Netflix and the Pseudo- Citizen
The PRSA Code of Ethics addresses the free flow of information and full disclosure. The writers of the Code of Ethics did not do this for their own health. Deception affects the deceiver, stakeholders and employees negatively.
Apparently, Netflix didn’t think about this before they decided to hire actors for their Canadian launch this week. Actors claiming to be citizens during their Canada launch were exposed on Twitter. Supposedly, they weren’t expected to speak to the media. Furthermore, they were expected to identify themselves as “promotional people.” Sounds like a plan, right?
Further investigation uncovered scripts given to the extras instructing them to look excited and pose as citizens. The Vice President of communications said he was “unaware” of the practices.
Lack of communication within the communications department is not a good look for the company. Not many people are willing to purchase services from a deceptive company. Though, they admitted to messing up, no specific person or group of people have taken responsibility. This event could have long-term effects on the company and cause consumers to question the sincerity of past and future campaigns.
I encourage Netflix to be completely transparent and implement an ethical course for the communications and PR department. The public must be reassured that Netflix will prevent and not tolerate such action. Like the pseudo citizen, pseudo- morality probably won’t work well.