OLD Media Moves

Another business story busted

November 29, 2005

I woke up Monday morning to a breathless report on NBC-TV’s “Today” show about Cyber Monday being the biggest online shopping day of the year. Later in the day, I saw other online reports about this shopping event, which equates to Black Friday for the retailers.

Here are some of those stories:

1. Reuters story available here.

2. CNN/Money story available here.

3. Video of an MSNBC story can be found here. After going to this page, look on the right-hand side of the page where it says MSNBC TV Video and click launch.

4. Chicago Sun-Times story available here.

There are many others. Just set your Google or Yahoo! search to “Cyber Monday” and read all of the stories.

Only, Cyber Monday doesn’t exist in reality, according to some actual reporting done by a reporter at BusinessWeek, Robert Hof. His excellent debunking of this myth can be read here. He notes that Cyber Monday is only the 12th-best online shopping day. Wow. So where did these other stories come from?

How does a story like this gain legs? Is it the public relations spin from the Internet retailers, or their association? Or are reporters hearing about this supposed “phenomenon” once and then believing it as the gospel?

Maybe this myth is about to be busted. I see where Red Herring is also noting that this story is just PR spin. It’s story is available here.

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