Posted by Sheryl Dickerhoof, APR Friday, January 11, 2008
This just in... Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, one of the largest ambiguous marketing firms in the world, has announced that it had formed a strategic partnership with the word-of-mouth agency, BzzAgent.
BzzAgent, Inc. is an international network of surreptitious influencers and shills. The company boasts that its process and platform helps its clients generate awareness and collect valuable customer information by enlisting the services of a virtual army of more than 370,000 otherwise incentified volunteers.
Martin Turnbull, noted PR industry analyst and chairman of the College of Communications at the Kepler School of Management said, "This is the Amyway-ization of the PR business. It gives us the dubious distinction of being the leading polluters of social interaction. Bad, bad, bad."
Experts agree that the word-of-mouth marketing contagion, WOM, has spread rapidly in recent years because of the decline of mainstream media. As a consequence consumers now trust the opinions of others more. A recent Nielsen survey found that 78 percent of consumers consider recommendations from others to be most credible.
Savvy hucksters see this trend as a highly leverageable. FACT: Since 2006, BzzAgent participants have spread word-of-mouth to more than 60 million friends and family members.
Dave Balter, CEO of BzzAgent. "Ogilvy PR is now demonstrating to the world that WOM can -- and should -- be a public relations function."
Barby Siegel, managing director of Ogilvy PR's global consumer marketing practice added: "Over the last year, word-of-mouth marketing has become an integral part of our consumer marketing offering. Increasingly, it is embedded into all client programs."
Ogilvy's expanded offering will fall under the firm's 360 Degree Digital Influence group led by John Bell.
Bell spun the alliance releasing this statement: "Word-of-mouth marketing is organic to public relations and something we are extremely bullish on. We are deeply committed to integrating this discipline into all facets of our work -- both online via digital influence and offline where most of word of mouth happens. As consumer advocacy and peer-to-peer reviews rise, it becomes even more important to our business."
On Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 7:41 AM, Ronn Torossian, President and CEO of 5WPR, emphatically promised that he was going to sue us. No real reason, he was just irritated by our teasing him about getting in bed with pornographer Joe Francis. Anyway, Ronn gave his obscenity-laced word that we'd see the complaint in 72 hours. It's now late by
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