The Fall of Paul Christoforo

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The Fall of Paul Christoforo

Post  Smashy B on Tue Dec 27, 2011 10:54 pm

I don't know if anyone uses twitter here, but there's been some drama that has recently exploded involving Paul Christoforo and Ocean Marketing.

It started when a customer emailed Paul about his order for this Avenged Controller that was suppose to arrive early December. Ocean Marketing does not make the controller, they just distribute it. From December 16 to December 26, emails were sent back and forth between the two, and it got ugly. This customer is a Penny Arcade reader and Mike Krahulik (AKA Gabe?) of Penny Arcade got involved when the PA reader forwarded the emails to him. You can read all the emails here. Not only does he treat the customer like dirt, but also name drops known people and websites in the games industry, which bites him later in the ass.

I first caught wind of this last night when Scott Lowe of IGN Tech tweeted last night,
"Paul Christoforo's claims that he has my and @IGN's support are UNFOUNDED. I worked with him briefly and he was completely unprofessional." and, "@OceanMarketting Please refrain from referring to me or IGN as support for you, your company or your clients. You do not have it." I did not know what he meant at the time. It wasn't until another games editor I followed linked the PA article above, that I began reading more into it, and man, have I been finding it to be one of most interesting things to explode on the internet.

If you click on the #Discover tab at the top of Twitter now, you'll find Ocean marketing in the top of the stories, wherein you can read numerous tweets from users telling off Paul Christoforo and another article going into greater detail and including updates about the events. It got bad to the point where Paul changed his twitter handle from @OceanMarketting to @OceanStratagy. Yes, he can't even get the spelling for a Twitter handle right let alone show proper grammar and punctuation in an email to a concerned buyer.

What's also funny is that someone else nabbed the Twitter handle @OceanMarketting when Paul changed his. This wonderful person now uses the handle "to promote Indie Games, Gaming Charity, and more!"

This whole situation is a perfect example of stupidity and the consequences of neglecting to provide adequate customer service. The dude's a meme now. Seems like Paul doesn't know shit when it comes to PR, or didn't, cause now the internet is shitting on him. The names he dropped in the email have either spoken out against Paul, or done nothing to defend him. Paul has apologized to the original customer, and Gabe of Penny Arcade, but no one is buying it.
"I think there is a big difference between being sorry and being sorry you got caught." (Gabe Source: An update).

The victim in all this drama is the manufacturer of the controller. In an article on Kotaku, The avenged controller maker asks for forgivness. The company should not bear the consequences of the stupidity brought on by Paul Christoforo. Ratings on Amazon have dropped from 4.5 stars to 1 star in about 8 hours (Kotaku).

tl;dr: Dude's career is in the shitter cause of his horrible PR skills.

Sources (again)

@Ocean Marketting
@Ocean Stratagy
Penny Arcade - Just Wow!
Penny Arcade - an update1
Examiner.com Article
Kotaku Article

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Re: The Fall of Paul Christoforo

Post  Vivian Vex on Tue Dec 27, 2011 11:51 pm

God damn it Smash, you made me stay up til 1 to read all of that. Will read the rest of it tomorrow.

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Re: The Fall of Paul Christoforo

Post  TD260 on Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:21 am

Karma's a bitch, ain't it?

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Re: The Fall of Paul Christoforo

Post  .. on Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:36 am

Never heard of this asshole, but I do love Penny Arcade.

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Re: The Fall of Paul Christoforo

Post  TheTJ on Wed Dec 28, 2011 12:48 pm

Good God...

He named dropped PAX, but didn't know about Penny Arcade? I mean, seriously? That's like saying "Yeah, I'm really into computers, but what's this Microsoft company?"

Guy was in the wrong business. Glad to see he got what he deserved.

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Re: The Fall of Paul Christoforo

Post  Smashy B on Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:37 pm

I think I have a problem. I can't stop reading articles and tweets about this.

So that Cristoforo guy was interviewed by MSNBC over the debacle, and from his responses (and picture) we can see more of how much of a douchebag he is.

"He called me a bully, but he was being a bully ... especially when he emailed me out of the blue, saying 'That's f***ing s***ty, you're banned from PAX,' I was like 'Who the f*** are you? That's how you introduce yourself? ... I dont want to call him out, but he could have gone about that a totally different way, he could have said, 'Hey, I run the show, that email was a little unprofessional, if you don't do something to apologize I don't want you at my show.' But he just came at me and said, indirectly, 'Hey, f*** you, you're banned from PAX.' Is that what you'd call professional? I wouldn't."

Christoforo also said his response was driven in part by what he saw as the disrespectful tone of the messages that came before it. "Not that I don't have respect for anybody, but if someone's badmouthing me or being a little punk or being a jerk, they don't deserve respect," he said. "You can't expect to go up and say 'Hey you piece of s***,' and expect respect. Send an email, introduce yourself. ... I trust everybody until they give me a reason not to respect them. I'm not a tough guy, not a bully, but at same time not going to take s*** if it's uncalled for.
I find this funny, because if you read the PA article I linked yesterday you can read the emails yourself and see that the only asshole was Christoforo. The dude dodges the blame trying to divert it to Gabe of PA and the original customer.

