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When worlds collide: Penny Arcade meets your average “social media guru”

When worlds collide: Penny Arcade meets your average “social media guru”

Ocean Marketing is a terrible PR companyThe (tremendously) popular web comic, Penny Arcade, recently received an email from a fan; the fan, named Dave, had pre-ordered the upcoming Avenger controller. The Avenger controller’s marketing and PR team is called Ocean Marketing.

Dave had an honest and simple question, and handled it maturely. All he wanted to know was if the controllers he ordered in early November would arrive in time for Christmas like they were supposed to have. What happens next is a textbook lesson in PR and marketing douchebaggery. Read the Penny Arcade blog post to see just how far it goes.

I spent a few years in the social media marketing world, and in my time there, I have met many people who act like the fellow from Ocean Marketing. They are the same ones that will get you followers and “Likes” at any cost, no matter how ineffective or spammy. Just taking a look at their website reveals the “by the book”, cookie-cutter nature of their social media “expertise”: a keyword-rich website that brags of their SEO skills, and promises to get your company “more inbound links”. “Any PR is good PR” they say.

Well, they’re getting their links alright. Almost any gamer who reads any gaming website is assuredly never going to buy an Avenger product. “You just got told bitch” is the way these guys run their business, and that’s probably what’s going to end up happening to them.

They’re a trending topic on Twitter now, and believe me, it ain’t good.


  1. kryyst
    kryyst It's amazing that any company catering to gamers or well any large audience that is also vocal on the internet these days would screw up so royally. Will they go under because of this, well no. But do they look like completely asshats because of it absolutely.
  2. csimon
    csimon "Rinse & repeat:" ...bwahahaha ...Ocean Marketing you say?
    This is great stuff.
  3. Ryder
    Ryder Just a note.

    Update 2: Ocean Marketing has changed their twitter account name from @OceanMarketting to @OceanStratagy in the wake of the bad press. Still no officially coherent response otherwise from Paul Christoforo who has since removed his last name from the twitter account.
  4. csimon
    csimon They're putting on their "...big boy hat...."
  5. BobbyDigi
    BobbyDigi Some investigation by Reddit user thegauntlet has shown that Everything on Ocean Marketting's Website is plagiarized.

    I'll fallback to Penny Arcades original blog post name: Wow.

  6. kryyst
    kryyst Looks like they may need to put on their Fighting Trousers now
  7. BHHammy
    BHHammy Holy flaming rubber nipples, Batman. That's absolutely terrible.

    Also, I'm looking at their..uhm...Avenger thing they're trying to market. What the hell IS that thing? It looks horribly ugly. I'm not quite clear on what purpose it's supposed to serve.

    It kind of reminds me of that xbox fps specialty controller a long way's back, except much more twisted.
  8. ardichoke
    ardichoke It's supposed to make it so you can hit your buttons without taking your thumb off the analog stick (one of the many reasons I hate playing FPSes on consoles). There's a video of that douchebag PR guy demoing it at PAX. It looked pretty neat, but this debacle is probably going to sink them.... unless the company that makes the Avenger does the smart thing and sacks Ocean Marketing quickly and publicly.
  9. GHoosdum
    GHoosdum For some reason, an "SEO expert" fundamentally misunderstanding the nature of social media does not strike me as a contradiction.
  10. pigflipper
    pigflipper Apparently this douche (the Ocean Marketing guy) needs to go back to Internet 101: Don't Piss Off Gamers.
  11. GHoosdum
    GHoosdum It's not just Internet 101, it's the Golden Rule. Apparently Paul wanted to be treated badly, so that is how he treated the customer.
  12. UPSLynx
    UPSLynx .... man. Frigging wow.
  13. QCH
    QCH BTW... "Stratagy" is misspelled. ;D
  14. QCH
    QCH BTW... I emailed Avenger and got this response...
    -------- Original Message --------
    Subject: [Auto-Reply] Bad Customer Relations
    From: info@avengercontroller.com
    Date: Tue, December 27, 2011 7:25 pm
    To: BLANK

    Thank you for your email.

    Due to the overwhelming customer feedback we're getting from the situation with Ocean Marketing we are asking those with specific product related concerns to send emails to customerservice@avengercontroller.co

    Please know that Ocean Marketing is no longer handling any PR or customer service for our company. We apologize to our customers for Ocean Marketing's remark to one of our customers. We at Kotkin Enterprises know that it's our customers are the true arbiters of our products success and we would never intentionally jeopardize what we see as a relationship between us and our customers. We hope that this incident hasn't put you off of purchasing a truly revolutionary controller.

    Thank you for expressing your concerns and we hope for your continued support in the future.

    Kotkin Enterprises Avenger Controller Customer Service Team
  15. Tushon
    Tushon Gabe's follow up (worth posting in its entirety)
    I just wanted to post an update with some of the stuff that has happened over on my end with regards to all this Ocean Marketing stuff.

