Sunday, September 9, 2007

In the age of transparency companies can't re-write history

Many of the less enlightened companies must lament the marketing era they find themselves in. The balance of power for influencing consumer perceptions and defining what brands stand for has shifted out of their hands into the hands of people. In web 2.0 life, companies find themselves unwelcome or shut out of many internet venues in which people discuss their brands.

What to do? Some companies have sought to influence from the sidelines. Several firms have quietly re-written public posts about their endeavors on wikipedia in an effort to shape perceptions. But in today's age of greater transparency it's not surprising that their efforts were exposed, as described in a recent NYT article.

Anheuser Busch, Pepsi, Diebold, Walmart and even the CIA have altered or deleted material that is not flattering to their enterprises. Hopefully the publicity surrounding their legerdemain will serve to focus them upon more honest and productive undertakings.

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