The spin machine moves into full gear now. So let's set the record straight. "I did not hack into v-fluence".These accusations published on their web site are complete fabrication by the spin doctors themselves. They left their site door wide open to public viewing, and I simply peered in and have brought their seedy practices to everyone's attention on this blog.
This is a typical response from these kinds of corporate entities. As they say in the PR biz, "Kill the Messenger, Kill the message". Nice try v-fluence, but slander will get you no where.
Now would you like to comment on keeping secret files on individuals and blogs? Is this incident reflecting badly on your business model and huge corporate clients? How much will this cost you Mr. Byrne?
I certainly would like "full disclosure" on how much and what kinds of information has been gathered by your company and how is it being used by your clients. Please spin these questions to your advantage now. This isn't MAD COW were talking about, this is an issue of private corporations gathering information and creating files on private citizens.
I'll be waiting with breathless and baited anticipation for your response here Mr. Byrne.
May I quote you here Mr Byrne: "Think of the Internet as a weapon on the table. Either you pick it up or your competitor does - but somebody is going to get killed."
If this is actually what you believe Mr. Byrne, then you better check your weapon, because at this juncture you're shooting nothing but blanks.
Of course for those who wish to know more about your business tactics Mr. Byrne, I suggest they read - http://spinprofiles.org/index.php/Jay_Byrne
( appears this link now directs you to their main page, just type "Jay Byrne" into their search engine and page displays)
v-Fluence responds to hacking by blogger
On April 29th a blogger gained inappropriate access to a v-Fluence Interactive server Web portal used by our Internet content screeners and analysts to code monitoring data. This unethical hacking was limited to an out-of-date application on a monitoring data entry portal and one occurrence by this one unauthorized user. At no time was any v-Fluence client-owned or proprietary client information accessible via this portal and no such data were compromised.
The only data available on this space were links to publicly available Internet content with draft excerpts and historical analysis summaries of that content. The screen shot reveals v-Fluence images of Internet monitoring systems and protocols established to support U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory compliant reporting associated with potential adverse events and other regulated content for pharmaceutical, medical device and similar regulated healthcare organizations. No company e-mail, legal or other files were housed on this server. No other servers or v-Fluence company content were compromised.
This illegal access of a protected computer was conducted by a blogger following a log file from a monitoring bot from which he gained unauthorized access to one data entry portal hosted on one of our servers. This blogger then collected a screen shot of this content for purposes of publicly distributing the data in an attempt to cause reputational damage to our company and clients by name. This unauthorized access was immediately identified by our data and software management team and traced back to the source. The hacked server was closed as a precaution and the application through which the hacker gained unauthorized access was removed.
While no specific client data was breached, we take any illegal and authorized access of a v-Fluence computer seriously and report such cybercrime activities to the appropriate authorities.
For more information please contact info@v-Fluence.com or call (877) 835-8362.
Related links: from B-NET bnet-pharma
AstraZeneca's "Man Behind the Curtain" Moment: Company's Blog Monitoring Database Is Hacked
By Jim Edwards
Apr 30, 2010
'AstraZeneca\'s "Man Behind the Curtain" Moment: Company\'s Blog Monitoring Database Is Hacked'
"AstraZeneca's man behind the curtain is Jay Byrne of the v-Fluence PR firm."
AstraZeneca (AZN) woke up to a PR headache this morning when a mental health blogger got hold of a database created to monitor web coverage of its antipsychotic drug Seroquel. Although the database doesn’t contain any specific gaffes, it’s still something of a “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” moment for the company.
Everyone knows pharmaceutical companies monitor bloggers who cover the drug business. But they don’t usually let bloggers see the results of their surveillance, which is what makes this incident so fascinating. Seroquel is a touchy subject for AZ right now, as it is facing thousands of lawsuits claiming the company failed to warn patients that a side effect of the drug is weight gain. Seroquel is one of AZ’s best-selling drugs.
The database, as published on the blog “Is Something Not Quite Right With Stan,” is tricky to navigate. But the best results can be had by clicking on field under “Annotation Groups.”
That drop-down menu lists all the headlines that the database tracked in that period. Some of the results are inane:
Actor Jim Carrey splits with Jenny McCarthy
Others are clearly spot on:
Pharmagossip amplifies DIDA documents that reveal “connection” between SEROQUEL and crisis consultant.
That last one was probably a reference to this item. AZ had this to say:
We believe it is important to read what is written about the business and our medicines to better understand issues that are important to journalists, bloggers and the public.
The database was prepared by v-Fluence, a pr firm employed by AZ. The agency’s chief, Jay Byrne, published a blog item this morning explaining why drug companies monitor web coverage. Big Food conspiracy theorists can look here for more information on Byrne, a former director of public affairs for Monsanto.
Jim Edwards, a former managing editor of Adweek, has covered drug marketing at Brandweek for four years, and is a former Knight-Bagehot fellow at Columbia University's business and journalism schools. Follow him on Twitter or send him an email@ firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE April 30, 2010
Since it has been said in the PR fantasy-land " there is no such thing as bad press, just press". I would like to pass along this link and post it as a gift to Jay Byrne,v-Fluence, and their client Astra Zeneca. I hope you have fun spinning this one also Mr. Byrne.
From a true advocate and brave blogger with integrity @ SEROXAT SUFFERERS - STAND UP AND BE COUNTED
I Personally "Thank You", very funny Fid
additional links: @ Pharmagossip
AstraZeneca - Seroquel : V-FluenceGate, Stan writes
@ Pharma Conduct
Mental Health Blogger Creates a Seroquel Public Relations Nightmare for AstraZeneca