Showtime Adjusts E-Mail Promo for The Tudors - Broadcasting & Cable

Showtime Adjusts E-Mail Promo for The Tudors

Headlines on Faux News Web Site Were Way Too Real
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Showtime reconsidered its ripped-from-the-headlines approach to a recent online promotion for the second season of The Tudors.

To tease the March 30 premiere of its steamy series about the young King Henry VIII, the pay cabler sent out e-mails hyping a news story about a "Mystery Millionaire." Recipients who clicked on the attached link were led to a Web site for "WKTS-TV" with an array of news headlines.

If the Tudors banner ad wasn't a giveaway, the pop-up promo that appeared when you clicked the headlines made it clear that it was a fake news site.

Some of the headlines, however -- "Latest Violence Kills 12 in Baghdad" and "Vet Hospital Faulted in 23 Deaths" -- were perhaps a tad too realistic.

Showtime vice president of corporate relations Stuart Zakim explained that the network simply "wanted to make it look like an authentic news site for a TV station." But he conceded that using faux headlines about all-too-real casualties of war to promote a TV drama might be construed as insensitive. Others agreed.

Showtime has since replaced the headlines with more innocuous ones.

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