Netflix apologizes for botched publicity stunt at Canada debut
Netflix, which tried to add a dash of Hollywood to the Canada debut of its new Web video service on Wednesday, has extended an apology for the botched publicity stunt.
According to the Web site of Canadian news service The Financial Post, it was during a scheduled press event in Toronto that reporters from Canadian media apparently noticed that some of the responses from people in attendance sounded like “canned responses.”
The reporters discovered that actors that Netflix had hired had been given written instructions for giving media interviews, probably with the aim of hyping the arrival of the company’s video subscription service in Canada.
While Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey admitted that some of the people who attended the launch event were actors paid by Netflix, he also added that the actors were not paid to attend the press event.
In a further clarification, Swasey said that, before the press event, Netflix had sought the help of the paid actors to shoot a corporate video. He also said that some actors stayed on for the press conference and got “carried away” - they answered questions, the responses to which were not prompted by the company. About the written instructions, Swasey said that they were part of the script for the corporate video shoot.
Apologizing for the happenings, Swasey said: “We are embarrassed. We regret that this put on a blemish on what should have been perfect day for Netflix.”