In February 2010 an outbreak of media panic spread through the British tabloid press concerning a marketing campaign called DubitInsider. The DubitInsider website recruits 13-24 year olds who consider themselves to be “peer leader[s] with strong communication skills” to act as “Brand Ambassadors”. This requires the clandestine passing-on of product suggestions to peers via posting on message boards and social networks, emails and instant messenger conversations, organizing small events and parties. DubitInsider ignited the moral indignation of the tabloids not because of its covert nature, but since Brand Ambassadors were apparently paid to market “unhealthy” junk foods to minors.
- Dr. Tony Sampson (UK) is a London-based academic and writer. He is the coeditor (with Jussi Parikka) of Spam Book: On Viruses, Porn, and Other Anomalies From the Dark Side of Digital Culture (2009) and currently writing his next book, Virality: Contagion Theory in the Age of Networks.
- Dr. Jussi Parikka (FI) is the Director of CoDE – The Cultures of the Digital Economy-institute at Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Reader in Media Theory and History, and Pathway Leader in Media Studies/Co-Director of Anglia Research Centre in Digital Culture (ArcDigital).
Full text (PDF) p. 372-373