I spoke on the BBC’s World Update yesterday about a 19 year old Wisconsin man who sold his name to an online Finnish electronics retailer via eBay. I discussed the pros and cons of this old idea – dating back to Jim Moran and Maynard Nottage, who both persuaded people to change their names to help promote clients in the early 20th century.
It may not be a wholly original stunt, but it is a clever and effective one for the internet age – it allows the Finnish company to get search engine optimisation in the run up to the festive season and keeps the newly unpronouncable man from Wisconsin in ready cash for a while. I think it’s a tremendous PR scam designed to get the public conversation going about the company in time for Christmas.
Here’s the MP3 version, if you’d like to hear more.