Are We Cloning Kids or Selling Tickets?

A new wave of marketing-driven web sites masquerading as actual businesses is causing consternation and confusion among consumers, but businesses insist that, with traditional advertising techniques losing their impact, the fake sites are nothing more than a new and savvy method for generating “buzz,” that all-important but difficult to quantify measure of cultural worth. From a fake genetic research company offering to clone your dead children (actually an ad for the new movie Godsend), to a guy in a chicken suit on a webcam who will do whatever you ask him to (brought to you by Burger King), it’s harder than ever to distinguish web reality from marketing fantasy.