Recently, the founder of Lot 18 and Snooth, Philip James, unveiled a new machine that proposed to play Jesus. It could, he insisted, turn water into wine in a matter of days. Business Insider described it as “Like a Soda Stream … for wine.” There was Bluetooth involved, some tiny pumps and, most importantly, a technology that didn’t exist. NPR reports that the whole thing was an elaborate hoax.
“Turns out, the Miracle Machine was a marketing ploy cooked up … by MSL Group, a public relations company, to promote their pro bono client of the year, a water charity called Wine to Water.” It worked. They succeeded in fooling everyone from Business Insider to ABC to Time. In a follow-up piece explaining why they were duped, Business Insider estimated that “600 publications wrote about James’ device and the articles were read 500 million times.” [NPR] [Image via Vimeo]