Circulating blogworld is a snap of the cutsie puppy poster for the movie on which someone has sprayed "The dog dies".
For as long as there have been posters, there have been adaptations at the hands of the local Banksies. Along the way, some advertisers found ways to make destruction of their ad a part of the story.
Remember the Levi's campaign, where jeans marked "stolen" were pasted to a poster site? Or the Wranglers "wanted" jeans, frozen into blocks of ice. Both became must-have items, generating a ton of PR for their owners.
Others, such as Nissan, tried to gain street cred by daubing their own posters for the Altima. It didn't work, the effort resented for "using street art, which is ours, to sell us their products".
The internet and its "get involved" culture presents a seductive target for marketers. Digital agencies have all had clients demand "one of those Web 2.0 viral things".
But there are many more duds than firecrackers. And audiences really don't like being had over by ad agency creative types, so bungled attempts - like Nissan's poster effort - elicit only contempt, even for trying.
In 2006, Chevrolet encouraged participants to make their own ad for the Tahoe SUV, using clips of fabulous footage and stirring music provided on the Chevy website. Wired magazine noted: "The wikification of the 30-second spot - what could be more revolutionary than that?"
Well yes, except that among the 30,000 responses, the real Tahoe owners were too busy logging, ranching and so on to be bothered, leaving the game to greenies whose contributions told stories of the brutalisation of the environment by gas-guzzlers. (Look at "Tahoe SUV God" on YouTube.)
Online graffiti takes the form of spectacular adaptations, some of them devastatingly acerbic. However, others never quite succeed in throwing off the suspicion that, like the Nissan posters, they were actually created by the brand's agency. (The Ford KA and SportKA "evil twin" ads, the Mastercard blow job or, in similar territory, the Puma locker room press "ads".)
Perhaps these are funny enough to get away with it. People will play along if there's some-thing in it for them - originality, a laugh or simply something worth sharing.
But this is a high-wire act - enviable when it comes off, but a long way to fall if executed with any clumsiness at all.
This article was first published on mediaweek.co.uk