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Tuesday, Mar. 18, 2003/7:57 PM

Duk's Arse


TEZNEZCO!(a company run by bears) had to ask about "Astroturfing".

Duk does not normally get out of bed for an advertiser with less than $100 million (US not Australian!). But, the bears are our friends and if they want to dip their paws into a little "astroturfing", who are we to stop them.

"Astroturfing" is the practice of faking grass roots support for your company or brand. It started off when Venture Capitalists had millions of dollars for anyone who could spell "dot com". It didn't take much to get your hands on this free cash. All you had to do was show some "grass roots" support for your web site or company and they just handed it over. (Things have changed a little in recent years).

When companies didn't have grass roots support, they started faking it. (Hence the name "astroturfing".)

The equation was simple:

In order to get $100 Million of VC cash I need to have 100,000 regular customers. Therefore if I pay 100,000 mates $100 to pretend they are customers I can walk away with a healthy $90 Million profit.

Everyone is doing it....allegedly.

Microsoft allegedly used this technique to pretend it had customers that supported them in the recent legal case. Levis, allegedly, pays cool kids to wear their new jeans in cool places. Red Bull, allegedly, pays skate-boarders to pretend they can drink the stuff without throwing up.

My only question is...

Why would the bears be interested in such tom foolery when they already have such strong 'grass-roots' already? ...

Or maybe it is a cunning ruse. Maybe they are not as popular as they first seem. Maybe Nesbitt is Mr Oaf, HollyBolly, Holly the Liar, Operastar, Penguin, Duk, William, Ruthiebat, The Ukulele King and the mysterious "person".

How do we know the bear is not Astroturfing already?

While we're talking about fakes...

Duk's back/ Duk's forward