Mike de Souza seems to have been the only journalist who was willing to print this story about the PWU using dirty tactics.
Marketing campaign seeded Internet with 'conversations'
A bold labour union offensive targeting the environmental policies of the Ontario government is being driven largely by a sophisticated marketing campaign that has planted comments to "create online conversations" promoting coal, nuclear and other power options.
The marketing has involved professional bloggers working for M THIRTY, a Toronto-based communications firm, who actively use social media websites such as Facebook or Twitter to simulate or kick-start online conversations with a consistent message promoting the views of their clients. In this case, the Ontario Power Workers' Union bankrolled the campaign during the current provincial election to highlight its opposition to the green plan of Dalton McGuinty's Liberal government, through specially crafted blogs and online social media messages from people who did not always clearly identify themselves as employees of M THIRTY.
M THIRTY acknowledged to Postmedia News that some of its employees' profiles on Facebook did not use real names or were in the process of being updated to include their affiliation with M THIRTY.
But the company said it follows strict rules about transparency in its campaigns. Throughout the campaign, M THIRTY employees have reached out to the environmental movement, visiting online pages that promote cracking down on industrial pollution, to suggest the different approach proposed by the union at its own website, abetterenergyplan.ca.