Trust me Dude, I'm Lying

by The Copy Nazi Banned
34 replies


IF YOU WERE BEING KIND, YOU WOULD SAY MY JOB IS IN marketing and public relations, or online strategy and advertising. But that's a polite veneer to hide the harsh truth. I am, to put it bluntly, a media manipulator--I'm paid to deceive. My job is to lie to the media so they can lie to you. I cheat, bribe, and connive for bestselling authors and billion-dollar brands and abuse my understanding of the Internet to doit.
I have funneled millions of dollars to blogs through advertising. I've given breaking news to blogs instead of Good Morning America and, when that didn't work, hired their family members. I have flown bloggers across the country, boosted their revenue by buying traffic, written their stories for them, fabricated elaborate ruses to capture their attention, and courted them with expensive meals and scoops. I've probably sent enough gift cards and T-shirts to fashion bloggers
to clothe a small country. Why did I do all this? Because it was the only way. I did it to build them up as sources, sources that I could influence and direct for my clients. I used blogs to control the news.
It's why I found myself at 2:00 A.M. one morning, at a deserted intersection in Los Angeles, dressed in all black. In my hand I had tape and some obscene stickers made at Kinko's earlier in the afternoon. What was I doing here? I was there to deface billboards, specifically billboards I had designed and paid for. Not that I'd expected to do anything like this, but there I was, doing it. My girlfriend, coaxed into being my accomplice, was behind the wheel of the getaway car.
After I finished, we circled the block and I took photos of my work from the passenger window as if I had spotted it from the road. Across the billboards was now a two-foot-long sticker that implied that the movie's creator--my friend, Tucker Max--deserved to have his dick caught in a trap with sharp metal hooks. Or something like that.
As soon as I got home I dashed off two e-mails to two major blogs. Under the fake name Evan Meyer I
wrote, "I saw these on my way home last night. It was on 3rd and Crescent Heights, I think. Good to know Los Angeles hates Tucker Max too," and attached the photos.
One blog wrote back: You're not messing with me, are you?
No, I said. Trust me, I'm not lying.
The vandalized billboards and the coverage that my photos received were just a small part of the deliberately provocative campaign I did for the movie I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell. My friend Tucker had asked me to create some controversy around the movie, which was based on his bestselling book, and I did--somewhat effortlessly, it turns out. It is one of many campaigns I have done in my career, and by no means an unusual one. But it illustrates a part of the media system that is hidden from your view: how the news is created and driven by marketers, and that no one does anything to stop it.
In under two weeks, and with no budget, thousands of college students protested the movie on their campuses nationwide, angry citizens vandalized our
billboards in multiple neighborhoods,FoxNews.com ran a front-page story about the backlash, Page Six of the New York Post made their first of many mentions of Tucker, and the Chicago Transit Authority banned and stripped the movie's advertisements from their buses. To cap it all off, two different editorials railing against the film ran in the Washington Post and Chicago Tribune the week it was released. The outrage about Tucker was great enough that a few years later, it was written into the popular television show Portlandia on IFC.
Excerpt from "Trust me, I'm Lying. Confessions of a media manipulator". Want a F.R.E.E. copy? Leave a comment and I'll point you to it. Trust me, it's fascinating.
#dude #lying #trust
  • Profile picture of the author jivens
    Banned
    Is there anybody in advertising that isn't portrayed as a smoker on tv or in books?
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by jivens View Post

      Is there anybody in advertising that isn't portrayed as a smoker on tv or in books?
      Funny you should say that. Every time I watch MAD MEN I wonder if the actors are smokers... or just faking it. If the latter, it must be truly abhorrent for a non-smoker. And do they get penalty rates? I bet they need to sign a clause that absolves the producers from any claims about contracting cancer. Just found this online -

      1- Mad Men actors smoke nicotine-free cigarettes

      The first thing men need to know about MAD MEN is that Don and Roger -- and virtually everyone else -- aren't actually smoking real cigarettes, but what they do smoke isn't much better.

      California law actually prohibits the smoking of cigarettes indoors (the show is filmed largely at Los Angeles Center Studios), but nonsmoking actors wouldn't have much interest in smoking incessantly the way they do on the show anyway. The cigarettes they use are known as herbal cigarettes, and while they don't contain nicotine, and aren't made with the same leaves and chemicals found in your standard box of Marlboros, they're not a whole lot better for you. In fact, they're not far off from tobacco since, when burned, they do produce carbon monoxide, tar and other potentially carcinogenic chemicals.
      and this -

      January Jones, who plays repressed housewife Betty, and Elisabeth Moss, who plays talented copywriter Peggy, stood unaccompanied by publicists or network staff in a palm-lined courtyard, smoking.
      "I had quit for a long time, but the show got me started again," Jones said, referring to the nearly constant puffing scripted in the retro series about an advertising agency in the early 1960s.
      "But I smoke differently than Betty." Her character waves the cigarette with a flourish, she demonstrated, as if she has seen movie stars do it and thinks it's somehow glamorous.
      "I just..." (she takes a series of short secretive drags).
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  • Love this stuff. But 3rd and Crescent Heights deserted?

