After we posted yesterday about the hullabaloo with this HBO’s True Blood + Gawker Media + Campfire campaign, things just started getting wonkier. Here’s how:
Gawker Media called us to say they didn’t have control over a post on BloodCopy dot com that was, until earlier today, claiming the site had been purchased by Gawker Media. When you boil it all down, that one sentence(“Gawker Media realized that they simply could not live (so to speak) without having BloodCopy dot com on their roster of websites…As of next week, we will officially be under the Gawker umbrella…”) pretty much broke the “this crosses some sort of line” rule. There was nothing to clarify that this was a ruse, and though Gawker Media claims they had no control over that post, they are capable of reading and should have known better.
Today things got messier when a post was added to Gawker’s homepage. It popped up in the standard below-the-fold ad spot Gawker has used for other, more normal ads, under the “introductions” category. In the past we’ve noticed that when an ad is in that box, the category is instead listed as “advertisement.” No such notation here. No-no number 2.
Not that it’s really important but there are three links in that box and until this afternoon none of them worked — probably because bloodcopy dot com was being transitioned to the Gawker execution you can now see. TPI, things were disorganized.
Anyway, since the box was improperly categorized, a follow-up post was added noting, “That post down there labeled ‘From Bloodcopy’ should have been labeled something like ‘Paid Advertising.'” Agreed. Moving on.
Adam Pash of Gawker-family blog Lifehacker did what we hoped someone would — called the campaign what it is.
“BloodCopy is not a Gawker Media blog, and unlike other real Gawker blogs, the editorial staff at Lifehacker has no control over what ads masquerading as crossposts appear on our site. You can read more about it if you’re interested in the details, but the short story is this: Our advertising department made a bad decision, and now the editors and—more importantly—readers are paying for it. Apologies for the interruption. Who knew the recession would get this bad?”
Though he was sort of alone in making public comments, we’ve heard that generally the editorial department at Gawker is pretty miffed about the whole thing. Oh, that is except for i09’s Meredith Woerner, who posted a trailer for the show. Interesting — we thought maybe they’d want to stay from anything even remotely close to promoting the show, given they’re already knee deep in oopsies on this one.
Dear Gawker editorial and ad sales, please have a meeting where you’re all in one room talking. Yes, meetings take time away from parking in front of crazy people’s homes, but they do help avoid problems. Like this one.
More: “Gawker Media and the Blood Copy Campaign”