Sony 'fesses to fake blog. Still gets it wrong.

Humiliated by the cold, unforgiving spotlight of the blogosphere, Sony has posted a statement to the top of the hideous fake blog I pointed to a couple of days ago.

Under the heading "Here's the deal", the site now carries this disclaimer:

"Busted. Nailed. Snagged. As many of you have figured out (maybe our speech was a little too funky fresh???), Peter isn't a real hip-hop maven and this site was actually developed by Sony. Guess we were trying to be just a little too clever. From this point forward, we will just stick to making cool products, and use this site to give you nothing but the facts on the PSP.

Sony Computer Entertainment America"

For the full story of this ignominious climb-down, check out MediaPost's Online Media Daily.

As the MediaPost piece says, "After the confession was posted, comments on the site were shut down." Actually, it's even worse than that. They haven't just blocked new comments, they've removed all previous comments from the site. Nice little display of historical revisionism there. Very "down with the kids", I'm sure.

I notice from this page that Sony is still listed as a member of the Word Of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA). This whole fake blog initiative - even though they've now 'fessed up and kinda sorta semi-apologized, seems to me to be a clear violation of WOMMA's central Code of Ethics, viz. (straight from the WOMMA site):

The essence of the WOMMA Code comes down to the Honesty ROI:

  • Honesty of Relationship: You say who you're speaking for
  • Honesty of Opinion: You say what you believe
  • Honesty of Identity: You never obscure your identity
Looks to me like Sony should be getting the Big Chicken Dinner, if the WOMMA guys have any guts.

[UPDATE: As of 14:45, Thursday December 14th, the Sony fake blog appears to have been torn down entirely. Attempts to reach the site now time out. Nice.]

[UPDATE II: If the WOMMA people prove toothless in this, perhaps the FTC will be moved to respond - this piece in the Washington Post suggests they're getting ready to wade in to this area of deceptive marketing.]