Is your company of the mind that sending stakeholders condescending e-mails chock fulla name-calling and devoid of proper grammar and spelling will situate you favorably in the court of public opinion? If so, today's post on Penny Arcade (you know, that webcomic/blog/forum a few million people visit daily that's spawned multiple conventions, a charity and more), may make you reconsider! This morning the webcomic's blog featured an e-mail thread between a customer named Dave and Ocean Marketing about the status of preordered videogame controllers, which devolved hilariously from a simple delivery inquiry to a series of insult-filled and typo-ridden e-mails from Ocean Marketing representative Paul Christoforo.
Dave brought the e-mails to the attention of Penny Arcade, along with a few other gaming sites. The results? Christoforo being banned from all future PAX events, scores of critical blog posts, a flood of derisive tweets, a Reddit thread dissecting potentially plagiarized sections of Ocean Marketing's website and Christofo changing the company Twitter handle from "@oceanmarketting" to "@OceanStratagy" [sic], leaving a parody account promoting indie games to take its place.
Christoforo has principally been mocked for taunting and insulting a customer, claiming to have relationships with influential members of the media, the gaming industry and even the mayor of Boston. He also insinuated that Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik is defending Dave because he is his "boyfriend." Christoforo also mentions that he has "125 dedicated people" to run his PR (there are multimillion dollar companies with PR efforts successfully managed by teams as small as one or two people). Christoforo closed by calling Penny Arcade "amateur at best," and insisting his son (presumably a child), could make a better site. Strangely, none of his "125" PR people told him this might be a genuinely stupid thing to write.
Digging into the matter, Kotaku reached out to N-Control, maker of the Avenger controllers in question. They contacted "firstname.lastname@example.org," whom they had corresponded with before, to determine whether Ocean Marketing was an in-house marketing team or merely a third-party marketer. They got a reply from "email@example.com" telling them that Ocean Marketing was a third-party client helping over the holidays and that the situation had been blown out of proportion.
The real Brandon Leidel of The Hand Media responded to Kotaku stating that he hasn't used his "firstname.lastname@example.org" address in months, and had abandoned working with N-Control after Christoforo became involved with their marketing operations. Leidel even goes so far as to call Christoforo a "complete fool" and a "thug." Is that any way to talk about an angry pimp, whose job is presumably not easy? Have we as a people been misled by Big Daddy Kane?
The Angry Pimp has since shown a softer side, however, writing an apology e-mail to Dave that's been posted at Gamerfront. In the e-mail, Christoforo explains that Dave caught him during a stressful time and that he is now paying for his behavior online. He even offers Dave a full refund for his preordered controllers, plus two controllers free of charge. Whether Dave will accept the offer remains to be seen. We recommend taking it, and following Christoforo's own advice of flipping all four of the $50 controllers on eBay for $150 each. Maybe the mayor of Boston will be interested?
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