Beverly Hills, California (PressExposure) August 26, 2009 -- Toyota of America and MySpace, Inc. recently co-sponsored a contest titled âRock The Space.â The contest was advertised and promoted as an opportunity for unsigned music artists to obtain a Record Deal with MySpace Records, which is distributed by Universal Music Group. Unknown to the contestants who entered, the contest appears to have been a fruad, and over 15,000 artists that never had a chance to win were used to advertise MySpace, Inc., Toyota of America, and MySpace Records.
( For additional information please review the website at: [http://www.stopthespace.com] )
After the five finalists of the contest were announced it was learned that each of them were represented by attorneys, producers, agents, or other individuals that have a direct business or personal relationship with representatives of MySpace Records or Universal Music Group. It was also discovered, as described in the contest rules, that the selection process could not have been accomplished, and that the contest was a fraud perpetrated upon the contestants by Toyota and MySpace.
The contest appears to have been an advertising scheme created to generate income and provide an advertising opportunity for MySpace, Inc., Toyota of America, and MySpace Recoreds that used and defrauded unsuspecting artists who thought they had an opportunity of winning a Record Contract. It is believed that MySpace, Inc. and MySpace Records used this contest to release and promote artists they already had an interest in working with before the contest began.
On the Toyota Music page it listed 13,908 artists that had entered the Rock The Space contest. In an email provided to contestants it states that over 15,000 artists had signed up.
An effort was made to determine where the five selected artists ranked in the preliminary round of the contest. Before research of those pages could be completed the entire section of the Toyota Music page containing those statistics had been removed by MySpace within hours of them receiving a request that MySpace maintain a record of those pages. The pages provided statistics which clearly demonstrated that none of the five finalists were amount the top 1,000 entries.
After contacting representatives of both Toyota of America and MySpace, Inc. in an attempt to amicably resolve this matter. We were referred to representatives of the Fox, MySpace, and Toyota legal departments and they were advised of the concerns and questionable activities related to the contest.
This effort proved to be a waste of time and they immediately circled the wagons and began to play the lawyer game. An example of this occurred that when within hours of an email being sent to both the Fox and MySpace email addresses of their attorney stating our concerns as it related to relevant information obtained from several of the Toyota Music MySpace pages. That entire section of the Toyota Music page was removed and all requests to have those pages maintained for future review have been ignored.
In a follow up email sent to this same Fox / MySpace attorney asking why those sections were removed after our concerns were brought to their attention. They responded that it was done due to those pages slowing down the entire MySpace site. You should note that these pages were in place and functioning until we made our request, and it was within hours of this request that the pages were then removed.
However, prior to the deleting of the rankings pages used to track artists standings in the contest. It was determined that none of finalists were among the first 1,000 contestants listed in the standing pages. Further research was not able to be continued beyond that because MySpace had already removed these pages and files from the Toyota Music page before research could be completed.
Discussions with Fox / MySpace and Toyota attorneys were terminated after several back and forth emails made it apparent they were refusing to provide answers to most every question asked of them. In two of their email responses they had provided either false or misleading information.
These types of activities are not uncommon with internet contests and promotions. There is not an effective means of enforcement with these types of Internet contests and promotions. And in most instances there is no licensing or regulations that govern such contests.
A representative of Toyota of America was advised during an initial conversation regarding this matter that it was not understood why they would resort to these types of activities. And that considering all the questionable activities associated with many Internet contests and promotions that we would have believed Toyota and MySpace would not have involved themselves in these same types of questionable activities.
This is about more than just the Toyota of American and MySpace contest. It is about all the fraudulent contests and promotions that take place across the Internet that only serve to defraud contestants and the public alike. While providing free advertisement and publicity for those whose only intent is to defraud contests and their customers.
These types of fraudulent Internet contests, promotions, and activities need to be stopped.