Agency admits being fake police Twitter account

A marketing agency has today admitted that it was behind a fake Twitter account in the name of NSW Police.  

In a press release this afternoon, branding agency Mentally Friendly said it had created the account, which the police force this week publicly appealed to have returned. In the release it said:

“Intrigued by the public reaction and hype towards celebrities aboard the trend, Sydney based branding agency Mentally Friendly wondered what the social reaction would be if a law enforcement agency or figure of authority joined the conversation.With 2000 followers, the experiment proved that there is a place for government bodies in social media in Australia.

“Posting comments or ‘tweets’ appealing to public interest, the team at Mentally Friendly found that users responded positively to the concept of an authorities presence in social media. The experiment has triggered some important dialogue.”

The press release quotes the agency’s Nick Gower as saying:  “The intent was never to misrepresent the NSW Police Force, but to create a simple and genuine dialogue with which to gauge the public’s response.”

The account, @nswpolice, has now been handed back to NSW Police.

The agency admits its role with the fake account in an item on the company blog. Somewhat contradictorily, in the previous item on the blog it advises: “For any online activity it is important to keep your site and communication genuine.”

In anoher twist, the PR agency which sent out the press release on behalf of Mentally Friendly is Uno PR. Uno is also handling the PR for Clare Werbeloff, the girl who this week became an internet sensation after her wide eyed description of “wog” on “wog” violence in Kings Cross. As Mumbrella reported earlier today, there was speculation that there was more to Werbeloff than met the eye. Uno’s Adam Abrams was not answering his phone this afternoon.


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