Fox apologizes for using fake news to promote A Cure for Wellness

Fox apologizes for using fake news to promote A Cure for Wellness

"In raising awareness for our films, we do our best to push the boundaries of traditional marketing in order to creatively express our message to consumers", read a statement from the studio.

But sometimes those stunts cross the line, and Twentieth Century Fox now admits that was the case with a campaign it did to promote the new movie "A Cure for Wellness".

It seems like a lifetime ago now, but back in the day (2008), Pirates of the Caribbean director Gore Verbinski had plans, major plans, to direct an adaptation of horror video game Bioshock.

Earlier this week, Buzzfeed broke the news that Fox partnered with a network of fake news sites to publish made-up stories about everything from Lady Gaga's Super Bowl performance to a (fabricated) meeting between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin at a Swiss health spa. Yet another claimed that the American Medical Association had classified "Trump Depression Disorder" as a real disease.

The promoters of the film created websites with names like NY Morning Post, Salt Lake City Guardian, Houston Leader, Sacramento Dispatch and the Indianapolis Gazette, and they posted realistic-looking news stories about completely fictional events. The marketing scheme backfired, however, fooling many on social media (including some well-known tweeters) and leading 20th Century Fox to issue a statement calling the idea "inappropriate on every level".

Studios do all sorts of insane things to promote their movies, from staging fake telekinesis in a coffee shop to having Samuel Jackson call your phone to warn you about snakes on a plane. As our movie's antagonist says, 'There is a sickness inside us. Let us know in the comments.

The digital campaign included several fake news sites created to stoke public interest in the movie and perhaps some online outrage as well.