Travel Firm's Cloud Seeding Stunt Attracts Chemtrailers

JonC

New Member


Hi all,

Just thought I'd pop in with a little personal anecdote - sorry if it's in the wrong place, please feel free to moderate or remove!

I work as a copywriter for a small travel firm in the UK. Won't say which one, but it'll be easy enough to find with the info I give here - as this is more about passing on my experience with chemtrail conspiracy theorists than it is advertising the guys I work for!

As I say, we're a pretty small company so we have to be pretty creative when it comes to our marketing (I know this sounds OT, but bear with me!). Recently, and with the help of a PR company, we dreamed up a bit of a stunt - offering people getting married in France the chance to utilise a cloud-seeding service to get perfect weather for their wedding day. Sure you can see what we were doing here, and when I say "stunt" I do mean exactly that - though technically we could arrange for it to be done (so I'm told), the deliberately ludicrous £100k price tag means that no-one (bar the nuttiest Russian oligarchs) could afford it.

Didn't take long before the chemtrailers descended. For the last week or more, I've had to firefight on our social platforms (facebook and twitter mostly) to remove some deeply unpleasant comments directed towards us from what I can only assume is the more vocal and aggressive factions of those who believe in chemtrails. Comments ranged from the pious and unbelieving to threats of physical and sexual violence (luckily we're a fairly robust bunch and took it in good humour).

I've always had a bit of an interest in conspiracy theories (more from an anthropological/folklore approach than actually believing them - I'm a card-carrying skeptic and rationalist) but I really was kinda weirded our by the spite and misinformation of the comments we received. I know it's not uncommon (was reading the Chris Bovey stuff) to recieve online hate from these guys, but jeez - the psychology of it is mind-boggling to me. What's clearly a PR stunt has been interpreted by some quarters as a blatant show of power by those pesky Illuminati Reptiles. In one of the bits of copy I wrote, I jokingly referred to us using the service for "potential future supervillainy" which was taken by one particular crackpot as a genuine admission of guilt. The stunt itself didn't even have anything to do with chemtrails - just cloud-seeding, which people here have already pointed out is a legitimate, legal activity.

Not that I was a believer in the first place, but having been at the pointy end of some fairly repulsive threats (guess I'm probably not alone in that on this forum - we should start a club) any sympathy I might have had with chemtrail theorists is now negligible. But hopefully by posting here I can help a little with debunking - I would like to catergorically state I am not, in fact, a shadowy evil corporate overlord who's part of an international conspiracy to enslave/sterilise/destroy the world but a 33 year old single guy who lives in South London with his cat and writes sci-fi in his spare time, who as part of his job wrote a press release for a PR stunt that nobody in the company really thought anybody would actually use anyway.

Although that's exactly what a corporate shill would write, right? ;)

Anyways, thanks for reading.


Jon
 
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Whitebeard

Senior Member.
Greetings fellow copywriter,

So now I know who to blame for the stuff thats been popping up my facebook wall as the latest geo-engineering 'smoking gun' ;)

Anyway interesting tale, and one that goes to show that some people will take anything literally. I've had a bit of this, albeit with less conspiratorial out come. One of my former contracts was to help co-ordinate a community news paper for an inner city area in Bristol. When we came to putting out an April edition we decided to do the old spoof story bit, so with a couple of the local residents we cooked up a history piece about 'the great flood of 1968', with false local eye witness accounts and a badly photoshopped image of the estate under a stupidly high flood, we claimed the waters reached the 7th floor of the local towerblocks. The story went out and for the next issue we had 4 or 5 letters from readers claiming they remembered the (made up) floods vividly and even adding details like helicopter rescues from the block roofs and naval launches taking people out windows!
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
The stunt itself
the UK doesn't have fraudulant advertising laws?

and does the 100% guarantee cover my entire wedding if it rains? including emotional distress and all my relatives flights and hotel stays?

and what does 'starts at' mean? is it 100k per cloud?
 

derwoodii

Senior Member.
welcome & good story shows how misguided they can be, thou you may have had web trolls pestering you not rusted on CT believers as its very hard to tell that differences, still any threats of actual harm maybe posted here.

https://www.metabunk.org/threads/ad...l-planes-pilots-scientists-and-debunkers.251/


oh and thanks for this it sent me back to Simon peggs series Spaced i just enjoyed 30m of catching up on best scenes.

but a 33 year old single guy who lives in South London with his cat and writes sci-fi in his spare time,
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
the UK doesn't have fraudulant advertising laws?

and does the 100% guarantee cover my entire wedding if it rains? including emotional distress and all my relatives flights and hotel stays?

and what does 'starts at' mean? is it 100k per cloud?
Are you considering this then deirdre? :)

@JonC, you say it was "clearly a PR stunt", but generally the reason PR stunts work is because they get believed and repeated by the media, and quite often vast numbers of people will take the claims on face value, knowing nothing about the science of the matter.

