How Silicon Valley got hoaxed by a sexy secretary

By November 18, 2010

This happened a few months ago, but I thought it was worth sharing…

August 2010. Everybody in the Valley is reading about this very cool job-dumping story on : Jenny, a young stockbroker assistant decided to quit her job because of her macho boss Spencer who called her an « HPOA ». Fair enough.

But quitting the old-fashioned way is a little boring, right ? So Jenny decided to quit by putting on the Web a series of pictures of herself holding a dry erase board, on which she wrote messages to bust her boss. She was basically telling him how much of a creep he is – bad breath, libidinous, bad temper… I thought the whole thing was pretty funny, especially the part where Jenny tells her boss Spencer she knows he spends 19 hours a week planting virtual carrots on Farmville instead of working.

The story got even funnier when Spencer decided to answer back, using the same process (a series of pictures of himself holding messages directed towards Jenny). Basically, the message was : « Jenny, you’re such a fool : now you quit, the job market sucks, and you’re in serious trouble for breaking your contract without the two weeks notice. And by the way, who’s gonna run out for lunch now ? »

Of course by then, everybody in the Valley and all the online media had gotten very excited about the whole Jenny vs. Spencer case. had gone from 15.000 to 440.000 unique visitors in just one single hour ! We were all making fun of Spencer for being such a Farmville addict while Jenny was the dumb little office chick, and so on… That’s when it turned out the whole thing was nothing but a big hoak. were the ones who did it, and this wasn’t their first hoax – they’d already done something on Sarah Palin. Here is’s creator explaining to why they decided to do the Jenny vs. Spencer hoax: « I did it almost to prove to myself that I had it in me, to make something go viral at 4:30 in the morning before the world wakes up. You get a pure thrill of watching your site go from 15,000 uniques to 440,000 uniques in a single hour. »

So, were you working on your digital strategy ? has a little tip for you.


Here's the link to Jenny and Spencer's photo series

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