LONDON - An unsigned band has duped more than 4,000 Facebook members into joining the band's page by pretending it was a group set up to protest against the London 2012 Olympic logo.
Leeds-based band The Bribes set up the group on Facebook as a means of promoting their music, under the guise that it was created to object to the launch of the London 2012 Olympic logo, unveiled by Lord Coe earlier this week.
The Facebook group, which was set up by the quintet, attracted more than 4,000 members before the band posted a message on the homepage that it had now been hijacked to promote its forthcoming EP, 'One Second of Rave'.
In a message to the group The Bribes' singer Tim Rooke, said: "The whole point of this was to see which sad fuck would actually get edgy about it, and by your reactions, it seems that you are sad and lonely enough to care what people do on a pathetic facebook group...
"Just leave and go onto another if your really that bothered.. I couldn't care less... The fact of the matter is that you've heard of my band now, so thats my job done.."
The group's membership on Facebook peaked at more than 4,000 before it became clear yesterday that The Bribes had used the group as a guerrilla marketing tactic to attract an online following for the band's music. Hundreds later left.
News of the ploy soon migrated to the band's MySpace page, and the tactic has since provoked a mixed response from Facebook users, who have posted messages of encouragement for The Bribes' music to others who have derided the tactic as a crude publicity stunt.
One user wrote on the Facebook group: "Hey Tim, 10 outta 10 for thinking of a serious pwn. I reckon it's a -10 for business sense tho dude. Instead of 4,000 fans or even 4,000 people who know about the band, you just gained 4,000 haters. That is gonna hurt.
"I guess overall that leaves you on ZERO outta ten... which is probably how many tickets you will sell from pulling this stunt."
Rooke cheekily added in his post: "I do actually hate the logo, just sick of talking about it and getting 50 emails a day off you."
This led Callaghan to be temporarily banned from Facebook by administrators as he tried to let people know about the hi-jacked group before his membership of the social networking site was reinstated.
On another Facebook note, Brand Republic has launched its own Facebook group.