Even before doing some background research we were skeptical. The last funny billboard tip we got turned out to be a scam and this one felt “scamish” from the word go.
It turns out that it was indeed as scam, initially taking in Fark and a few others. The story was quickly deconstructed, chiefly by the damning evidence of the same billboard in LA by BoiFromTroy and Will Thompson.
In fact the story went from the new hot viral story to a burned out disappointment all within one day – a new record. Those that linked to the picture in the morning publicized the debunking, led by Fark and Gawker.
And that’s where the story stands today – no one really knows who is behind the hoax. Perhaps the folks behind the campaign (candidates include CourtTV, the movie John Tucker Must Die, and various banks) expected to get outed, or perhaps they didn’t; but now that their cover is blown there is one thing you can do to really screw with them…
Make all their hard work disappear…
By using Blogger, the marketing firm behind this stunt might have covered their tracks, but they’ve run afoul of the Terms of Service for the Google provided blogging system. Google is pretty good about shutting down access to questionable site, you just have to tell them all about it.
Here’s a sample message you could send…
- The BlogSpot site That Girl Emily has been exposed as a viral marketing campaign designed to look like a personal blog. The exact company behind the site is not yet known, but it is known that they’ve spent serious cash on two billboards – one in NYC and one in LA.
That Girl Emily‘s use of your Blogspot hosted blogging servers violates at least two of your Terms Of Service:
(c) impersonate any person or entity, including, but not limited to, a Pyra [former owners] official, forum leader, guide or host, or falsely state or otherwise misrepresent your affiliation with a person or entity;
(i) “stalk” or otherwise harass another;
The entire site is a misrepresentation, and the central theme of the site is that it will be publicizing a “14 days of wrath” harassment campaign by a jilted wife against her cheating husband.
The longer the hoax site remains online, the more likely speculation will emerge that Google approves of (or is being paid for) hosting the campaign. With the hoax exposed it’s only a matter of time before people begin asking why Google is allowing it to continue.
If you have a blogger ID you can login and report the TOS violation right here. If you’re not a Blogger user you’ll have to find an e-mail address at one of the official Google blogs and send them your own e-mail.
Once enough e-mail about Emily and her hoax site make it into Google headquarters someone at Google pull the plug on That Girl Emily…