Angry mobs or groundswell? Or just paid marketing?

What do you call a flash mob that has been paid for? Think hard before you answer this.

Now let me complicate it a bit for you:

When connected to a PR campaign, we tend to see it as the evil astro-turfing. Plenty of these examples around us. Those the angry mobs showing up with signs to loudly disrupt town hall meetings as a form of protest against healthcare reform, are suspiciously PR-backed astroturfing practices. TechPresident ‘reveals’ that there is a method behind this madness.

When connected to people protesting against a stolen election, we see it as citizen action —as we saw in Iran. streets

Then there’s the third kind. When connected to marketing, the flash mob could be used to bring attention to a product in a public place. Funny how we have no problem with this, even though it also disrupts civilian life, and appears to be a spontaneous expression of the hoi polloi.

This highly choreographed event earlier this year by Saatchi and Saatchi, for T-mobile at London’s busy Liverpool Street station is a good example of how the lines are being blurred as the radius between sender and receiver gets stretched.

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