Gini Dietrich

Astroturfing Is WORSE than Spin!

By: Gini Dietrich | April 8, 2009 | 

As one of the leaders in the fight against destructive spin within the public relations community, I am astounded to see Dewey Square Group astroturfing for one of their clients.

What’s astroturfing, you ask?

It’s a political, public relations, or advertising campaign designed to create the impression of being spontaneous, or grassroots, behavior (hence the reference to artificial grass).  According to Wikipedia, the goal is to “disguise the efforts of a political or commercial entity as an independent public reaction” to an event, product, or service.

In other words, in the case of Dewey Square Group, someone within their organization wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper, urging their readers to contact their Congressman about the Medicare Advantage program.

When the newspaper investigated and called the person whose name signed the letter, the man had no idea what they were talking about. A few days later, the newspaper received a call from a person claiming to be the man who signed the letter and, when pushed about it, the person hung up.

The reporter then used this cool new technology called CALLER ID and discovered the call came from Dewey Square Group. Read the full story here.

I’m disgusted.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro. Join the Spin Sucks   community!