“Sure, why not? What a great idea!”
As part of its marketing campaign for 20th Century Fox’s new film “A Cure for Wellness,” the studio created and launched realistic websites for the Sacramento Dispatch, the Houston Leader, the Salt Lake Guardian, the New York Morning Post and the Indianapolis Gazette. They included a graphic displaying the current weather , and above the above the story, the standard labels, such as News, Business, Sports, Entertainment. None of these publications are real. None of them included any disclaimers or explanations.
They did contain fake anti-Donald Trump stories. One especially popular one among Trump haters on social media claimed that the President was refusing to provide California federal support as 188,000 citizens were evacuated to avoid the Oroville Dam overflow. Sanctuary cities, you know. Trump is so mean. Can we impeach him yet?
Eventually the sites and stories were discovered to be fake. When asked about the strategy, a spokesperson for Regency Enterprises, the film’s production company, explained that “‘A Cure for Wellness’ is a movie about a ‘fake’ cure that makes people sicker. “As part of this campaign, a ‘fake’ wellness site healthandwellness.co was created and the company partnered with a fake news creator to publish fake news.”
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