“We have reached a strange new place in marketing when tweets become full-page print ads.”
– A.O. Scott, New York Times film critic, in a tweet responding to a full-page ad by CBS Films that ran in Saturday’s Times. The ad used a portion of a Dec. 30 tweet from Scott to promote the folk-music movie “Inside Llewyn Davis,” reading simply: “I’m gonna listen to the Llewyn Davis soundtrack again. Fare thee well, my honeys.” While not entirely inaccurate, the text was taken out of context. Here’s the original:
You all keep fighting about Wolf of Wall St. and Am Hustle. I’m gonna listen to the Llewyn Davis album again. Fare thee well, my honeys.
— a. o. scott (@aoscott) December 31, 2013
Of course, neither “The Wolf of Wall Street” nor “American Hustle” were made by CBS Films. The ad raised immediate concerns about truth in advertising and the creepy reality of an off-the-cuff remark on social media being used to promote a product. While tweets are being used more often in movie ads, this one apparently came as a surprise to Scott, especially since it didn’t come from his review. If CBS Films didn’t have his explicit permission to use the tweet, they may have run afoul of both Twitter’s terms of service and FTC rules. But most likely, people will just roll their eyes and move on.
At top: Photo by Jen Chung, Gothamist.