Business wise Christoforo alleges that his business is still doing fine saying, "It hasn't affected my business yet," he said. "Clients have brought it up, but they've mainly laughed about it. I haven't lost any clients" (MSNBC). Personally, I hope his business suffers, but that would also affect his wife and two-month-old kid, and they're not apart of this. Having said that, I'm surprised this man was allowed to even procreate.

Cristoforo did address how the situation could have been different. "I didn't know who that guy at Penny Arcade was," he admitted. "If I had known, I would have treated the situation a little better. PAX is a great show. What he does is what I've been idolizing since I was a kid. It's admirable he's put that together. He has a lot of connections, ones I want too" (MSNBC).

Gabe of Penny Arcade responded to that quote in particular in a twitter update (his twitter name @cwgabriel saying, "he is sorry that he didn't know who I was, not that he was a douche. And he admires my "contacts". I think he might be insane."

Today's comic on Penny Arcade pokes fun at the situation as well.
Spoiler:
http://penny-arcade.com/comic

This has been an update from your totally biased unbiased correspondant, Smashy B. The spin starts here.

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Re: The Fall of Paul Christoforo

Post  Raya on Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:44 pm

I was going to post that gif of Michael Jackson eating popcorn but Kotaku beat me to it.

Gawd, I love internet drama like this. The best traincrash I've seen in a long while. Totally looking forward to that effective PA smear campaign!

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Re: The Fall of Paul Christoforo

Post  Smashy B on Wed Dec 28, 2011 1:49 pm

THIS VIDEO


Funny well-made parody of this was done yesterday. Seems pretty accurate.

Also, Christoforo changed his twitter handle again to @OceanDeepSea. Holy shit, he spelled it right!

Edit: Screw you, too, youtube tags!
Link to vid

Edit2: Top comment in linked youtube vid by user RlFFIPEDIA:
RlFFIPEDIA wrote:Directly from OceanMarketing's website: "A prospective client Google’s your company’s name. What does he find? He finds negative publicity about you. Will he associate with you? Chances are that he would skip your name in the searches and hire your competitor." Congratulations on shooting yourself in the foot and then sticking the same foot in your mouth, Paul! :-)
burn.

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Re: The Fall of Paul Christoforo

Post  Warchamp7 on Wed Dec 28, 2011 4:13 pm

Watched this all go down live, I was laughing the whole way

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Re: The Fall of Paul Christoforo

Post  SurgePox on Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:15 pm

Aaaaugh why did you post this? there goes another evening that'll be burnt reading everything about this. Why is this kind of drama such a joy to watch?

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Re: The Fall of Paul Christoforo

Post  Smashy B on Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:39 pm

I've had nothing to do today cause I had planned to go back to SLO today but my car ain't done being fixed.

Also, Press Release from the makers of the Avenger controller. Got it from Update 26 of the Examiner.com article.


Spoiler:
AVENGER CONTROLLER DISMISSES MARKETING CONSULTANT,

TAKES BACK MARKETING AND SALES OPERATIONS

Miami, FL--- Wednesday, December 28, 2011--- N-Control, makers of the Avenger Controller accessory, have categorically dismissed third party contractor Paul Christoforo and his marketing operation, known alternately as Ocean Distribution or Ocean Marketing. This separation from Mr. Christoforo extends to all business interests of N-Control, its founders, and its officers. Mr. Christoforo does not and never did own, in whole or in part, a stake in N-Control LLC nor its affiliated companies (Kotkin Enterprises, iControl LLC).

Following the publication of an email chain between Mr. Christoforo and one of N-Control’s customers, punctuated by Mr. Christoforo’s acknowledgement of his conduct, N-Control immediately proceeded to extricate Mr. Christoforo’s access to their email and social media accounts, a process that is still ongoing. In the interim, a Gmail address and Twitter account (AvengerDefender@gmail.com and @AvengerDefender, respectively) have been set up for press inquiries and customer service needs.

David Kotkin, the inventor and founder of the Avenger Controller, created the product to help one of his students who had a physical disability. The student wanted to play games the way that everyone else could. The Avenger evolved from a homemade solution for a deserving child into an even more sophisticated controller accessory, capable of enhancing even the most skilled gamer’s performance.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to be a part of the gaming community in a fun, positive way.” said David Kotkin, Avenger founder. “I created the Avenger to make people happy. I deeply regret that so many people have any negative feelings toward it as a result of what has happened, especially since I’ve seen first-hand what an impact it can have on gameplay.”