And a lot of chemtrail enthusiasts think that cloud seeding is evidence of some kind of secret spraying project that leaves trails in the sky, when could seeding has never been secret, and does not leave trails.

Here's the fake cloud seeding offer:
http://www.oliverstravels.com/blog/guarantee-perfect-wedding-weather-olivers-travels/
 

MikeC

Closed Account
Following the links to an AOL article does show you that cloud seeding can actually be dangerous to health - maybe even fatal!!

Spot this:

 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
Congratulations on a very successful PR stunt @JonC! I saw this story picked up by several UK papers. Not to mention photos of the press cuttings used on more than one chemtrails site!

Unfortunately (or fortunately, if you're in the PR business) a lot of papers seem to be suckers for this sort of easy page filler... see also the "get a scientist to come up with an equation for something stupid" trick.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
the UK doesn't have fraudulant advertising laws?
yes, but it doesn't cover press claims.

Say I was a travel company and I took out a paid advert on telly, or in the press claiming we had discovered a
Atlantis and were doing package tours there for £30,000 a pop, I would be running the risk of a fine from the advertising standards authority and possible legal action, both criminal and civil.

However if made the same claim in press release and sent it out to various media outlet as a news story, and some of the media run with it, then I have done nothing legally wrong. Of course depending how the media dealt with the release they could run foul of the press complaints commission or ofcom . And if I took any bookings and profited from the stunt directly then I would probably have Trading Standards and or any relevant trade association on the case.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
yes, but it doesn't cover press claims.

Say I was a travel company and I took out a paid advert on telly, or in the press claiming we had discovered a
Atlantis and were doing package tours there for £30,000 a pop, I would be running the risk of a fine from the advertising standards authority and possible legal action, both criminal and civil.

However if made the same claim in press release and sent it out to various media outlet as a news story, and some of the media run with it, then I have done nothing legally wrong. Of course depending how the media dealt with the release they could run foul of the press complaints commission or ofcom . And if I took any bookings and profited from the stunt directly then I would probably have Trading Standards and or any relevant trade association on the case.
But there is no false advertising involved, as far as I can see. If somebody wanted to pay the extortionate price then I am sure the cloud seeding could be arranged. £100,000 would surely cover a small-scale operation? Cloud-seeding is carried out in France: they do "hail suppression" to prevent damage to vineyards.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
But there is no false advertising involved, as far as I can see. If somebody wanted to pay the extortionate price then I am sure the cloud seeding could be arranged. £100,000 would surely cover a small-scale operation? Cloud-seeding is carried out in France: they do "hail suppression" to prevent damage to vineyards.
yup your right, I was just pointing out the law on actual false advertising, and should have included the point you made as well.

(my excuse is the better half was yelling diner is ready so I rushed it :oops: )
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
But there is no false advertising involved, as far as I can see. If somebody wanted to pay the extortionate price then I am sure the cloud seeding could be arranged. £100,000 would surely cover a small-scale operation? Cloud-seeding is carried out in France: they do "hail suppression" to prevent damage to vineyards.
i guess. but he just admitted it is a stunt and he never researched any of the claims on his page offering this service or what it entails. I couldnt care less, just pointing out in my passive agressive way ..that posting it is a fraud on a public page probably isnt something to repeat in the future.

Be interested though if he actually gets any more clients. They sound pretty small scale (smaller weddings), so me- i'd be turned off by the advertising as i would assume they are too "posh" and over priced for my budget.
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
This is still being reported as legit,. In fact, here is a PRI interview with a representative of the company, who claims that the offer is legit:
http://www.pri.org/stories/2015-02-09/british-travel-company-offers-rain-free-wedding-day

So, is the OP pulling our legs, or the interviewee?
Neither, or rather both, to a degree, in my opinion.

I work in the media, and used to work on the travel section of a newspaper. That's how a lot of PR works — come up with a wacky proposal that is technically feasible but probably not practical, eg "You could book our entire hotel for the duration of the World Cup and fill it with your friends for just £1 million!" (a fictional example I've just made up, but I could see that sort of thing on a press release quite easily). Yes, you could, but nobody actually will.

The newspaper gets a fun story, the firm gets some publicity, nobody actually does it in reality, and in a few weeks everyone has forgotten about it.

Is it deceptive? Well, kind of, but that's how the media works unfortunately. Having looked at the "Press" section of this company's website I have to take my hat off to their PR team — they know how to get publicity!
 
