Marketing Asshole Ahoy

Tuesday, December 27, 2011
If you haven't been following this "Just Wow" on Penny Arcade or Reddit I would recommend taking a peek. The gaming community is quite riled up over the abominable treatment of a customer trying to get their hands on an Avenger Controller after several delays and emails to the company's PR firm Ocean Marketing. After a series of vague/blatantly insulting responses the customer, Dave, CC'd his complaints to several gaming media outlets. This included Penny Arcade's Mike Krahulik, who Ocean Marketting's (his spelling not mine) Paul Christoforo alternately insulted and complimented while boasting of his impressive connections in the gaming community. This fellow Mr. Christoforo, in a move that is surely career suicide, ended the exchange by threatening a smear campaign against Penny Arcade. It is quite a spectacle to behold.

Read the email conversation as posted by Mike Krahulik, here.

It also appears that this isn't the first time Paul has pulled this kind of behavior on a customer.

While the internet's wrath has been directed towards the offending person and marketing firm it is unclear what this will mean for the the manufacturer of the Avenger Controller, Kotkin Enterprises. This product is one that is much needed on the market, giving greater accessibility to the disabled gamer community. It would be a true shame if this company, their product, and the customers long awaiting it were casualties of this internet mob.

I was rather curious, given how vocal he has been, what Mr. Christoforo's opinion was on his behavior and the subsequent backlash. Unfortunately Mr. Christoforo could not be reached by Somnambulant Gamer for comment.

Update 1: Investigations by thegauntlet on Reddit have discovered that this, *ahem* douche,  has plagiarized almost all of his website content from other sites, including Quoted:

Following the recent event's over Paul at Ocean Marketing being a customer service nightmare, I decided to look into him a bit more. I am not a big gamer, but this was a a great read and killed some time. I checked out his official website and headed to the blog. I was shocked to see many of his grammar and spelling errors weren't present. But that's what MS Word is for. I started looking a bit deeper and found that he lifted every single blog post posted May 30, 2011 taken from May 13, 2011
This one stolen from Forbes magazine: all of them were stolen. Then there is the SERVICES tab: Everything was stolen here from the ABOUT US section was lifted. Here is Ocean Marketing's version: from the 4th - 6th paragraphs were taken from the last paragraph here: Some integrity huh?
I can go on too. I also checked with the wayback machine to see who had first and it wasn't Ocean Marketing. Not really the company i'd want to be giving my money too.
UPDATE 1: And yes, before anyone corrects me, i know i misspelled PLAGIARIZED...grammar nazis please be kind.
UPDATE 2: Unless he did night classes for Microsoft Certifications, these are not real. It is possible, but need help on this. Not sure why a guy who has always done marketing and sales would be be MS Certified Systems Engineer then go back into marketing. He also doesn't list it for education anywhere like linkedIn. Does anyone have a way to look this up besides asking him for his Transcript ID and Access code?
UPDATE 3: OMG, his domain is registered through GoDaddy.
UPDATE 4: Just got off phone with Paul. Figured I'd call Paul for his Transcript ID and Access Code to verify his MS Certs and get a statement, see if he's on suicide watch yet. To my surprise, he answered his phone. Seemed pleasant. He was unsure what I was talking about when I asked for his Transcript ID and access code for the MS Cert program. I confronted him on the plagiarized site and he hung up. I also planned on asking him his education level and if he graduated Newbury College but was unable to.
UPDATE 5: While looking into Paul, found out he worked with someone in Boston while at a real estate firm. He is now married or engaged. Wasn't going to post anything about her, but just found out she runs the day-to-day at Ocean Marketing. Here is her LinkedIn: . Turns out they met while employed at her dad's real estate company. This one should be a new meme

Update 2: It appears that the manufacturer of the Avenger, Kotkin Enterprises, has fired Ocean Marketing as their PR firm due to the feedback the have received from the gaming community. via Reddit

Update 3: Paul Christoforo has offered a full apology to Mike Krahulik. Read the email here.