Feeds

Microsoft gets hip with da yoof to flog email

Doing it for charidee

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

What could be more insincere than a bunch of marketing types concocting a fake blog to pimp their company's services by hitching them to worthy causes?

This could - getting a bunch of marketing people who specialize in nothing but pimping other people's products and services to do it for you. And then targeting kids and teens.

Microsoft has hired McCann Worldgroup to create a campaign driving uptake of its IM and email by affiliating with ten charitable organizations. Driving the campaign is the demographically-profiled and completely fake Parker Whittle, created by McCann. Hey, this speaks to the kids, right? Pot-smoking expression, geek glasses, blogging with the internets. That's what I hear my daughters' friends talking about all the time...

The idea is to get people IMing and emailing to raise money for the causes during a 30-day "i'm talkathon". Worthy stuff.

Except... for the charities to get donations you must be using Hotmail (Windows Live Hotmail) and IM (Windows Live Messenger). So step right up and open one, two or three accounts - more, even, because you can associate different charities with different accounts.

According to the talkathon literature: "Donations from the i'm Initiative are based on advertising revenue raised from Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail usage." Also: "The more you send messages, the more Microsoft will donate." And the more users of Windows Live Messenger and Windows Live Hotmail it gets.

Among other creakingly scripted "conversations" on his "blog" "Parker Whittle" "writes": "I saw an ad that said, 'The more you talk, the more we give.' So I thought, if I get a bunch of people talking for 30 days, how much will they give?"

Microsoft and McCann are all business again at the bottom of the page with a disclaimer, just in case anyone had been taken in by this cleverly crafted fakery and decided to sue. Take note: "The Parker Whittle character depicted herein is fictitious and his activities are described for illustrative purposes only." The spirit of Dan Lyons lives. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Preview redux: Microsoft ships new Windows 10 build with 7,000 changes
Latest bleeding-edge bits borrow Action Center from Windows Phone
Google opens Inbox – email for people too thick to handle email
Print this article out and give it to someone tech-y if you get stuck
Microsoft promises Windows 10 will mean two-factor auth for all
Sneak peek at security features Redmond's baking into new OS
UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan
'Veteran Unix Admins' fear desktop emphasis is betraying open source
Entity Framework goes 'code first' as Microsoft pulls visual design tool
Visual Studio database diagramming's out the window
Google+ goes TITSUP. But WHO knew? How long? Anyone ... Hello ...
Wobbly Gmail, Contacts, Calendar on the other hand ...
DEATH by PowerPoint: Microsoft warns of 0-day attack hidden in slides
Might put out patch in update, might chuck it out sooner
Redmond top man Satya Nadella: 'Microsoft LOVES Linux'
Open-source 'love' fairly runneth over at cloud event
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.