Paramount Buffoons Kill Movie's Free Publicity
Movie Marketing Madness tells the story of John Campea who runs The Movie Blog and his recent run in with Paramount. John had been hyping the Paramount movie [name withheld so as not to provide any undeserved publicity] by talking about the production of the film and posting images from the production. Like a bunch of clueless idiots, Paramount execs did some very silly things. First, they asked John to remove a couple pictures from his site. John complied after making sure Paramount wanted to remove this publicity from the million people who read his blog. Yes, they did and so he removed them. Then the next morning, he found his site down which he later realized was due to a cease and desist letter sent from Paramount to his hosting company complaining about a third picture which Paramount never notified him about.
Clearly Paramount is living in a world long past and does not appreciate the tremendous benefit and free publicity the distributor can garner through blogs and social media. Because of Paramount's idiocy, both Movie Marketing Madness and The Movie Blog have decided to boycott the movie and never mention it again on their sites. No links. No pictures. No urging readers to check out the movie when it releases.
Whether this makes any dent at all in the movie's publicity or gross is irrelevant. What's relevant is educating old school marketers that there's a new communication channel in town and it's not completely under a marketer's control. Reacting to this new medium with legal threats is just stupid. What's smart is working with fans and bloggers and others who are so excited about a film, they are happy to write about it every day for free. Paramount should leverage that. Not crush it like a bug.
UPDATE: Chris Thilk from Movie Marketing Madness tells us John spoke with someone at Paramount who said the site takedown was an accident. Hmm...apparently someone goofed but John is satisfied with Paramount's explanation.