New Statesman writes about bloggers for hire, grassroots brand takeover, and the fledgling Word of Mouth Marketing Association.

A while back I wrote about corporate toes dabbling in the waters of user-generated media (here). 

Another pretty fascinating example of the immense power of blogs to affect the corporate bottom line, from Monday August 28 New Statesman – Bloggers for hire:

In June, a disgruntled Land-Rover customer called Adrian Melrose set up a site called have to track the company’s lack of progress in dealing with a complaint about his new Discovery. Melrose was soon attracting 700 visitors a day, which placed him at the top of a Google search if you typed in “Land-Rover Discovery”.

Pretty powerful influence, no?

Then, this:

In July, the company caved in and sorted out his problem but then struck a deal to turn into a Land-Rover customer feedback forum.

And this:

“brand ambassadors” – key social figures in a neighbourhood or community who will get paid to drop brand references into conversations

I disagree that brand ambassadors are a new thing, though.  Last year I noticed job ads for people to chat up specific products or services, up in cottage country (cabins, as they call them in BC). 

But what is new?  This month, the fledgling word-of-mouth industry created its own trade body – the Word of Mouth Marketing Association.

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