Anytime a PR guy finds himself emailing "Please make it stop" to one of the most influential people on the Internet, you can bet that a career-ending social-media meltdown is well under way. This week the perpetrator/victim is Paul Christoforo, president of Ocean Marketing, whose business name has quickly become a Web meme synonymous with pompous jackassery. Christoforo recently launched into a borderline-illegible email assault on a customer for one of his clients, N-Control, maker of the Avenger controller (above) for the Sony PlayStation 3. What began with the customer's simple question about a late delivery somehow led to Christoforo blasting him with lines like, "We do value our customers but sometimes we get children like you we just have to put you in the corner with your im stupid hat on." By this point, the customer had cc'd a few video game bloggers and Mike Krahulik, co-creator of the massively popular webcomic Penny Arcade (where you can read a full transcript of the conversation). When Christoforo mentioned going to PAX, a sprawling gaming convention run by the Penny Arcade team, Krahulik jumped into the fray, saying, "If this guy has a booth at Pax east we will cancel it." What followed was an even more surreal exchange, as Christoforo (oblivious to the beehive he was shoving his face into) called Krahulik "a douchebag" and told him to "be careful" because of how influential Christoforo is in the video game industry. On Tuesday, N-Control was scrambling to live up to its name as bloggers eviscerated its PR approach and stomped the product's average rating on Amazon down to one sad star. Christoforo attempted a few half-hearted apologies, even begging Krahulik to call off the backlash from Penny Arcade readers and "make it stop." N-Control's "new PR guy" sent AdFreak the following statement from company president David Kotkin: "We apologize for our poor representation from Ocean Marketing. We wanted to give Paul a chance. He was rough around the edges, but he had drive and enthusiasm. However, his behavior was unprovoked, unnecessary, and unforgivable. We are no longer represented by Ocean Marketing." Unfortunately for N-Control, that's only the first of many steps that will be needed to claw out of the impact crater left from the explosive arrogance of one bloated egotist. UPDATE: As you might expect, Penny Arcade has dedicated today's comic strip to the Ocean Marketing fiasco. The highlight is definitely Krahulik refering to himself as "a vampire that only feeds on assholes."
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