Hosting Companies Sport Unconventional Marketing Techniques - Perhaps There are Other Reasons
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Although none of the companies I've mentioned have openly admitted it, I would venture to guess that there are other reasons for this type of approach toward advertising. It's also a way to battle negative publicity.
Take Globat for example. After recently signing former TV star Dustin Diamond as a celebrity spokesperson, Diamond got caught in the center of a sex tape scandal. This of course brought some unwanted attention to Globat and their practices. And this isn't the first time they have suffered a series of blows about their service and support as well. I think that it's safe to assume they would want to counter such allegations and unwanted media spotlights by presenting the types of high exposure advertising methods that we've seen from them recently.
The same can be said for other ISPs like Rackspace. In late 2004, they received a subpoena from the FBI for some log files in an investigation surrounding Indymedia. Rather than submitting the required information, Rackspace violated the privacy of several dozen other sites by simply imaging an entire hard drive.
But that's not the first black eye that Rackspace has had. They knowingly host websites that distribute malware like the VX2, ad serving software known to go to great lengths to hide itself. Some newer versions of VX2 even use a rootkit-style technique to hide from unsuspecting users. Try explaining that one!
So you can see that high-exposure advertising methods could be beneficial in battling negative media responses. Of course, none of these companies is going to admit that as a reason openly. But you just can't help but wonder, can you? I guess we'll never know for sure.
In the meantime, this doesn't appear to be a short-lived fad. Keep your eyes open for the next crazy stunt. I wonder what will happen when other industries start using this style of marketing. It could prove to be very interesting ... or at least entertaining.
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