BigFix Spams Social Media and News Sites in Large Astroturf Campaign

BigFix is a company which builds security tools for corporations needing to deal with compliance needs (Sarbanes Oxley I assume).

Apparently, they have such a pathetic product that they’re having to resort to spam and highly deceptive marketing and astroturf campaigns to sell their snake oil.

I was reading a story over on the Register (which should stop running their ads btw) and noticed this:

200612161943

Notice the title? I thought the ad was about Microsoft’s court case so I click it in order to watch the video.

No luck. It sends me to a fake news site talking about a “breaking security scandal” where a software salesman confesses to his evil crimes.

Notice the great length they’ve gone to deceive the user? The site has a totally different layout than their main site. They have an “advertisement” on the site which links to the main BigFix site. They’ve even gone to the length of disclosing an “advertisement” on their fake astroturfed news site. Evil.

Breaking story. Our product is awesome. News at 11.

Now if you scroll to the bottom it says:

“This is a parody. We hope you enjoy the joke.”

A parody? Could it be a parody or a way for you to deceive users so you can get free marketing? Sorry guys but this is totally going to backfire.

Did they stop there? Nope. They spammed Digg, Youtube, Yahoo Video, sumo.tv, Reddit, and Delicious. Honestly I stopped there but I’m sure they spammed a few other sites as well.

None of these sites disclosed that this was a “parody.”

You’re a security company which has no ethical problem spamming other companies?

If I were the CEO of BigFix I’d try to figure out who approved this marketing campaign and figure out how soon I could have them fired.

Update:

A lot of bloggers are apparently linking to this garbage.

In an odd twist of fate Technorati is actually broken here. Shows 27 results but when you go to page 2 there aren’t any items shown. Quality.


  1. Your reaction seems typical of someone who didn’t get the joke – or had a practical joke played on them. Most everyone else got it — and its pretty funny. Maybe if the guy had been holding an onion in the picture you would have more quickly seen it as a parody?

    Steve






%d bloggers like this: