'Revenge' Web page is a hoax

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The Independent Online

A Web page that claimed more than 100,000 visits after being touted as a wronged Welsh woman's revenge on her cheating boyfriend was revealed yesterday to be a hoax planted by a web company.

A Web page that claimed more than 100,000 visits after being touted as a wronged Welsh woman's revenge on her cheating boyfriend was revealed yesterday to be a hoax planted by a web company.

The boyfriend – shown posing in her underwear – was in fact a male model, and the woman claiming to own the page not really a user of the site. The stunt was another example of the "viral marketing" schemes used by web companies, while hiding their involvement, to capture a youth audience that shuns corporate branding.

Uboot.com, an Austrian-owned website, admitted yesterday that the pictures were staged and that "Tom Shepherd of Caerphilly" was actually Neil McCloud, a male model.

"We did it to stimulate discussion," Uboot said. "We're sorry if we've misled anyone."

Edward Orr, managing director of UCP, the UK parent of Uboot, said: "We were trying to repeat the success of things like the Claire Swire e-mail." That e-mail, a genuine message describing oral sex, spread around the world within days.

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