The Target Center

Minneapolis’ Target Center Gives Ticketmaster The Boot

Live Nation owns large entertainment venues, promotes many of the larger concert tours, and — most controversially — uses its Ticketmaster business to sell fee-laden tickets to these events. But Live Nation’s biggest competitor seems intent on beating Ticketmaster at its own game. [More]

Dear Nvidia’s Mister Perez…

We’re passing on a message from our buddies over at Church of the Customer Blog:

Nvidia ‘Focus Group’ Member Details Hidden Program

For the record, while there are certainly “Manchurian Fans” being hired to promote products in the games and/or gaming hardware world, Nvidia and AEG have both clearly denied that they have hired stealth marketers to create personas to promote Nvidia products. We have no reason not to believe them and have stated that elsewhere on the site, but am putting it up again just to outline it. (Naturally, we’d like to know who is hiring these stealth marketers, so feel free to pass on anything regarding this you feel germane.)

Nvidia’s Perez: “They act as our ‘voice'”

Mr. Perez writes, in response to our previous questions:

I would hardly say ‘unwilling’ – I responed on Wed and Thursday.

Nvidia’s Derek Perez Responds

Prompted by our questions about Nvidia’s marketing practices, Public Relations Director Derek Perez sent us this response:

Hey Joel.

Did Nvidia Hire Online Actors to Promote Their Products?

About a week ago, The Consumerist stumbled upon claims made by various gaming websites (specifically, Elite Bastards and [Update: a poster on the forums at] Beyond3D) that graphics chip manufacturer Nvidia, in cooperation with the Arbuthnot Entertainment Group (AEG), had seeded various gaming and PC hardware enthusiast sites with pro-Nvidia shills. That is to say, that AEG would hire employees to create ‘personas’ in various gaming communities, slowly building up the trust of other members by frequent posting unrelated to Nvidia, to later cash in that trust with message board postings talking up the positive qualities of Nvidia’s products.