The North Face tries to "hack" Wikipedia, fails spectacularly

The North Face image taken down
One of the images that The North Face removed from Wikipedia as part of a publicity stunt [Image: David Iliff]

"How can a brand be the first on Google without paying anything for it?" asks The North Face's latest campaign. Most people might give answers relating to SEO or social media reach, but the outdoor brand, along with ad agency Leo Burnett Tailor Made, took a different route. 

The brand had noticed that when people are about to go on a trip, they usually Google their destination, and that the first image result is usually one from Wikipedia. So far, so normal. But here is where things get shady. The North Face then replaced images of popular destinations in Wikipedia, including Cape Point in South Africa and Pedra do Baú in Brazil, with its own photos, which showed people wearing its clothing. 

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Rosie Hilder

Rosie Hilder is Creative Bloq's Deputy Editor. After beginning her career in journalism in Argentina – where she worked as Deputy Editor of Time Out Buenos Aires – she moved back to the UK and joined Future Plc in 2016. Since then, she's worked as Operations Editor on magazines including Computer Arts, 3D World and Paint & Draw and Mac|Life. In 2018, she joined Creative Bloq, where she now assists with the daily management of the site, including growing the site's reach, getting involved in events, such as judging the Brand Impact Awards, and helping make sure our content serves the reader as best it can.