The North Face manipulated Wikipedia for free product advertising and then told everyone about it, like that kid that tries to be edgy so they’ll look cool.
Basically, the Brazilian distributor for North Face, overpriced outdoor gear and apparel company, decided on a marketing campaign that replaced the Wikipedia images for popular tourist locations with similar images featuring people with North Face gear. They could do this because anyone can edit Wikipedia. This boosted their presence in Google searches since Wikipedia is usually the first entry to show up. They then posted a video about how clever and innovative they were for being the first company to do this.
It’s sort of like being the first company to tattoo their logo on some shaved puppies; yes, people paid attention, but you still defaced a bunch of innocent puppies.
Volunteer moderators subsequently found and removed, or cropped, all of the offending images and The North Face apologised for their asshattery, but North Face Brazil’s CEO, Fabricio Luzzi, remained unrepentant, basically saying sorry, not sorry.
With the ‘Top of Images’ project, we achieved our positioning and placed our products in a fully contextualized manner as items that go hand in hand with these destinations.