North Face apologizes after openly complaining about playing Wikipedia for free ads

In a marketing campaign concept that even the least smart internet user could have told you was a terrible idea, North Face decided earlier this week to publicly announce how it scored Google search results to promote its products by uploading photos of them to heavy traffic Wikipedia listings.


North Face even enjoyed its success with a short two-minute video describing how to swap images from famous locations for similar photos with North Face product placement, making North Face visible in Google results. The opening of the video showed a graphical representation of a Google search bar that was filled in real time with the words: "How can a brand be the first on Google without paying anything for it?"

The brand now apologizes for the move and claimed that the brand cooperated with Wikipedia owner, the WikiMedia Foundation. And, in one interview with The New York Times, North Face also claims that it was the cause of a lack of communication between the company and an independent distributor outside the US.

"We deeply believe in @ Wikipedia's mission and apologize for participating in activities that are not in accordance with those principles," the company said. wrote on Twitter yesterday, in response to a mail from the official Wikipedia account deny the claim that it had worked with North Face on the project. "Right from the moment we end the campaign and move forward, we will ensure that our teams and vendors are better trained in site policies."

The Wikimedia Foundation has not chopped words in his own blog post. "We were disappointed to hear that The North Face, an outdoor recreation products company, and Leo Burnett Tailor Made, an advertising agency held by The North Face, manipulated Wikipedia unethically," the organization wrote in a blog post published yesterday. "They have put their trust in our mission for a short-term marketing stunt." The organization said it only became aware of the tactics once the details of the advertising campaign were known. revealed in one Ad Age report on Tuesday.

According to The New York Times, North Face has numerous independent distributors who handle the marketing and sales of its products in various areas around the world. Such a distributor, based in Brazil, who markets exclusive rights and sells North Face products in the region, contracted an advertising agency called Leo Burnett Tailor Made, a division of the larger advertising agency Leo Burnnett. So it was Leo Burnett Tailor Made who decided to play Wikipedia, and it was the Brazil distributor – not someone from North Face, who ultimately approved the campaign, the company claims.

In a statement to Ad Age, North Face, CEO of Brazil, Fabricio Luzzi, defended the tactics and apparently seemed to appeal to the philosophy "every press is the good press". "Our mission is to push our limits so that our consumers can cross their limits," he said. "With the & # 39; Top of Images & # 39; project we achieved our positioning and placed our products in a fully contextualized way as items that go hand in hand with these destinations."


It seems that North Face corporate disagrees.

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