Web, Lies and Other Stuff.
By Yeoh Siew Hoon ~ thetransitcafe.com
Sunday, 25th January 2009
Truth is under attack in the age of the Internet and Yeoh Siew Hoon explores the growing web of deceit -

Every now and then comes a destination marketing campaign that gets everybody talking.

Sometimes not in a positive light – who can forget Tourism Australia's "Bloody Hell" campaign – but hey, all publicity is good publicity, right?

The latest campaign that's got everyone talking is the rather inspired "Best Job In The World" stunt by Tourism Queensland.

As a piece of viral marketing, it's brilliant. Google "best job in the world" and it dominates the searches. It's appeared in nearly every medium you can think of – mainsteam broadcasters, business titles, trade rags, blogs, YouTube. This is publicity no amount of money can buy.

According to this piece in Springwise, Job Contest Spotlights Great Barrier Islands, "it began with strategically placed, small space employment ads in eight languages.

"Since then the website has endured traffic as high as 2,000 connections per second along with extensive global media coverage. In the first 24 hours 200,000 unique visitors came to the site, which has already received close to 500 applications. Which will surely do for the region what no mass market ad ever could."

It called the campaign "one to learn from".

The problem though is with such success, there is no room for mistakes.

Thus, when the news emerged that the lady seen getting a tattoo to apply for the job was a fake and was an employee of ad agency, CumminsNitro, all hell broke loose.

A blogger wrote, "Tourism Queensland, We TRUSTED You! Oh, wow. I am tremendously disappointed to learn that Tourism Queensland have been fibbing to desperate would-be Queenslanders, because I AM ONE OF THEM."

Tourism Queensland has admitted it "messed up" by not making it clear the video was an example of the creativity it wanted to see among entries and not an entry in the $150,000-a-year job contest.

So the campaign got even more publicity … which Tourism Queensland can't be too unhappy about.

What it also does is cast even more doubt over what we can believe – or not – on the Internet.

The lady with the tattoo is hardly the first case of Web fakery.

Remember "Heidi Clarke", the Australian woman who launched an online search on YouTube for a mysterious man who left his jacket in Jet Café Bar.

Turned out she was an actress hired by a marketing company to promote a new menswear line. Apologising for her stunt, Lily (real name) said, "Why did I do it? Well, to be honest I'm a hopeless romantic and like a lot of you guys I love a good love story."

In his article, "Trip Advisor, where truth is a matter of opinion", Martin Kelly of Travel Trends says, "TripAdvisor now has nine million members and features more than 20m reviews. But can the rants and raves of this community be regarded as the truth? Let's be blunt here - absolutely not.

"The reviews are opinion, nothing more. And in many cases from people you normally wouldn't give the time of day."

Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins, in the documentary, "Enemies of Reason (Episode 1 )", argues the Internet is dangerous ground for those who would want to hoodwink or deceive us, particularly in this age where we would rather believe hearsay than science and evidence.

The enemies, he says, are "irrational superstition", "spirituality" and "new age gurus" and "those who profit from obscuring the truth".

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive ...

Yeoh Siew Hoon, one of Asia's most respected travel editors and commentators, writes a regular column on news, trends and issues in the hospitality industry for 4Hoteliers.com.

Siew Hoon, who has covered the tourism industry in Asia/Pacific for the past 20 years, runs SHY Ventures Pte Ltd. Her other writings can be found at

Get your weekly cuppa of news, gossip, humour and opinion at the cafe for travel insiders.
Global Brand Awareness & Marketing Tools at 4Hoteliers.com ...[Click for More]
 Latest News  (Click title to read article)

 Latest Articles  (Click title to read)

 Most Read Articles  (Click title to read)

~ Important Notice ~
Articles appearing on 4Hoteliers contain copyright material. They are meant for your personal use and may not be reproduced or redistributed. While 4Hoteliers makes every effort to ensure accuracy, we can not be held responsible for the content nor the views expressed, which may not necessarily be those of either the original author or 4Hoteliers or its agents.
© Copyright 4Hoteliers 2001-2024 ~ unless stated otherwise, all rights reserved.
You can read more about 4Hoteliers and our company here
Use of this web site is subject to our
terms & conditions of service and privacy policy