In the wake of the recent PR disaster incited by the film "Blackfish," SeaWorld has gone on the offensive yet again. The company has supported the roll-out a new website called "Awesome Oceans," a blog that fronts as a mix of viral videos and commentary, but skews entirely toward propagating marine mammal captivity and SeaWorld claims. SeaWorld announced the new project in an email yesterday.
Here's a countdown of 10 of the worst things wrong with the site:
10. Big-time conflict of interest.
While the site is billed as an "independent ocean news website," it is partially funded by SeaWorld Entertainment, Inc. (market cap at $2.6 Billion) -- meaning it's not "independent" at all considering they are "reporting" on issues that concern the company that owns and runs the site.
9. No accountability.
There are very few bylines on the articles, and when they do appear they are often just first names, like "Laurie A" or "Emily" or "Sea Dog."
8. The editor-in-chief also owns a marketing company with 8 clients -- including SeaWorld.
Eric M. Davis is neither a conservationist nor a journalist. His LinkedIn profile lists him as an "experienced marketer with extensive SEO," and has worked for travel sites like TravelClick and Hilton Worldwide. His Facebook page lists him as the owner of Purple Moon Media, a "revenue-focused destination marketing" firm whose clients include SeaWorld.