Tesla and Elon Musk are targeted in a new paid TikTok smear campaign over claims that they participated in “employee health negligence and union busting.”
MSCHF, a somewhat mysterious company that has done strange product drops and stunt marketing campaigns, is behind the new project.
It was described as a “collective” in a New York Times profile earlier this year:
It rarely even produces commercial goods, and its employees are reluctant to call it a company at all. They refer to MSCHF, which was founded in 2016, as a “brand,” “group” or “collective,” and their creations, which appear online every two weeks, as “drops.”
While the company has been described as an “anti-capitalist” group, it has done deals with brands in the past and taken more than $11 million in outside investments.
Now its latest “drop” is something called the ‘Anti Advertising Advertising Club,’ which is going to pay TikTok users to spread negative messages about brands that they claim are doing bad things.
Tesla is amongst the companies targeted in this sort of anti-sponsored post campaign, and MSCHF will pay people $1,000 if they spread their message about Tesla to over 500,000 people:
The reason behind targeting Tesla is apparently for “employee health negligence and union busting.”
Here’s the actual ‘Tesla sound’ that the group is paying users to promote:
It is a parody of Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” song, and the new lyrics are mainly focused on Musk rather than Tesla:
“So he’s a car guy. Full Name’s Elon Musk, like. Bitch about my workers’ rights. “COVID overhyped” guy. That big boss type.”F*ck shelter in place” type. Squash your union rights type. Gettin into Twitter fights. He’s the bad guy.”
It appears to focus on Musk’s comments in the early days of the pandemic when he questioned the seriousness of the situation and pushed to reopen Tesla’s Fremont factory against orders from the local authorities.
There are already over 150 videos using the “Tesla sound” on TikTok.
This seems a bit all over the place.
Based on Anti Advertising Advertising Club’s manifesto, it sounds like its main issue is against advertising and especially sponsored posts, which it describes as “a cringey ubiquitous evil of social platforms” and not Tesla’s practices.
What’s funny to me is that if that’s really what they are trying to show with this campaign, why not go after brands who are using advertising and more specifically sponsored posts?
Tesla famously doesn’t use advertising nor sponsored posts.
Now about the points they bring up in the parody song, they are hard to argue. Elon’s comment on COVID has not aged well, and he has never acknowledged it or corrected course.
To take his own words, he is giving his detractors a valid “attack vector” here.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.
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