Diary: Ghost marketers look for global vibe

Cambridge agency Quite Great has called in to alert us to a short piece in The Sunday Times's Culture section on 'the latest music industry attempt to shape and create word of mouth called "ghost marketing".' Intriguing stuff - but the paper rather simplified this PR concept (Quite Great is deploying it to promote independent releases) as 'a fancy term for leaving CDs lying around'.

Cutting. But Quite Great MD Pete Bassett explains to us he has 'around 60 individuals, students, journalists and so on' who he can call upon to distribute the samplers, which - the idea is - will be picked up, copied and then passed on, rather like a chain-letter.

But just how sophisticated is this? 'I absolutely defend it: you need to leave the CDs in just the right place. But it all depends on how nosy the person who finds it is,' Bassett says.

Camden-based company Invisible Hands Music is one firm that uses Quite Great to promote its acts.

MD Charlie Kennedy tells PRWeek: 'People who come across the sampler CDs can tap their individual numbers into a website. We can then monitor how far they've travelled.' So is ghost marketing a worldwide PR phenomenon? 'They've made it to Beirut, Sao Paulo, Auckland and, er, Blackpool,' laughs Kennedy.

Global, indeed. But PRWeek has yet to come across any such samplers on our daily commute to sunny Hammersmith.

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