Still Struggling to Control the Message

This is a terrific example of what I mean when I advise marketers that not only do they no longer control the message, but also that any notion they had that they ever did is purely illusory. (Thanks to Beyond Madison Avenue for the wrap-up.)

Then the next morning, John wakes up to find out that his blog is down. Apparently, Paramount sent the company that hosts his blog a cease and desist order, based on a THIRD pic that John had on the blog, which they never mentioned to John as being a problem.

One of the challenges I face in pitching Conversational Marketing to clients is the notion of finding bloggers who will take up the task of blogging about the client's business. Paramount is lucky to find not one, but several. And what does it do? Piss one off to the point of getting two key ones (and probably more to follow) to boycott coverage of Paramount's upcoming Transformers flick.

And it's all because Paramount can't change its thinking regarding their level of control over the message. Marketers have to learn to embrace the notion that once content is released, their control over how it is used is pretty much nonexistant.

Here we go again. Instead of writing "atta boy" posts about marketers who have learned to let their fans be fans, I'm once again lamenting the lack of ability on the part of marketers to understand what's an asset and what's a liability, not to mention the outdated litigious nature of many large companies when lucky accidents occur.