their artists on request shows etc. is pretty common and happens at all the major labels. The payola stuff you linked to was also not confined to Sony.

I also don't really see what's particularly offensive about starting a gay label. Lots of artists are specifically marketed to the gay community by their labels as they know that it can help to sell a lot of records. Sony is just taking this a step further.
posted by gfrobe at 10:32 AM on February 15, 2006


"I also don't really see what's particularly offensive about starting a gay label."

Given Sony's history of bribing people to play their records, this could take "under the table" payoffs to their logical conclusion.

Do you work for Sony's promotion department? Better buy yourself some lip balm.
posted by insomnia_lj at 10:46 AM on February 15, 2006


Nails:

I meant the advert was fine in the context of an FPP, the actions of Sony are to be expected though. In fact there are a variety of companies that exist to help create the appearance of grass roots support.

I think it is getting more sophisticated, but stuff like the graffiti is worrying in terms of the direction it's going. I read alternative media, like fanzines etc. partly because I want a different viewpoint, not read more articles influenced by major media conglomerates.
posted by drill_here_fore_seismics at 11:16 AM on February 15, 2006


In Indieland, they call 'em "Street Teams."
posted by davebush at 11:21 AM on February 15, 2006


having interns hype bands on message boards.... pretty common and happens at all the major labels

No doubt. But while shilling in this context is probably not illegal it's morally offensive (to me at least) and certainly not less so because everyone else is doing it. All the major labels used to bribe radio stations too -- a practice that is now outlawed. I would hope the abuse of blogs and message boards will eventually go the same way too.

But what really gets me:

(a) Keeping in mind that it's morally questionable (if you share that opinion), the audacity of openly advertising for someone to do the dirty work riles me.

(b) It costs them virtually nothing -- free interns. Yet could a minor/indie record label do the same thing? Probably not -- because they're not going to be able to recruit hordes of interns.

(c) Someone gets college credits for whittering about their new ashlee CD? It beggars belief. (Then again... I guess a lot of interns get credits for making coffee.)

Gay record label: I don't really have an issue with that - I just popped it on cos I thought it was interesting. Right now if I read "Sony exec rescues 200 fluffy kittens from timber wolves"... I'd probably side with the wolves. And I love kittens, me. Boy do I love kittens. [/rant.]
posted by NailsTheCat at 11:24 AM on February 15, 2006


NTC: You're relatively new to the states. You'd be horrified by the variety of things that one can do for college credit in this country.
posted by mds35 at 11:32 AM on February 15, 2006


You'd be horrified by the variety of things that one can do for college credit
I'm sure you're right, I'm a-learning. I hope none of them require lip balm (Ref: insomnia_lj).
posted by NailsTheCat at 11:54 AM on February 15, 2006


"aficionados always appreciate alliteration artfully applied"

Is it too late to offer "absolutely artfully articulated?"

BTW, 'Street teams' are generally paid, albeit poorly.
posted by sfts2 at 1:13 PM on February 15, 2006


I just read about Ashlee in us weekly. Those guys at the football game were total jerks.
posted by Spatch at 1:28 PM on February 15, 2006


Yeah, yeah. Music industry evil. Crappy video at 11.
posted by i_cola at 1:58 PM on February 15, 2006


Amazon email offered me 30% discount on all Sony music CDs today.

I said "pshaw!"
posted by ohshenandoah at 6:28 PM on February 15, 2006


All the major labels used to bribe radio stations too -- a practice that is now outlawed.

Yeah that never happens anymore ;P
posted by First Post at 7:43 PM on February 15, 2006


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