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So my brother was in New York...


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aahahaha thats awesome

<3 nyc


MEDIA TALK; Public Hath No Fury, Even When Deceived

By JULIE BOSMAN (NYT) 439 words

Published: July 24, 2006

It was the pitch-perfect vengeful Dear John letter, blown up on a billboard in the middle of Manhattan by a furious and apparently deep-pocketed spouse.

''Hi Steven,'' it began, cheerily enough. ''Do I have your attention now? I know all about her, you dirty, sneaky, immoral, unfaithful, poorly endowed slimeball. Everything's caught on tape. Your (soon-to-be-ex) Wife, Emily.''

The billboard created interest, and not just from an unfaithful Steven. A booking agent from ''Good Morning America'' sent an e-mail to Emily inviting her on the show. British Glamour wanted to make her the subject of a feature article.

But when pictures of the billboard proliferated on Gawker, Defamer and other blogs, readers quickly dug in. One fact soon emerged, thanks to camera phone pictures: the billboard was identical to others in Brooklyn, Los Angeles and Chicago. Someone else discovered that Emily was keeping a blog, thatgirlemily.blogspot.com, detailing Steven's infidelities. More digging showed that one Emily blog entry was oddly similar to a synopsis for an episode of ''Parco P.I.," a reality show on Court TV.

Another ''source'' sent an e-mail to Gawker suggesting that Court TV was behind the signs, pointing out that it was a viral marketing campaign to promote one of its programs. Mystery solved.

The bad news for viral marketers who use these kind of devices: executives at Court TV said they did not really want to be discovered so quickly. The good news is that even after the ruse was discovered, people visited the Emily blog, pushing it to one million hits by the end of Thursday. A fake surveillance video on the blog, supposedly from a private eye capturing Steven holding hands with his paramour, hit YouTube and became one of its most-viewed videos. Did it even matter that Emily was fictitious?

''Emily is really an amalgam of all of us who have been cheated on,'' said Marc Juris, general manager for programming and marketing at Court TV. ''Clearly, this really resonated with people.''

Whether it resonates into higher ratings for ''Parco P.I.'' is another matter. The ''Emily'' ruse was originally intended to be a stunt to help promote the start of the show's new season on Aug. 15, but Court TV's marketing group liked the idea so much that they made it a large part of the campaign. The second phase -- ads for the show to be stamped over the original billboards -- was to start next Monday, but Court TV moved it up to July 26 after all the attention.

Mr. Juris was still marveling: ''It's like a flash investigation took place, and within 24 hours we were busted.'' JULIE BOSMAN

Photo: A Court TV billboard with the outraged letter on Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. (Photo by Sara Krulwich/The New York Times)

i would have just linked to the ny times article but it was times select

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