    More fakery:

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-1...an-2012-8?op=1
    "From the link: Disclosure: Large chunks of his book are devoted to criticizing Business Insider and its staffers, including the author of this post and his employer."
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author RickDuris
    His videos on YouTube are pretty entertaining.

    https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...yan+holiday%22

    - Rick Duris
    Signature
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  • Profile picture of the author stranger11
    I once got in touch with someone like this, but don't know if he was a manipulator. He basically was involved in PR but would be in the background, kind of like a ghost PR agent.
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  • Profile picture of the author urban renewal
    I was interviewed on Huffington Post Live a few months ago, and based on my experience, I would say that his assessment of big media blogs is correct.

    They do no fact checking whatsoever, and they are so strapped for content that they will put anyone with a pulse up on their blog if it helps them meet a deadline.

    I mean, they put me up there, after all...
    Signature

    -Clayton

    http://www.ClaytonTerao.com

    I'm a conversion consultant who helps you make more money online with your business.

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  • Profile picture of the author bluewatersailor
    Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

    Excerpt from "Trust me, I'm Lying. Confessions of a media manipulator". Want a F.R.E.E. copy? Leave a comment and I'll point you to it. Trust me, it's fascinating.
    Woo-hoo - and right after I've been mining political speeches for copywriting ideas, too! I'd love to see it, please; thanks for offering.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by bluewatersailor View Post

      Woo-hoo - and right after I've been mining political speeches for copywriting ideas, too! I'd love to see it, please; thanks for offering.
      Hit me up on SKYPE.
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  • Profile picture of the author stuzilla
    I've been meaning to check this out for a while.

    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author SeanIM
    This looks like another great recommendation...thanks for the heads up Malc...might have to check this one out.
    Signature
    Sean Mitchell -
    Online Marketing & Tech Consultant Since 1999
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Ausin
    Hey, this looks cool - can I have it too?
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  • Profile picture of the author Matt Ausin
    ... and got it. That was fast Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Jonwebb
    pretty cool idea, I would life to read if its still available
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  • Profile picture of the author lorre5811
    Hey man,

    Would you mind passing me a copy?

    Thanks!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
    Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

    Well if you'd asked me nicely, you prick, I would.

    But we're talking about a guy who used every dirty, rotten trick in the book to manipulate the media. I won't lose any sleep about sharing a torrent. Screw him. What goes around, comes around.
    What? Did you even read the book? He's just showing people how journalists are influenced by bloggers and how easy they are to manipulate. He actually wants to bring change to the current state of journalism by showing people how the media works.

    Smart marketers will learn from him and learn some pretty effective PR techniques.

    So yes, uh, "screw him," he "deserves it," "karma's a bitch," "two wrongs make a right," etc.
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by Sean Fry View Post

      What? Did you even read the book? He's just showing people how journalists are influenced by bloggers and how easy they are to manipulate. He actually wants to bring change to the current state of journalism by showing people how the media works.

      Smart marketers will learn from him and learn some pretty effective PR techniques.

      So yes, uh, "screw him," he "deserves it," "karma's a bitch," "two wrongs make a right," etc.
      And you buy into that? I don't. And yes - there's plenty to pick up from it. Why I posted it - duh. Doesn't change the fact he's been a very naughty boy.

      You read any of the Amazon reviews Dude? The real ones that is. Here's part of one of the 1-stars -
      Make no mistake. This is not some reformed offender coming clean after some soul searching, as the author is attempting to project himself. And no, this book is not a free manifesto to download to help us clueless masses get enlightened about the ways of the media. No sir! This is a man with an overpriced product to sell, a man out to remove money from your pocket using the exact same tricks he deployed in his book for his clients.
      Here's part of another -
      More importantly, after reading Trust Me, I'm Lying the big take away for me was "Beware, sometimes `journalists' are full of it!" If you didn't already know that, then this is a good place for you to start. For people who are savvy enough to explore both sides of an argument, check author's references or carry with them a healthy amount of skepticism, this book is not for you.
      And another -
      Despite some celebrity endorsements, this book is slimy, tacky, and not worth your money. If you want to learn how to lie, manipulate, cheat, abuse and steal from people, then this book is for you.
      and...
      Towards the end of the book the author beings recanting stories of the media and blog-o-sphere writing negative stories about him and his American Apparel colleges, and you begin to see that the Holiday isn't attempting to blow the lid off of any media secrets, but instead is feeling spurned by a blog culture that doesn't find him or his lackluster attention tactics interesting or appealing.
      Plenty more I can quote. But yes - good read. Just take it with a grain of salt. Tucker Max's movie (that Holiday supposedly promoted) tanked bigtime.

