Date: 10th June 2001
LATEST: SONY PICTURES has suspended two advertising executives without pay for 30 days over their misguided attempts to boost publicity for films by using a fake critic.
JOSH GOLDSTINE, senior vice president of creative advertising, and MATTHEW CRAMER, director of creative advertising, received a strict dressing down after the truth was uncovered about a reviewer called DAVID MANNING.
At first everyone thought Manning was a humble critic for the RIDGEFIELD PRESS in Connecticut who just happened to give rave reviews for movies released by Sony's COLUMBIA PICTURES like KNIGHT'S TALE, a (2001), VERTICAL LIMIT (2000) and HOLLOW MAN (2000).
However he was exposed as a fabrication by NEWSWEEK magazine which revealed that Cramer made up the quotes attributed to Manning that were used in numerous advertising campaigns by Columbia.
Two moviegoers have also lodged a class action on behalf of millions of people who they claim were fooled into seeing A Knight's Tale by the fake reviews. (MCM/WNWCFU)