Twentieth Century Fox has issued an apology for a marketing stunt in which it created fake news sites to help promote its latest movie. The sites featured fictional stories passed off as the real thing, one reporting that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin had met at a Swiss spa resort prior to the US presidential election. “In raising awareness for our films, we do our best to push the boundaries of traditional marketing in order to creatively express our message to consumers,” read a statement from the studio.
A publicity stunt for new Twentieth Century Fox movie ‘A Cure For Wellness’, in which fake news was distributed online, has been slated by marketing experts. It emerged that a network of fake sites, with titles like The Sacramento Dispatch and The Salt Lake City Guardian, which were presented as legitimate news outlets, were carrying stories of an inflammatory nature. One claimed that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin had secretly met at a spa in Switzerland – named as the spa which features in the movie – prior to the Presidential election, while other stories took in subjects like abortion and vaccination.
Marketing folk working on new movie ‘A Cure For Wellness’ distributed a fake news story about Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin as part of its promotional drive. The topical if not responsible move saw the headline ‘BOMBSHELL: Trump and Putin Spotted at Swiss Resort Prior to Election’ posted before story detailing an entirely made up account of how about Trump met Putin at a remote wellness centre in the Swiss Alps prior to the US presidential election in November. Published on The Sacramento Dispatch, one of a number of outwardly legitimate but ultimately fake news sites (which also featured banner ads for the new movie) which appeared to have been set up specifically for the stunt, it quoted a member of staff from the Volmer Institute, the name of the fictitious facility in the forthcoming movie.
An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps. He soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem. When he begins to unravel its terrifying secrets, his sanity is tested, as he finds himself diagnosed with the same curious illness that keeps all the guests here longing for the cure. From Gore Verbinski comes the new psychological thriller, 'A Cure For Wellness'. Coming soon.