Not brought to you by

a screenshot of the re-branded clip

a screenshot of the re-branded clip

Every activist knows that even the most anti-corporate jam can be co-opted by commercial interests.  Usually this involves some sort of subversion or re-appropriation of the techniques used but every now and then, the co-option is nothing more than sticking a corporate identity where it doesn’t belong.

A few years ago OTL culture-jammed who had branded and literally taken over the lower half of St-Laurent Boulevard during the bi-annual street sale.  Our jam was successful and caused quite a reaction, especially from the cops.

Guerilla Video Productions made a couple of videos of our performance and posted them around the web, including on YouTube where they got a bunch of views.  Turns out it wasn’t just culture-jammers and people interested in public space who saw it, one of the spectators was a marketer for a rival internet poker site.

Recently we discovered that this marketer or group of marketers had re-uploaded the videos to YouTube almost intact, that is except for a black screen at the end of each clip with “presented by, test and improve your skills!” written in white.

Imagine that!  Our group of jammers working hard and risking arrest just to plug for a rival website!  As far-fetched as that sounds, that is exactly what the person or people responsible for these altered clips are trying to make everyone believe actually happened.

Reposting a video is one thing and OTL has never been an advocate of copyright law, but this is just bad form.  While it’s actually quite funny, its also a little sad that someone could be so oblivious to the anti-consumerist message of a jam that they actually feel the performance could easily translate to a plug for them.

If you want to see the jam as it was intended, here it is in two parts.  If you want to see the altered version, just imagine the image at the top of this post appearing at the end of each segment and you’ll see just how laughable it is.  This isn’t stealth marketing, its just plain bad marketing.

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