Response to Paull Young and Young PR

This is a response to some comments made by Paull Young and Young PR on his blog.

As mentioned, we do not do astroturfing, we do some stealth marketing, we do viral marketing. We specialize in online viral marketing. We are in no way involved in lobbying or the political arena. We are also a think tank on modern marketing techniques, trying to come up with new ideas and tools.


I was searching Technorati for posts on Astroturfing when I came across this site.

It is apparantly a blog for the Viral One Online Marketing Agency, and it definitely gives me an odd vibe.

They appear to be a firm that promotes astroturfing practice – but the lack of contact details and blog content alongside the timing of their entrance to the blogosphere make me wonder.

They seem to be promoting astroturfing – ‘using’, ‘manipulating’ and ’seeding’ bloggers to create ‘artificial waves’.

So is this a stupid agency promoting astroturfing, that just happened to enter the blogosphere as the anti-astroturfing campaign begins?

Or, is this blog a front for something else? It’s been up for two days, lacks contact details (aside from a gmail address) and it’s anonymous.

Is this Astroturfing, or is this Astroturf?

UPDATE: On further consideration – this doesn’t appear to be a case of astroturfing promotion, more stealth marketing (here’s a good article on the topic). They’re not advocating for the creation of fake opinions, fake people or fake grassroots organisations. However, their lack of transparency does seem very dodgy to say the least.

As also mentioned, our lack of your so-called transparency is a marketing ploy for the moment. We are in the midst of gathering investment capital and realigning our resources in order to fit the new business model. We are in no way advocating the creation of fake opinons, illegal and unethical practices.

We do agree with your anti-astroturfing campaign.

We oppose the practice of astroturfing, defined above, in any form. The practice should never be a part of a public relations campaign as it is anti-democratic, unethical, immoral and often illegal.

We will attempt to raise awareness of this practice, expose it for what it is, and encourage our fellow communicators to join us in opposition.

We call for all professional communication bodies to strongly, publicly and actively oppose astroturfing; alongside PR agencies, individual practitioners and bloggers.

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