Tuesday, November 13, 2007

EMI's webjacking 'all a dataglitch'

Curious times at EMI: For the last week or so, a Google for Radiohead saw users being served with an ad promising:

'New Album 'Rainbow' now available as Boxset inc. CD USB, Digital'

Oddly, though, this link took you not a site where the In Rainbows box was being sold, but instead, to Parlophone, where they were punting the EMI years box set.

EMI's response, when challenged by the Guardian, is pathetic. First they ignored the requests. Then:
Finally, a cryptic, one-sentence email arrived from EMI publicist Chris Latham yesterday.

"Parlophone were aware of the data source glitch and removed the link immediately," it read. When asked to confirm that this meant that the label had indeed placed the Google Ad and then removed it, the company spokesman twice declined any further comment or clarification.

A 'data source glitch' would sound like some sort of mistake that has happened because of computers - and, let's face it, we know how computers often corrupt in a way that sees them buying ad inventory on Google with ads worded to make it sound like they were selling a product that people might want. Similarly, we had a toaster that was always placing 'bicycle for sale' small ads in the Evening Argus when we tried to toast crumpets.

The refusal to issue a simple denial that Parlophone had been placing adverts designed to con the public would seem to suggest culpability - after all, if you'd not behaved badly, would you decide to say no comment? Still, we're sure it's only a matter of time before EMI share with us what this "data glitch" was, and we can reassure ourselves it's not merely a euphemism for "lying".