      Holiday's issue, that the new media does not "questions and corrects," rather it "confirms and supports." I'm not sure where this guy has been for the last 20 years but the mainstream has been confirming and supporting stories it likes for quite a while. New media does the same but at least it is not a monopoly and there ARE sites with gravitas if one has to check the facts.

      Interesting, but don't discount the author's motivation.
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      • Profile picture of the author Sean Fry
        Originally Posted by The Copy Nazi View Post

        And you buy into that? I don't.
        Yeah. Follow his blog. Follow him on facebook. Check out some free videos that he has for his PR course. Here's one:
        Day 1 Introduction - Smart PR for Artists, Entrepreneurs and Small Business - YouTube

        He's not the "Dr. Evil" hell bent on manipulating the world to cater to his every whim like he's apparently made you believe he is.

        And yes - there's plenty to pick up from it. Why I posted it - duh. Doesn't change the fact he's been a very naughty boy.
        Honestly I don't think he's been all that 'naughty.' There hasn't been anything in the book that made me think "Holy shit! What a scumbag! I can't believe he did that!"

        You read any of the Amazon reviews Dude? The real ones that is.
        Yes, I've read them. They're pretty entertaining. Actually I wouldn't be surprised if the one star reviews are the fake ones...sometimes one star reviews can be just as good as 5 star reviews.

        Tucker Max's movie (that Holiday supposedly promoted) tanked bigtime.
        Which he admits in the book.
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  • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
    Sounds like a great marketing strategy. Every news outlet loves to cover controversy because it simply grabs attention.

    Nobody is going to read a story with the headline "Everything went well today, no problems in society right now".
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  • TV programmers always say "people want heat, not light."

    It's why the "idol" shows are always trying to conjure up fake rivalries.
    Signature
    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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    • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
      Banned
      Originally Posted by joe golfer View Post

      TV programmers always say "people want heat, not light."

      It's why the "idol" shows are always trying to conjure up fake rivalries.
      Well yeah... the basis of all drama is... conflict. Speaking of which...

      The film [I hope they sell beer in hell] was panned by critics and earned $1.4 million at the box office on a $7 million budget. Max attributed the poor box office performance of the film to oversights in marketing, but he expressed hope it would find an audience on DVD.
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  • Here's a rough estimate of DVD sales. Surprised it didn't do a little better.

    Movie I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell - DVD Sales - The Numbers
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    Marketing is not a battle of products. It is a battle of perceptions.
    - Jack Trout
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  • Profile picture of the author The Copy Nazi
    Banned
    @ Sean. Well no... I just think... in your words... he's a prick. A manipulative, lying, scheming, cheating prick. And yeah - he would stoop at organizing one-star reviews as well. Part of his modus operandi.

    Ever read Huxley's "Brave New World" - or Goebbel's shit?
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  • Profile picture of the author CopyMonster
    Not read the book but here are some questions... how do you know that he's not lying about everything in the book? Could that be the lie? Maybe that's the fiction. And how do you know that the reviews on Amazon aren't friends, family, or Fiverr gigs?
    Not saying they are. But how do you know?
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    Scary good...
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  • Profile picture of the author saleswriter101
    Copy Nazi,

    If you're not driven nuts with requests, I'd love to take a look at this book.

    If you are, I'd still like to see it...

    Thanks in any case,
    Scott
    Signature

    Easiest Way to BOOST Your Sales?
    Pump Up Your Ad's PERSUASIVE POWER with a COPY CRITIQUE!

    82% Off for Warrior Forum Members. (Reg. $97. WF members: $17.)
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  • Profile picture of the author AndrewCavanagh
    I've had some good media coverage and I'm old enough to
    know the media has changed radically in the last 30 years.

    30 years ago most newspapers, TV news and radio shows
    double checked sources and facts.

    Now very few do.

    They simply don't have the time because staff has been
    slashed so mercilessly that the average writer is writing
    4 times or more as much content.

    The media goes with whichever stories look sexy.

    If you create sexy looking stories you can get media
    coverage.

    If you send your sexy story ideas to enough media
    outlets you can get a LOT of coverage.

