“7.30.” Listen, you can hear it… “7.30.” A whisper, at first… “7.30.” But the chant is growing louder… “7.30.”

“7.30 … a new era for Australian current affairs … 7.30 … a new generation … 7.30 … a new name …”

Those next-gen hosts are busily preparing, the Frontline-esque ABC promo reveals. There’s Leigh Sales reading a newspaper. And Chris Uhlmann checking his mobile phone for any hot tips as he strides purposefully through Parliament House.

“Political reporting is exciting,” Uhlmann exclaims for the ad. “What I like about coming to work is that something different happens every single day.” All fodder for 7.30. It’s the new name. And the start time. (Not until March 7; they’re still building the set.) 7.30. Got it?

The hypnotic promo emerged early this week, but seems to have disappeared from screens. One ABC spy reports the broadcaster pulled it. Perhaps just as well. (Aunty told us this morning there’s “a number of promos” to be rolled out ahead of the launch. A second goes to air tonight.)

It’s almost as alluring as “ass cam”. As Fairfax websites reported on Monday:

“Footage of two New Zealand women using a hidden camera to catch men leering at their behinds has gone viral on the Internet, attracting more than four million hits in just over a week.”

Viral, perhaps. But not the spontaneous girl talk the original AFP report suggested. It took fashion blog Fashionista.com to reveal the truth — it was all a money-making set-up:

“Cute gimmick? Sure. But it’s also very clever marketing. The ‘hot girls’ are actually Jessie Gurunathan and Reanin Johannink, two actresses who are part of Levi’s latest Curve ID Skinny Jeans campaign.”

Fairfax issued an “update” at the top of the story. And then yesterday, a stern warning from technology editor Asher Moses: “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to tell the difference between a grassroots, organic viral hit created by amateurs and a marketing stunt.” No kidding.

“Viral videos are now big business for brands around the world but marketing experts warn the trend towards deceiving viewers could backfire spectacularly.”

It certainly backfired on AFP. But to Moses, for turning a stuff-up into more s-xy link bait, we bestow the Wankley.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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