A marketing firm is trying to take credit for the phenomenally successful and slightly bizarre #AlexFromTarget meme - but they don't appear to have any proof.
The CEO of LA-based Breakr claimed responsibility for "one of the most amazing social media experiments ever" though it transpires they didn't actually have anything to do with it.
An original post on LinkedIn from their CEO said:
"Yesterday, we had fun on Twitter with the hashtag #AlexFromTarget which ended up to be one of the most amazing social media experiments ever. We wanted to see how powerful the fangirl demographic was by taking a unknown good-looking kid and Target employee from Texas to overnight viral internet sensation. Abbie (@auscalum), one of our fangirls from Kensington, UK posted this picture of Alex Lee (@acl163) on Twitter. After spreading the word amongst our fangirl followers to trend #AlexFromTarget, we started adding fuel to the fire by tweeting about it to our bigger YouTube influencers."
But then they quickly updated it it with the following disclaimer...
"Update: Abbie (@auscalum) and Alex Lee (@acl163) were never employed by Breakr. A side from Abbie being a follower and tweeting the photo, we jumped on it with the hashtag #AlexFromTarget."
Abbie (@auscalum) is credited with bringing the picture to Twitter and she denies working for Breakr and very much appearst to be a little sick of the whole thing.
i dont work for breakr wtf i dont even know what it is— ⠀ (@auscalum) November 4, 2014
can this just all be over now— ⠀ (@auscalum) November 5, 2014
But turns out even Breakr's claim to have "jumped in with the hashtag" isn't true.
A search of the history of the hashtag reveals this as the first instance in which it was used.
So, while they may have made up their involvement they are - ironically - getting a lot of exposure for trying to take credit.
As for the origin of the photo, the daily Dot has done some superb detective work and traced it's genesis the full story of which can be read here.