    Around midnight last night Paul sent me a mail saying that I could expect to hear from their attorneys. As of right now that still has not happened and honestly I don’t expect it will. Our attorneys (who are real people with an office and everything) are ready should it get to that point though.

    At 7:12am this morning I got another mail from Paul. It was one line and simply said:

    “You have the power Mike Please make it stop”

    The reality is that once I had posted the emails I didn’t have the power anymore. The Internet had it now and nothing I said or did was going to change that.

    An hour later I got a more complete apology:

    Hey Mike,

    I just wanted to apologize for the way our emails progressed I didn’t know how big your site was and I really didn’t believe you ran Pax , So for what’s its worth I am very sorry. Your post has obviously made my life very difficult and I have not slept yet dealing with all the spam and personal information intrusion as well as my family being smeared on the internet.

    If you can please accept my apology and anything you can do to help if not me my son and wife please do. I have apologized to Dave and apologized to you what else can I do please tell me so I can make things good. I obviously care or I would not be emailing you.

    I think there is a big difference between being sorry and being sorry you got caught. I have a real problem with bullies. I spent my childhood moving from school to school and I got made fun of everyplace I landed. I feel like Paul is a bully and maybe that’s why I have no sympathy here. Someday every bully meets and even bigger bully and maybe that’s me in this case. It’s the same thing that happened with Jack Thompson. It might not always make the most business sense and it is a policy that has caused us some legal problems, but I really don’t give a shit about that. When these assholes threaten me or Penny Arcade I just laugh. I will personally burn everything I’ve made to the fucking ground if I think I can catch them in the flames.

    -Gabe out
  16. doozer
    doozer Am I the only one that enjoys a good internet "thwacking" of people who 1) can't spell, and 2) have horrible grammar?

    Not to mention the whole customer service douchebaggery.
  17. Ilriyas
    Ilriyas Ho...ly...shit...Can anyone say PR suicide?

    Seriously I mean I can't even FATHOM what the hell was going through their heads when they acted like that. I mean I've been screwed on preorders before (Such as a game getting canceled or sent into development hell or a product being delayed) but I've never had a company tell me to go fuck myself just because I'm asking a reasonable question.

    High five to the guy for sending the emails to Penny Arcade, no company should be able to treat a customer like that and get away with that.
  18. Garg
    Garg "Please remove me from this mailing list"

  19. Garg
  20. -MBG--De-Sniper
    -MBG--De-Sniper Wow that is hilarious, Gabe was being such a retard, btw if you really want to bring your company down, pissing on gamers is a great way to do it. :)
  21. pigflipper
    pigflipper I applaud Kotkin Enterprises for stepping in and attempting to make right where their hired hand obviously screwed up but its not their job to do so, that is why you hire PR firms, so you, as a business, don't have to deal with this kind of BS.

    Wonder if they will now create their own PR team as a result?
  22. primesuspect
  23. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster One of the reasons I spend less time on twitter these days is it has become overrun with a bunch of children that want to be internet marketers when they grow up. This looks to be about par for the course.
  24. Thrax
    Thrax What you see on Twitter is entirely up to you. Get off my lawn.
  25. pigflipper
    What you see on Twitter is entirely up to you. Get off my lawn.
    I lol'd
  26. Jokke
    What you see on The Internet is entirely up to you. Get off my lawn.
  27. csimon
    csimon Let have a show of fingers for excellent holiday PR mmmmK???


    And last but not least ...the Best Buy Christmas Guarnateed delivery.

  28. Cliff_Forster
    Cliff_Forster @Thrax - I just read the profiles of the last twenty or so people that added me. Of them, six are self professed twenty something entrepreneurs that all run some kind of single man/woman internet marketing company/blog, and another ten are marketers that want to help me unleash my true online potential, three are obviously spam bots of some kind, and one is a pretty legit follow from a guy in Baltimore that has some similar interests. I guess batting .050 on twitter aint so bad? So.... In essence that's what I'm saying, I don't spend allot of time on twitter because its gone from being something completely unique and cool, a way for people of common interests to meet and ultimately engage in more meaningful ways (like us).... Now its just overrun by opportunists that want to leverage it for its marketing potential. Sad thing is, most of these kids don't have the first clue. And yes, the can get the hell of my twitter! *shakes fist with vigor*
  29. boasist
    boasist Seems like Paul Christoforo was drinking the tiger blood. And now he is shooting violent torpedoes of truth.

    Somebody got a (few?) kilo of coke for christmas, and is just getting warmed up!

    Ocean Marketting is clearly WINNING!
  30. ardichoke
    ardichoke As an Internet douchebag, I take offense at everyone calling this guy a douchebag thus lumping him in with me. I would ask that you all refrain from calling this guy a douchebag forthwith and begin using a term that accurately captures his level of terrible. I'm not aware of any such word existing at this time, so I believe a new term will need to be coined. Might I suggest the term "christofhole"?
  31. csimon
    csimon Found this and thought you might like it too - http://wwebsiteasontheinternet.com/

  32. trooster89

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