Technology

“Unethically manipulated”: backlash continues from controversial North Face ad campaign

Edward Pollitt

Edward Pollitt

Even after The North Face removed a controversial campaign in which it bragged about ‘gaming’ Wikipedia, many are still not happy with the outdoor apparel brand.

It was a failed attempt in garnering free product placement using Wikipedia pages of popular tourist destinations that saw The North Face land itself in some trouble.

The company replaced images on high-traffic Wikipedia pages of popular tourist destinations with images featuring its products in an effort to place its images at the top of Google searches.

What’s more, it made a video detailing its efforts and gloating the campaign had cost it “absolutely nothing just by collaborating with Wikipedia”.

The North Face quickly backed down when it realised the mess it had made and removed the campaign, but the backlash has continued.

Updating Wikipedia pages with false or misleading information is nothing new.

In fact, it has become somewhat of a practical joke on the web – which is perhaps why The North Face thought the stunt would be well-received.

However, it seems the joke is on The North Face.

Social media has been quick to point out that Wikipedia is run by volunteers, meaning the people that had to edit and replace The North Face’s attempted product placement images were not being paid.

Wikimedia (parent company of Wikipedia) fellow Liam Wyatt had this to say:

Wyatt also publicly reached out to Patagonia – The North Face’s rival – to ask “would you be interested in sharing some photography of beautiful and remote places around the world, to be used on Wikipedia articles? We’d love to collaborate with groups that share our passion for knowledge about our planet.”

After stating The North Face had “unethically manipulated” Wikipedia with the “short-lived marketing stunt”, Wikimedia has called on companies to learn the existing best practices of properly engaging on Wikipedia.

Leo Burnett Tailor Made, the advertising agency responsible for the disastrous campaign, has issued its own statement on the matter.

“We’re always looking for creative ways to meet consumers where they are,” it said.

“We’ve since learned that this effort worked counter to Wikipedia’s community guidelines.”


This article originally appeared on Travel Weekly’s sister title, B&T.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Road & Rail

Hanoi shuts down Instagram famous “train street”

Tourists are going to have to find somewhere else to take pensive photos of themselves walking along rail tracks following this announcement.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Tourist discovers missing passport in Ibiza club photos

A British tourist who was left stranded in Ibiza after losing her passport was shocked to find it pop up in photos from a big night out.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Hotel Wrap: IHG partners with OzHarvest, M. Group launches fourth Bali residence + MORE!

Another week, and a few more outstanding properties open around the world. Get acquainted with them all right here (minus the bathrobes and slippers, of course).

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Elderly traveller’s body found at sea after falling from cruise ship

The body of a female traveller who went overboard on her cruise has been found after a major search and rescue operation.

Share

CommentComments

Road & Rail

Road & Rail Wrap: Avis’ charity auction, Busabout’s Asia deal, TrekAmerica’s new tours + MORE

This week’s Road & Rail Wrap is much like The Ghan or the Trans-Siberian Highway… in that it’s long.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

STUDY: Nearly one-third of Aussies are getting inked while abroad

Truth be told, Travel Weekly’s editor once wanted to get the word ‘bula’ tattooed on his derrière while holidaying in Fiji, but chickened out once he saw the size of the needle.

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

Nearly 2,000 Thomas Cook jobs saved, as company directors grilled by MPs

by Christian Fleetwood

Lock yourselves in, because this is one heck of a roller-coaster read on the Thomas Cook saga.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Klook celebrates Aussie success, outlines global expansion plans

Travel tech player Klook has marked its fifth anniversary and local success with a few drinks and a PowerPoint preso. However, it stopped short of hiring a magician and fire twirlers.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

“It’s something to be aware of, but not ashamed of”: Trafalgar’s Gavin Tollman on flight shaming

by Huntley Mitchell

The very suave Gavin Tollman recently graced Travel Weekly with his presence, and also offered some interesting thoughts on sustainable travel. He even taught us how to tie a full Windsor knot.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas passengers smell smoke on Perth flight

Did you have a sneaky smoke on your last flight with our national carrier? Find out if you’ve been rumbled here.

Share

CommentComments

Destinations

12-year-old tourist falls during Uluru climb

Just in case the lack of toilets and disrespect towards traditional owners wasn’t enough of a deterrent, here’s yet ANOTHER reason not to climb the sacred site.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Airline introduces new product to make flying easier for tall people

Tired of having to learn advanced yoga poses to squeeze yourself into an economy seat? This news will be music to your ears.

Share

CommentComments