Thursday, August 21, 2014
Kaitlyn Lawes twitter!
Great exchange! Figure skating challenge up next! #Trillium2014 #crossfit #guesswho
Did u know Kaitlyn Lawes is the 3d most followed lady curler on twitter! #16.2k
Hey Kaitlyn Lawes lost all other punctuation on her keyboard/phone! #somanyexclamationpoints
I don't know which is worse - this or Jessica's winks and hearts.
All of the questions in this post are rhetorical. I haven't done enough research to have the answers.
Part of this blog and blog comments section has been looking at social media marketing, including its standards of integrity. I'm curious about how come what Tessa and Scott do, which is to combine deceiving the public on twitter with promoting their sponsors on twitter, is okay. Lawes does the same thing. Mostly I wonder if we must then assume that Lindt and pb chocolate milk can be considered participants in the manipulation and hoaxing of the public about Scott and Tessa's relationship.
Most people inside Scott and Tessa's network know they're married and have a daughter; this network can be described as enormous. Scott and Tessa must be getting feedback that their tactics are fine. It seems to me they've been innovators in using social media to not just actively promote a hoax, but in actively gaslighting the supporters of their skating, and those who follow figure skating. They're not reactive. There's no pressure from the media. Scott and Tessa instigate.
That last, the "it's not us - it's you" (actually it's "it's not us - it's them (fans)) is the "unique" component of all this - to actively and repeatedly report to the people you're lying to that you're being nothing but truthful, and, taking it a step further, to assert that the people you're lying to are confusing fantasy/performance with reality. You present yourselves as constantly needing to get out there and set people straight. (Which is another lie - they lie about their supporters. Apart from the blog, Scott and Tessa's false version of their status isn't questioned online.).
Until the reality show, one might argue that the people who partner with Scott and Tessa - other athletes, sponsors, representatives - aren't aware of Scott and Tessa's tactics. Figure skating doesn't get much coverage, nor do the personalities in the sport get coverage unless they're actively seeking it out. People in entertainment, talent management, other sports, event production, and sponsorship might be under the impression Scott and Tessa function like a lot of couples who maintain a platonic facade for privacy reasons, although even before the reality show, Scott and Tessa went into way more detail about how platonic they are than other couples have ever done. They repeatedly did entire interviews in print and video where that was all that was discussed. With Scott and Tessa, it's a little difficult for anyone to pretend to believe they're just working from a defensive position, but if you're not keeping track, that assumption can be made. But once they did the reality show, nobody could pretend that anymore.
This type of situation hasn't been addressed by the FTC (or, in Canada, the Canadian Competition Bureau, the FTC equivalent), or made it into any social media best practices guidelines. I imagine nobody at the FTC/Canadian Competition Bureau is even aware this sort of thing exists - Scott and Tessa are unique, after all. With the internet, rules and guidelines evolve in response to issues as they come up.
FTC/Canadian Competition Bureau
The linked article discusses the FTC's ability to govern Canadian advertising and sales practices (I imagine what Scott and Tessa do isn't sales/advertising, but marketing and promotion).
Here's the combination of factors that I question, wondering mostly if this is okay, and will become common practice:
1. Scott and Tessa publicly insist they are single and dating other people.
2. Scott and Tessa are married to each other, and have a daughter.
3. Their extensively promoted reality show, "Tessa and Scott," which aired on the commercially broadcast W network geared towards "women's programming", told us Tessa and Scott are each unmarried, are platonic, are not a couple, and told us Cassandra Hilborn was Scott Moir's girlfriend.The actual facts are Tessa was his wife, he was a married man, they have a daughter, live together as a family, and he was not dating Cassandra Hilborn.
4. W is an "entertainment" network, not a news channel; but their marketing of "Tessa and Scott" stressed that we'd be seeing Tessa and Scott's actual life, the real them.This promotional angle was specifically built around Scott and Tessa's honesty, transparency, sincerity, and genuine character. Scott even took to insisting it was a documentary. (I don't know if describing your personalities as genuine, sincere, etc., rather than using the words "honest" or "the truth" to describe the content of the show you're promoting, constitutes a technical out, but marketing guidelines are ALL about those semantics.)
5. Scott and Tessa repeatedly portray the public as self-deceived in wishing or wrongly suspecting that Scott and Tessa would ever be or are together as a couple.
6. Any review of fan discussion outside this one blog will demonstrate, going back years, that fans do not and did not challenge Scott and Tessa's version of their relationship, and Scott and Tessa were not and are not responding to persistent or vocal skepticism from fans.
7.Scott and Tessa are proactive. They frequently introduce the subject of their relationship, using every social media, legit media and reality television manipulation and flat out lie under the sun.
8. Scott and Tessa use the same platforms they use to lie to the public to promote their sponsors. Do the sponsors know?
Does this mean a public figure can basically tell any lie they want about their personal circumstances on social media, market it, and have it be validated by legitimate media, sponsors, other public figures?