Paul Christoforo: Avenger Controller Emails Sink Ocean Marketing
Ocean Marketing Rep Paul Christoforo's Douchey Emails Take Him from Bully to Bullied
When Dave wrote to Ocean Marketing to find out when the Avenger Controller he ordered would arrive, little did he know he'd spark a webwide shitstorm that would involve comment threads, Twitter, Facebook, and even old-school email.
Dave's email was answered by Paul Christoforo, who runs Ocean Marketing, the company that handles PR for N-Control, maker of the Avenger Controller. Paul's responses to Dave's queries start out unhelpful, and then turn straight-up mean:
Oh and FYI When a street date gets pushed by a publisher on a video game you pre ordered do you cry to them too ?
You just got told bitch … welcome to the real internet check kotaku in 2 weeks when they are reviewing free PS3 Avengers we send them as well as G4 and all the other majors hell yeah , don’t forget to check Amazon, gamestop.com, play n trade , Myers , Frys and a ton of other local stores coming your way you think you speak for billions son your just a kid you speak for yourself no one cares what you think that’s why were growing and moving 20-50 thousand controllers a month.
[As an aside, if you are about to hire a PR guy, vet his spelling and grammar first. These are important tools in public relations. Also, when someone drops that many names at once, you know they got nothin'. On with the story.]
As you see from the blockquote above, Dave shared the email exchange with webcomic mainstay Penny Arcade, which has well over 3 million monthly readers.
Mike Krahulik vs Paul Christoforo
Mike Krahulik, who runs Penny Arcade as well as the Pax Expo trade show, published the exchange after getting involved himself (he posts as "Gabe", his online moniker, in narrating the exchange, but uses his real name in the emails).
We see from the exchange that Paul Christoforo started paying out on Mike, too. This guy just didn't know when to quit. How did he not believe that Mike Krahulik ran Pax? This info is quite easily googled.
Dave also comments on Kotaku, which is part of the Gawker network. This story did not stay underground for long. Within a few hours, Ocean Marketing was getting deluged in haterade on Twitter, and Paul Christoforo's Facebook page was also under attack.
Paul Christoforo ditched his old Twitter handle, @OceanMarketting; and took up @oceanstratagy instead; now he's getting flamed there (Nobody wins in a flame war, just so we're all on the same page). Incidentally, @OceanMarketting was taken up by some dude who's promoting indie games on his own, using the Good Guy Greg image macro.
As For Paul Christoforo, things went from bad to worse. Penny Arcade has a pretty wide following, as does Kotaku: people from all over the gaming world put Paul on blast.
N-Control fired Ocean Marketing, and did its best to distance itself from whom it described as a loose cannon.
Meanwhile an attempted sock-puppet email exchange with Kotaku outed Christoforo as a steroid user.
Sock puppeting has a way of blowing up in one's face:
Additionally, a police report for domestic violence in Florida was also apparently unearthed.
After first begging Mike Krahulik to "make it stop" (which no one person can do, sorry), Paul Christoforo emailed a longer apology, half-assed though it was:
I just wanted to apologize for the way our emails progressed I didn’t know how big your site was and I really didn’t believe you ran Pax , So for what’s its worth I am very sorry. Your post has obviously made my life very difficult and I have not slept yet dealing with all the spam and personal information intrusion as well as my family being smeared on the internet.
Surely he should be apologizing to Dave. Either way, Krahulik's public response was, "I think there is a big difference between being sorry and being sorry you got caught."
What now for Paul Christoforo? Well, online PR is out of the question as a career path, though his former clients didn't put much stock in him anyway. All PR is not good PR.
Paul Christoforo's best option, really, is to unplug and let the heat die down. Because that's what will happen.
The internet is run by guys you used to pick on in school. Pay back is a bitch.