    It's really that simple.

    Kindest regards,
    Andrew Cavanagh
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    • Profile picture of the author Kurt@viewswin
      Originally Posted by AndrewCavanagh View Post

      I've had some good media coverage and I'm old enough to
      know the media has changed radically in the last 30 years.

      30 years ago most newspapers, TV news and radio shows
      double checked sources and facts.

      Now very few do.

      They simply don't have the time because staff has been
      slashed so mercilessly that the average writer is writing
      4 times or more as much content.

      The media goes with whichever stories look sexy.

      If you create sexy looking stories you can get media
      coverage.

      If you send your sexy story ideas to enough media
      outlets you can get a LOT of coverage.

      It's really that simple.

      Kindest regards,
      Andrew Cavanagh
      Yep, what he said! I do media work for not for profits and when there is no news the media often rings me to make some up! So i'll make a story about crime rates rising or whatever. Its good for our organisation because it creates exposure, and its good for the journo because they get their work done for them. This is only for TV and Newspaper though! It doesn't matter what I say they never check because they are so under resourced.
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    When I was a child, everyone smoked - even the newscasters on live television. This is just one way the tobacco industry led the herd. We all followed. There were candy cigarettes so children could pretend to smoke, and be like the adults they saw.

    Edward Bernays, Freud's brother-in-law, is the fellow who coined the phrase "Public Relations." One of the books he wrote titled "Crystallizing Public Opinion" is a book Goebbels use as a guide for Nazi propaganda.

    Then president, Woodrow Wilson, had been elected on a platform of staying out of the WWI conflict. Hitler had been sinking American ships, and when Hitler started courting Mexico as an ally, Wilson found himself being forced into the war. Bernays was hired by Wilson to turn American public opinion, but Bernays didn't want to call it "propaganda." Thus he came up with the PR concept.

    I found this in a fascinating historical look about how the media has been using photography to influence the masses. The Kindle book is "Photography in Psychoanalysis" by Stephen Bray. I heard about Bray's book in the Kindle announcement thread here at the WF.

    :-Don
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    • Profile picture of the author aidacopy
      Don, do you mean Germany got Mexico as an ally in WWI, not Hitler? Hitler didn't become president of Germany until 1930s, long after WWI and Wilson's terms ended.
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    • Profile picture of the author Hogre
      Dude...you sure you're not smokin' something now?

      Hitler didn't sink a single ship in the WWI.

      He was a regular Joe Schmoe.
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      • Profile picture of the author Claude Whitacre
        I just started reading my copy I got from Amazon. I bought it because someone in the Writer's forum said something bad about it.

        I'm studying it.
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        One Call Closing book https://www.amazon.com/One-Call-Clos...=1527788418&sr

        "Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity" Friedrich Nietzsche
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    • Profile picture of the author ECTally
      Originally Posted by Don Schenk View Post

      Edward Bernays, Freud's brother-in-law, is the fellow who coined the phrase "Public Relations." One of the books he wrote titled "Crystallizing Public Opinion" is a book Goebbels use as a guide for Nazi propaganda.
      A few corrections, Don

      • Bernays was the nephew of Freud.
      • The phrase "Public Relations" was not coined by Bernays. The term, and certainly the concept, has been in use much earlier. For instance, this is an excerpt from Thomas Jefferson's 1807 SOTU address.
      "...they shall be superseded by a change in our public relations now awaiting the determination of others..."
      • Bernay's claim of Goebbel using his book is something no one else has ever spoken of. It was an anecdote in Bernay's own autobiography.


      Originally Posted by Don Schenk View Post

      Then president, Woodrow Wilson, had been elected on a platform of staying out of the WWI conflict. Hitler had been sinking American ships, and when Hitler started courting Mexico as an ally, Wilson found himself being forced into the war. Bernays was hired by Wilson to turn American public opinion, but Bernays didn't want to call it "propaganda." Thus he came up with the PR concept.
      • Wilson was inaugurated on March 4, 1913. At the time, the still 23-year-old Hitler was a dilettante, squandering his father's inheritance, and trying to evade conscription by the Austrian Army.
      • Wilson actually hired George Creel to head his Committee on Public Information (CPI), supported by other industry heavyweights such as Walter Lippmann. At 26-years-old, Bernay was just one of the many junior employees of the Committee. However, after the end of the war, armed with experience and new insights, Bernay wrote his books, reinvented himself, and deservedly won the accolades of the fledgling industry.
      • Hitler's attempts of courting Mexico came almost 20 years later, at the onset of WWII.
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  • Profile picture of the author arvindsingh00
    Trust on a Liar, really very tough.., But still enjoying to read....
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