American Apparel Book: A Publicity Stunt For The Digital Age

Jessica Rubin

Well, this is a doozy. American Apparel‘s publicist Ryan Holiday allegedly scored a $500,000 book deal with Portfolio publishing house to write about the horrors of working for the company. Not exactly a revolutionary idea. But NY Mag reports that Emily Witt, who works for The New York Observer, got a copy of the proposal, and things weren’t exactly as they seemed.

Apparently, they write that “the press release announcing the sale of this book is the perfect opportunity to create a compelling yet fake spectacle about the book.” Once the book is available for curious readers to peruse, the company will drop the following bombshell:That the information is all fake and part of a social experiment will be revealed later in the book itself — as evidence of the gullibility of the web and proof of concept.

There is even a plan to feed bloggers and online media sources fake chapters, claiming they were “too controversial to put in the book.” Quite an elaborate plan for a bit of press, no? The proposal also cites an initiative through which the book would expose “wrongdoings” by media superstars like Nick Denton and Arianna Huffington, notifying them of these allegations before the book is released so they’ll have time to respond before it is revealed that the book is really just a series of lies.

Considering the world is run by online media sources and more people turn to sites like Huffington Post than ever before as their primary news outlet, baiting and angering these figures is a one-way ticket to Donezoville.

But bravo on the disgustingly elaborate plan!

Image courtesy of CBS News.

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