It’s not often that we at HousingWire talk about things reported by The Hollywood Reporter, but this one is just too good to pass up.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, a Los Angeles Realtor is in a bit of social media hot water after his name and profile suddenly began showing up all over social media posts emanating from the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival over the weekend.
A little background first. Coachella, as it’s called for short, is a massive music festival that takes place in California over two weekends. The event routinely brings crowds of 100,000 or more to the California desert to listen to music and partake in, shall we say, mind-altering activities.
As so often is the case these days, social media posts on Facebook, Instagram and other networks were pouring in as Coachella’s first weekend ended Sunday evening.
And many of those posting geo-tagged (supplementing your post with a location) their posts with “Coachella – Weekend 1,” a geo-tag seemingly created for the festival’s first weekend.
Except when festival attendees and others went back to review the posts geo-tagged with “Coachella – Weekend 1,” the posts now were tagged with the name “Rami Atherton,” who, as it turns out, is a Beverly Hills Realtor and may have been behind the whole affair.
So how did this happen? Here’s the Hollywood Reporter:
Clicking on Atherton's name reveals that he is a property agent with Nourmand & Associates, a real estate firm with offices in Hollywood, Brentwood and Beverly Hills.
Atherton's professional bio boasts that "growing up behind the gates of L.A.'s most coveted communities" has enabled him to "understand the dynamic … and tailored lifestyle his clients identify with."
Apparently it has also taught him that no technique is too underhanded when it comes to siphoning attention in the cutthroat Los Angeles real estate market. The publicity scheme has left scores of Coachella-goers fuming.
Now, Atherton’s name is everywhere on Facebook and Instagram. The Hollywood Reporter article shows an image from Facebook of “Photos taken by your friends at Rami Atherton,” “Photos of your friends at Rami Atherton,” and “Your friends posts at Rami Atherton.”
Atherton, for his part, says he has no idea how it happened and claims it was not a publicity stunt.
Again from the Hollywood Reporter:
Reached by The Hollywood Reporter, Atherton counters that confused Facebook users were "tagging our group. We had about 100 people do that and I disconnected it because it was getting kind of obscene. People were tagging it that weren't in our group."
"I didn't realize it was a public group," Atherton continues. "I caught it this weekend and changed it."
Pressed as to whether or not the mix-up was actually a publicity stunt, Atherton responds, "No. Absolutely not."