Jan 31, 2011

Buzz: Be Controversial, Be an Ass like Kenneth Tong

Mr Kenneth Tong is an ass.

The rich kid, self-proclaimed playboy from Hong Kong has been prompting a weight loss campaign known as “Managed Anorexia”. To help women (and possibly a few men) achieve that pipe dream, Tong has created a Size Zero pill (there’s actually a size zero!) for ladies to pop, binge and purge until they’re stick thin like Victoria’s Secrets Models.

Read Become Perfect By Following Exciting New ‘Managed Anorexia’ Plan” at Jezebel.com for more information.

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Ouch.

My ears ring from womenfolk’s collective wails and howls. They are rightfully indignant about Tong’s campaign. More importantly his campaign has made waves on Twitter, in British newspapers and blogs. And it has garnered this slacker quite of bit of attention and hate.

Johann Hari’s interview with Kenneth Tong is brilliant.

Naturally “Managed Anorexia” is a hoax – according to Tong. He has retracted his claims on his Twitter page (I will not link to this Twit). He tweeted:

I think it is time for to come clean. The whole size zero thing is a hoax. It came about after an interesting discussion I had with a friend of mine. The discussion centered round whether it was possible, to go from nowhere to be a globally recognized figure within a week harnessing the power of the internet and specifically Twitter, which I have always maintained is a better medium than national TV. My friend said it wasn’t possible. I said it was. To prove him wrong, I decided as a hoax to promote via Twitter something that was universally appalling, I chose managed anorexia. I would like to make it clear, I chose the subject as a hoax as I knew it’d be appalling to men and women. The campaign has worked; I have been a Trending topic on Twitter for over a week. I am scheduled to appear on TV, the Press and Radio shows, over the course of the next week: Grazia, Telegraph, The Sun, The Sunday Times etc. Now it’s time to come clean and stop the bandwagon. My honest personal opinion on managed anorexia is it is an disgusting and illogical idea. It is a mental illness. It cannot be managed. To all the people I have offended as part of this scientific experiment, I would like to apologize to you and to show my sincerity I will making a sizeable donation to beat: the leading UK charity for people with eating disorders and their families. Furthermore, I have decided to auction my custom Apple iPod Nano watch on Ebay, the proceeds from this will be going to the charity, beat.

Wah piang. Can’t he be succinct?

What caught my eye was: “whether it was possible, to go from nowhere to be a globally recognized figure within a week harnessing the power of the internet and specifically Twitter…”

Tong has certainly achieved his aims, and a number of women Twitterers (according to Jezebel’s article) advocate his messages. So it got me thinking about how he created buzzzzzz:

  1. The twit used a taboo subject (anorexia) and gave it a new spin
  2. He created tweets that used peer pressure (you know how it feels if you were told that you were useless) and promised a solution
  3. People loathed it, but they retweeted him to their friends

Controversy will always garner attention. But what are you going to do with all that attention, Mr Tong?



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