File This Under “PR Imbroglio”

China is paying tens of thousands specially trained – and ideologically sound – internet commentators 50 cents per post to tell the government’s story, according to the BBC.
The commentators have been dubbed the “50-cent party” because of how much they are reputed to be paid for each positive posting (50 Chinese cents; $0.07; £0.05).

“Almost all government departments face criticism that is beyond their control,” said Xiao Qiang, of the University of California at Berkeley.
“There is nothing much they can do, other than organise their own spinning teams to do their public relations,” said the journalism professor, who monitors China.

What a fatalistic POV from the professor.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.