Monday, February 02, 2009

Feeding an obsession

Not all media are responding to Naked's campaign with quite the same resigned acceptance. Whereas Fairfax think it's an innocent hoot, Newscorp see it in different terms.

The Australian's article clearly states that Naked have lied, on several occassions in fact. Whether the original lie, the fictitious Heidi and her mystery man/jacket, can be explained as just clever marketing is important, but no more so than the other deceptions. The lie that Naked wasn't involved, they were. The apparent lie that media interest was accidental, not a direct consequence of Angela Cuming's involvement. If Naked seeded the story through an intermediary, Cuming, then their previous protestations will be even more hollow. To me, their denials seem less and less plausible.

Whether they're guilty of anything more than unethical behaviour remains unclear. The provisions of the Fair Trading Act mightn't apply unless liberally interpreted. Should this practice be allowed to develop without constrain - because professional restraint doesn't appear to exist - then the already flimsy division between news and advertorial will be impossible to maintain.

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