McKinney’s “Viral” Slapped Down By Hall

Steve Hall of Adrants is not diggin’ on the new viral effort from Durham, NC-based McKinney Silver.
doctor_myra_vanderhood.jpg
“Doctor” Myra Vanderhood

We’re sure all the McKinney folks are huddled around their computers today laughing at all of us writing about their cute little effort, waiting patiently for the right moment to reveal the client behind this ploy. While you’re all reading this you sneaky little McKinney truth-benders, remember, people don’t like liars. The law doesn’t like doctors who aren’t doctors claiming they are doctors and, ever so coincidentally, BuzzAgent, the former master of deception, just released a study that says people hate stealth marketing, are offended when lied to and, get this, a brand fares far better when all is honestly presented upfront than when it’s not. Do your homework guys. The days of trickster marketing are over.

A look at McKinney’s client list reveals that they have Qwest. Perhaps the Pherotones site is meant to support Qwest in some strange way.
[UPDATE] Jack Schofield on the Guardian’s Technology blog, posits that this is the first case of a brand purposefully distorting information on Wikipedia, but that it likely won’t be the last. I didn’t mention the Wikipedia thing above, but now that I have, I feel McKinney has gone too far. We all know we can’t trust every web site we come across, but we want to trust Wikipedia.

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About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.