Dell has been trying hard to improve its image and customer relations but every time it takes a couple of steps forward it trips and rolls back down the hill. Recently the company launched a community website called DigitalNomads. The site is intended to provide information and news for folks living and working the digital nomad life. As a part of getting the word out about the site Dell has been spending some serious money in online advertising about DigitalNomads which is fine but someone seems to have forgotten a big no-no in the ad business.
Apparently one of the ads Dell is running includes a video clip with Mark Santora; a reporter from the New York Times. This would be fine in of itself except Mark says the clip is from an interview he did for Big Think, a web site backed by Peter Theil a big Facebook investor, and he never received any compensation for the ad. Besides not even mentioning the fact that the clip is a part of a larger interview for another site the idea of not getting approval from Santora or NYT is just plain stupid.
So what is wrong here? Well the FTC rules forbid deceptive advertising which in this case means an ad from Dell which suggests a New York Times reporter has endorsed the Dell vision of mobile computing when in fact he hasn’t. Like I said – not a very smart move Dell and you’d better hope that you don’t get slapped around for this.