Kotkin continued, “What I’m most concerned about is doing right by our customers. We have dropped the ball by giving them delivery estimates that did not come through as expected. We didn’t expect that the demand would be so great, and we should have done a better job communicating that. Our new team is taking all necessary action to correct that going forward. I hope that people will give us a chance to earn back the faith they may have lost.”

All existing orders will be honored, and PS3 Avenger pre-order customers will all be extended the same $10 discount that some have already received. To clarify, customers who have already received $10 off their pre-order are not eligible for an additional discount. N-Control agrees with “Customer Dave” that all of our PS3 early adopters deserve to be rewarded for their trust in the Avenger.

N-Control would like to publicly apologize to existing and potential customers, as well as the gaming community at large, for allowing Mr. Christoforo to abuse his power so unforgivably. The Avenger was invented to provide greater accessibility to disabled gamers, and bullying tactics are the last thing that should be associated with this product.

In the effort to dispel various misconceptions that have been forwarded via news reports and social media, N-Control is offering the following clarifications on a variety of subjects:

N-Control has hired an independent consultant, Austin, Texas-based Moisés Chiullan (@moiseschiu), to field press inquiries and oversee sales and marketing operations going forward. They ask that customers and the press alike bear with them as they field the tens of thousands of emails and other messages that N-Control has received. It is his intent that N-Control should respond personally to everyone who has emailed theinfo@avengercontroller.com address regarding this situation.

“We have to move forward and take care of Avenger’s customers,” Chiullan said. “I can’t worry about the fact that there isn’t a bus big enough for me to throw Paul Christoforo under. The internet did that for me. I think they set him on fire too.” He continued, “I just hope that people will have the common decency to leave his wife and child out of all this. They didn’t send those emails, Paul did.”

All PS3 Avenger pre-orders are currently slated to ship by January 15th at the latest. Some orders will ship in advance of January 15th. In consideration of the events of the past two days, N-Control ask their customers to bear with them as they sort out updating individual order estimates. General updates regarding shipping will be regularly delivered to customers starting next week.

At no time during his tenure with N-Control did Mr. Christoforo have direct access to customer credit card information. N-Control does not retain any customer credit card data for online orders, which are all processed via Google Checkout or Paypal.

Ocean Marketing aka Paul Christoforo owns no stake in the Avenger Controller nor N-Control, and does not stand to profit from further sales of the device either through N-Control or authorized resellers.

Contrary to how Mr. Christoforo may have presented events (in public or private), N-Control never directly endorsed nor had knowledge of his communication with customers in the manner found in his correspondence with “Customer Dave”, who still wants his Avengers, despite everything that has transpired.

Steps have been taken to ensure that all future customer communication is transparently visible to management at N-Control. N-Control regrets sincerely that the trust they placed in Mr. Christoforo was so abused and betrayed and, as a result, may have tainted their reputation with existing and potential customers and partners.

Regarding “Afternoon Artists”, a company registered with the Florida Division of Corporations that lists Paul Christoforo as Treasurer, N-Control has the following statement: “This secondary business has never so much as opened a bank account, much less operated in any form outside of paperwork being filed. It was originally intended that Mr. Christoforo would serve as an investor in this company, which, again, has never operated in any capacity, nor will it in the future.”

N-Control employs Eli Schwartz as a part-time Social Media Consultant. He is an enthusiastic high school student who became one of the Avenger’s earliest super fans, meeting the founder at a trade show. Mr. Kotkin is proud to encourage the development of a bright, enthusiastic young person like Eli.

Eli Schwartz is not, however, in charge of Marketing or PR for N-Control. Previous news reports have credited him as Marketing Manager, a title Mr. Schwartz gave himself without the consent or advance knowledge or N-Control management. This occurred during the period of greatest upheaval following Mr. Christoforo’s dismissal, and N-Control regrets that this mixed messaging reached the public. All press inquiries and media requests should instead be directed to Moisés Chiullan at the AvengerDefender@gmail.com address.

Contrary to rumors and speculation, Eli Schwartz’s Twitter account is his own and not controlled by Paul Christoforo. Mr. Schwartz is a minor, and consequently, N-Control would appreciate the press and the public’s discretion in their dealings with him.

For the foreseeable future, N-Control’s official Twitter account will be “@AvengerControl”, as N-Control does not have access to “@NControlAvenger”. N-Control is not responsible for the content of any Twitter feeds associated with Paul Christoforo.

For the foreseeable future, N-Control requests that customers discontinue use of the toll-free phone number displayed on the AvengerController.com website, as well as any other means of contact found there. Instead, customers should direct communication to AvengerDefender@gmail.com. They ask for patience due to the events of the last two days. Keep an eye on @AvengerControl on Twitter for updates.

For more details regarding N-Control and Avenger Controller, contact press agent Moisés Chiullan, at AvengerDefender@gmail.com.

For more information, follow Avenger Controllers on Twitter: @AvengerControl

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Re: The Fall of Paul Christoforo

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