Date: 4th June 2001
SONY have admitted inventing a film reviewer who gave positive reviews to a string of films made by the company's COLUMBIA FILMS offshoot.
Film critic DAVID MANNING had been a consistent booster for the company - but the fake film critic was discovered after reviews for Animal, The (2001) and Knight's Tale, A (2001) were challenged by a reporter for America's NEWSWEEK magazine.
The Manning blurb on Animal, The (2001) called the movie "another winner!", while comments about Knight's Tale, A (2001) praised HEATH LEDGER as "this year's hottest new star!"
Quotes also were fabricated for last year's (00) HOLLOW MAN (2000) and VERTICAL LIMIT (2000).
Sony spokeswoman SUSAN TICK says, "It was a case of incredibly bad judgment. We're taking all the steps necessary to determine who's been responsible and will act appropriately. "
In the ads, "David Manning" was listed as a reviewer for THE RIDGEFIELD PRESS, a small weekly newspaper in Connecticut, USA. The newspaper was unaware that its name was being used in the ads, Newsweek reported. (MCM/WNWCFU)