Paid Word-Of-Mouth An Oxymoron

Broken Type has posted a wicked funny piece on word-of-mouth run amok, as a response to the recent NY Times article on Boston-based w-o-m advocate, Bzz Agent–an article that has several marketing bloggers buzzing.
Here’s an excerpt from the Broken Type piece: “I showed up to the office Christmas party with a festive array of Al Fresco Chicken Sausages strung around my neck like a lei. I wrote an open-source manifesto about Al Fresco Chicken Sausage and distributed it under a creative commons license in PDF form. When telemarketers would call I

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.


  1. David, I agree contrived word-of-mouth seems to be inherently misguided somehow (I’m still puzzling it out as to exactly what bugs me), but BzzAgents aren’t paid. They are just given the products that they’re interested in participating in a campaign for free. No cash is involved (as far as I’m aware of).
    I just joined (literally, just) to see what all the buzz about BzzAgents were about, so I’ll have more to report soon.

  2. Evelyn,
    Thanks for clarifying how the process works.
    I’m sure “paid” is on its way from BzzAgents or another group ready to go that route.