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We here at Globe Tech HQ believed, when we posted about Symantec's Snoop Dogg-led effort to strike an ill diss against the wackness of cybercrime, that we had seen the most ham-fisted tech PR campaign of the summer.

Thank you Netflix for proving us wrong.

On Wednesday, the popular streaming entertainment service launched its brand-new Canadian arm with a big media event in Toronto. Reporters were pleased to find not only Netflix executives at the event, but also average Joe and Jane MovieBuff. That's right, everyday people were invited to the event to talk to reporters. Surely they would give their brutally honest, unfiltered, unbiased opinions on the Netflix product, right?

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Right?

Oh dear.

Turns out a lot of the "everyday people" at the launch event were in fact extras paid by Netflix to act super-excited about the product. Problem is, journalists didn't know this when they believed they were interviewing ordinary people who just happened to be disturbingly giddy about an online movie rental shop.

First of all, let's be clear about one thing: this is obviously the journalists' fault. Everybody knows it's very easy to tell a normal person from a paid Netflix extra. In fact, we have prepared a simple checklist for confused reporters.

Signs the guy you're interviewing may be a paid Netflix actor:

  1. Before he says anything, he forces you to read and sign a 16-page End-Interviewer License Agreement.
  2. He looks a lot like the guy from the Rogers commercial whose phone gets no reception.
  3. He inadvertently forgets the topic of the interview and begins raving about the stain-fighting power of Crest Whitestrips.
  4. As you're conducting the interview, you notice a Netflix executive nearby, dressed in a black robe, grinning an evil grin and murmuring, "Good, gooood."
  5. He sure seems to know a lot about the intricate details of Blockbuster's quarterly earnings.
  6. He mistakes your questions about the limited amount of Netflix content as a request to show off his unfailing ability to cry on cue.
  7. He changes outfits three times during the interview.
  8. You ask about streaming movie prices and somehow he manages to change the subject to the atrociously poor working conditions of the modern butt-double.
  9. Immediately after the interview concludes, he turns to a Netflix staff member and says, "Can I have my money now?"
  10. He sure seems to have a lot of strong, positive opinions about a service THAT HAS LITERALLY ONLY LAUNCHED IN CANADA A COUPLE OF HOURS AGO.

Hopefully this handy guide will prevent Netflix any further embarrassment as they roll out their service in Canada. People tell us it's really good, by the way.

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