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October 4, 2008

First, largest, most successful & viral

When writing a press release in the advertising industry its hard not to claim something using the following terms

"First, largest, oldest, most successful & viral"
and sometimes using more than one of these in the same release.

What I want to know is does everyone believe what they read or do they do as I do and call bullshit? If so why isn't there any fact checking being done? I've seen some claim to be the "most successful online campaign for XXXX" and agencies call themselves "largest XXXX XXXX agency" or "the first XXXXX agency in XXXXX".

Blatant use of the word viral is the easiest to put a stop too. If you are writing the press release before the campaign has been launched then describing it as viral is like calling it award winning before it's won any awards. Julian mentions this here and here.

I'll admit I've done it myself with both Bannerblog and Soap. Each time I knew it was bending the truth. But I'e made sure to put and end to it lately. I guess we work in an industry build on deception (read: BS) and there is no honour among thieves.

If you see a blatant exaggeration of the truth from an advertising agency please send it my way and we'll try and make this a regular fixture.




 

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