A lengthy article in Monday's New York Times details the defensive tactics being deployed by Bank of America as it awaits the anticipated releases of thousands of internal bank documents by the whistle-blowing organization WikiLeaks. (Also see: As it awaits WikiLeaks bomb, Bank of America buys up offensive domain names)
But BofA didn't become our overlords by playing defense, whether it's merely lawyering up or buying domain names that could be used to mock its board members. BofA plays to win. You can sort out the rules later.
ITworld has been emailed a detailed confidential internal memo by one of BofA's "brand management" executives listing several potential ways the bank should go on the offensive against WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. We have decided to publish the memo in its entirety below:
Fr: J.B.W. Smith, Esq. III
To: BofA WikiLeaks Rapid Response Team
cc: Brian T. Moynihan
I will be brief and to the point. While preparing for the WikiLeaks flood of BofA data is essential, it is equally imperative that we use the time from now until the release of the data to launch a counter-offensive. This not only would give Assange and WikiLeaks pause, it would create internal confusion and resentment, put them on the defensive, and damage their "brand." Indeed, the cumulative effect of our campaign, if executed properly, could do much more lasting damage to WL than shutting off their Internet banking.
Here's how I propose we do it:
1. Create fake Julian Assange Twitter account. Make him a total "rake," going around trying to hit on chicks at all hours of the day, using salty language, etc. RFOTLMOA just thinking about it!
2. Start "Assange was born in Kenya" rumor on Internet. Use "You Tube" to make it "go viral." Get Orly Taitz or other respected celebrity to narrate. Splurge on production values (maybe raise ATM fees to cover costs. Ha ha ha!).
3. Apparently WikiLeaks has released cables about actress Anna Nicole Smith and her tumultuous visit to the Bahamas several years ago. Perhaps a joint lawsuit would in order.
Imagine having someone as fetching as Ms. Smith sitting on our side of the courtroom every day! Sadly, Ms. Smith is deceased.
4. Register domains such as julianisajerk.com (Julian Is a Jerk), wikisucks.com (WikiSucks) and ass-ange.com. (Get it? Julian Ass-ange. It kills me every time I see it.) A good campaign of mockery is always effective in reducing someone's credibility. Machiavelli mentioned this in The Art of War.
5. Keep going to WikiLeaks' Facebook site and hitting the "don't like" button.
6. Monitor social networks to determine which BofA account holders are supportive of WL and then freeze their assets. I'm not joking. When they complain, blame it on "cyber-attacks" against BofA's computer network by "supporters" of WL. Because that's the kind of thing that supporters of WikiLeaks do, isn't it?
7. Use last summer's "Rally to Restore Sanity" organized by comedian John Stewart (very cynical man!) as template to organize our own rally in D.C. -- The "Rally to Restore Respect and Gratitude Toward Banks and Bank Executives." To help defray expenses we can allow the participation of other banks, thieves though they are. (Or we could just raise the ATM fees in the D.C. area by two dollars on the day of the rally. Ha ha ha!)
JWS, Esq. III
Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.