Startup’s hoax backfires: 5 lessons

Belly Ballot said it would pay a new mom $5,000 to let the Internet name her baby, but it was a hoax. The startup is now in a reputation crisis. Brands, heed this advice.

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A startup called Belly Ballot created a contest to pay an expectant mom $5,000 to let the Internet name her baby.

It goes something like this: Natasha Hill was having a hard time deciding on a name for her unborn child due in September. She wanted to start saving for college tuition before the baby was born, and had some credit card debt she wanted to wipe clean. So, she entered a contest to let strangers name her baby.

The catch was she only got the cash if she actually gave her child the name the Internet voted most popular.

The blogosphere was up in arms about it: “A real mom wouldn’t let complete strangers name her baby!” “Quick! Someone get her a baby name book!”

It turns out the blogosphere was right. A real mom wouldn’t let strangers name her baby.

Belly Ballot hoax

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