Thursday, October 29, 2009

Marketing they always work?

It is said that guerilla marketing or marketing stunts are the best way to attract attention and get free press coverage. However is the result always desirable for the company...apparently not, or at least this was the case of Tele2.

A publicity stunt involving a fake meteorite strike in Latvia has totally backfired with Tele2 (a Swedish telecoms company) possibly losing a government contract. Tele2 admitted that the meteorite crash has been staged in the Latvian countryside and the hoax claimed that this strike caused a 10 metre wide crater. This stunt has alerted the Latvian emergency services who went rushing to the scene together with scientist only to find that this was all a stunt.

All this saga was recorded and posted on YouTube, with the video registering more than 400,000 views. Tele2 said that the stunt was part of a wider marketing campaign that is due to be revealed later on this year. However this has not gone down well with the Latvian Government. The interior minister has told that it is not acceptable for a company to promote itself using public fund, especially in a period when Latvia has been very hard hit by the economic downturn registering a very high rate of unemployment and the biggest fall in GDP in the European Union. In an attempt to save its face, Tele2 has reportedly said that it will reimburse the government over any expenses incurred by the stunt.

Will this be enough to save it from losing all contracts in the country? We'll wait and see...

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