Netflix caught hiring actors to pose as fans at events in Canada

By David Kiefaber on Fri Sep 24 2010

Netflix

Netflix's arrival in Canada, already a mixed bag in terms of public perception, sank into further ignominy when the company admitted to hiring actors to pose as enthusiastic Netflix fans in front of the Toronto press. The actors were encouraged to play "types" corresponding to Netflix's core demographics, including "mothers, film buffs, tech geeks and couch potatoes," The New York Times reports. I could be insulted by their typecasting, but admittedly I'm half of those things, and I use Netflix. Of course, I use the American version. Canada's wonky copyright laws, which apparently restrict them from enjoying streaming sites like Hulu, mean a small selection of movies for the Great White North. That's gone over about as well as you'd expect. So, it looks even worse for Netflix that they drummed up all this publicity for a service that'll be subpar until they get rights worked out with the appropriate parties. On the other hand, while what they did was unethical and stupid, it wasn't illegal. They still have a long way to go before usurping Comcast's title as king of the shitheels.


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