Netflix heralds Canadian debut by hiring actors to masquerade as fans in media interviewsBy AP
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Netflix hires actors to pose as its Canada fans
SAN FRANCISCO — Netflix turned the Canadian debut of its online video streaming service into a fake Hollywood-style production with actors hired to pose as the company’s fans.
The publicity stunt went awry in Toronto Wednesday after reporters discovered the actors had been given written instructions to gush about Netflix in media interviews.
A Netflix Inc. spokesman says the company didn’t intend to mislead reporters. He apologized.
The spokesman says Netflix couldn’t get permission to close an entire street for the event. It dodged the problem by getting a film permit, hiring actors and pretending to shoot a company documentary.
Netflix, which has 15 million subscribers, was celebrating the first time its movie subscription service has been available outside the United States. In Canada, Netflix has no plans to deliver DVDs by mail as it does in the U.S. Subscribers will only be able to watch movies and TV shows streamed over the Internet.