In case you missed it, last week Digiday exposed a horrific scandal within the ad industry: agencies editing their own Wikipedia pages to make them read more like, well, ads. This went well beyond correcting inaccuracies and the sort of monthly upkeep that’s become standard operating procedure for businesses big enough to warrant such entries.
While none of the implicated parties confessed, it certainly looked like some internal changes had come from Wikipedia editors who just happened to work for JWT, AKQA, BBH, Big Spaceship, Cossette and more.
This is normally an issue one might associate with PR firms. In fact, reps from several of the world’s biggest firms–one of which might represent your agency–arranged an informal agreement with the Wikipedia editorial community last month: they promised not to pay or hire editors with clearance who would then work to spruce up their clients’ pages (or their own).
Since we are independently fascinated by this phenomenon, we reached out to several of our agency contacts to get their takes on the story.
We were surprised by how few volunteered, but we do have a couple of good quotes on the topic after the jump…