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Hevach

Senior Member.
come up with a wacky proposal that is technically feasible but probably not practical, eg "You could book our entire hotel for the duration of the World Cup and fill it with your friends for just £1 million!" (a fictional example I've just made up, but I could see that sort of thing on a press release quite easily). Yes, you could, but nobody actually will.
There's a video game company, I want to say the guys who made Saints Row but I might be wrong (edit: Yep, it was), that offers a $1,000,000 ultimate special edition of their games that includes, among a long list of things, a high end sports car with all kinds of game-inspired custom work. Last time they did this a journalist tried to get a picture of the car, and they had to confess that they don't actually buy the car unless somebody buys the bundle, because after several games nobody actually has and they don't want to be stuck with a lot full of million dollar custom cars.

So this is basically the same thing, you think?
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
There's a video game company, I want to say the guys who made Saints Row but I might be wrong (edit: Yep, it was), that offers a $1,000,000 ultimate special edition of their games that includes, among a long list of things, a high end sports car with all kinds of game-inspired custom work. Last time they did this a journalist tried to get a picture of the car, and they had to confess that they don't actually buy the car unless somebody buys the bundle, because after several games nobody actually has and they don't want to be stuck with a lot full of million dollar custom cars.

So this is basically the same thing, you think?
Yes, exactly. Real-world example: I know a property PR who got some very good press about a high-end apartment where the buyer would get the wine cellar fully stocked with bottles picked by a top wine merchant. However in reality, even though they *could* do that, he admitted that the cost is factored into the price and he's pretty sure that the eventual buyer would just ask for the discount instead. It's a PR hook; not false advertising as such but unlikely to reflect a real outcome.

Same with some prize draws: often they quote an elaborate bit possibly impractical prize, but most people in reality will just take the cash equivalent.
 

Balance

Senior Member.
Naturalnews late to the party yesterday published their own spin on this "story"...

http://www.naturalnews.com/049031_cloud_seeding_weather_control_chemtrails.html

 

skephu

Senior Member.
A blogger actually called the travel company and was told that they indeed offer this service:
http://henifouriephotography.co.uk/blog/guarantee-rain-free-wedding
 

Trailblazer

Moderator
Staff member
A blogger actually called the travel company and was told that they indeed offer this service:
http://henifouriephotography.co.uk/blog/guarantee-rain-free-wedding
Well, they would say that :) As the OP who came up with the idea says:

Sure you can see what we were doing here, and when I say "stunt" I do mean exactly that - though technically we could arrange for it to be done (so I'm told), the deliberately ludicrous £100k price tag means that no-one (bar the nuttiest Russian oligarchs) could afford it.

I actually think they should have set the price tag a bit higher. Weddings cost a lot and £100k isn't all that sky high (sorry!) compared to the cost of some more lavish ceremonies. (The average cost of a wedding in the UK is apparently somewhere north of £20,000, and I can believe it!)
 

Auldy

Senior Member.
Why stop at weddings? How about important outdoor sporting events for the local little league games, or for backyard stargazers.

Or go the opposite. Is your arch nemesis marrying your ex this weekend? How about cloud seeding to literally rain on their parade.
 

Whitebeard

Senior Member.
Why stop at weddings? How about important outdoor sporting events for the local little league games, or for backyard stargazers.

Or go the opposite. Is your arch nemesis marrying your ex this weekend? How about cloud seeding to literally rain on their parade.
Could be very handy for the England Cricket team....

"... and with just 20 overs and three wickets left England still need 214 to beat this superb Indian side. And as Peterson prepares to face the devastating pace of Varun Aaron he looks up as a light aircraft weaves in and out of the clouds above Lords... And rain stops play, match abandoned and the test is drawn. England live to fight another day."
 

tadaaa

Senior Member
Could be very handy for the England Cricket team....

"... and with just 20 overs and three wickets left England still need 214 to beat this superb Indian side. And as Peterson prepares to face the devastating pace of Varun Aaron he looks up as a light aircraft weaves in and out of the clouds above Lords... And rain stops play, match abandoned and the test is drawn. England live to fight another day."
Cricket is a slam dunk conspiracy anyway

I mean what game can last for 5 days, end in a DRAW (potentially decided by the weather) and yet still be the most riveting sporting spectacle on the planet
 

Trailspotter

Senior Member.
Cricket is only the 4th most popular sport - but you can also blame the Brits for the 1st and 3rd most popular sports in the world too.....
Nope. Second.http://www.topendsports.com/world/lists/popular-sport/fans.htm
The ranking depends on a given metric, but it is safe to say it is in the top five, or, more cautiously, the top ten popular sports.
Still, the popularity of cricket is a mystery to me. After nearly 25 years of living in the UK, I failed to understand its attraction.
 

NoParty

Senior Member.
...it is safe to say it is in the top five, or, more cautiously, the top ten popular sports.
Let's be really safe and say "top one hundred." :)

And easily in the top one thousand, re. entertainment value. Easy! :cool: (leaves "Centurion Volo Bocce" in the dust!)






(Additional apologies, from the same ADHD Yank...)


[p.s. I'm officially abandoning the cricket jag, after looking back up at the thread title...more apologies!)
 
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