For the 987 readers (whoops — make that 988 and counting since starting this sentence) following "Don Draper"'s Twitter feed, today was an unusually turbulent day at Sterling Cooper Ad Agency. Same thing for the 1,207 folks following "Peggy Olson." You might have been among them, frozen out when AMC reportedly turned to Twitter with complaints about the Mad Men characters posting regular "updates" on the service — discussions which, for whatever reason, resulted in Twitter admin suspending a handful of feeds today until the a fan and media backlash supposedly helped whip them back into place a few hours later. And while at least one AMC critic accused the network of history's "single worst use (misuse?) of social media," other observers seemed baffled that AMC would endanger free advertising. AMC insists that wasn't its plan, and we believe it: If a brief outage could virally promote Mad Men's unofficially official Twitter sites for most of the morning — to the tune of a few hundred new followers in the middle of the series' worst ratings slump — we would have done the same thing ourselves.Sure it's cynical, but hey — Twitter's founders will tell you themselves they "spend more money than [they] make," and a viral scandal seems a reasonably healthy win-win: AMC takes some geek heat in a slow news week. Twitter gets play for its viral-marketing value and influence. Don, Peggy, Bert Cooper and co. get to take the morning off. Mad Men rebounds after Labor Day — new episodes, Twitter feeds, DVD sets and all. The worst part? AMC can never admit brilliantly framing itself in a week when no one is following any news that's not coming out of Denver. Anyway, call us contrarians, but we applaud everyone involved. Especially the 25 people who've grabbed Don Draper's feed in the time it's taken to write this item. Someone's got good taste.
- AMC To Twitterers: Please Don't Market 'Mad Men' For Us [Silicon Alley Insider]
- AMC responds to 'Mad Men' Twitter flap [The Live Feed]