'Calm down, it was just a joke' - Backlash as video of pregnant woman searching for baby daddy revealed as ad for travel company
A travel company has sparked backlash online after a viral video was revealed to be an elaborate marketing stunt.
Three days ago, a video in which French woman Natalie Amyot appealed for help to find the father of her unborn child was posted to YouTube.
The woman explained that she met a man in an Irish bar in Mooloolaba, Australia, and became pregnant after a one-night stand.
She pleaded for help to find him, saying that she had lost the phone with his number in it, and had returned to the same town in order to track him down.
"I’ve come back here to try and find him, because I have no family of my own. Please, please help me".
She implored viewers to share the video in the hope that the man would see it.
The video went viral, amassing over 1.3 million views and being featured on news and culture websites across the world.
However, it was revealed yesterday that the video was an elaborate hoax for a travel company based in Mooloolaba.
'Natalie' revealed the news by directing viewers to a new video entitled 'I found him' which showed the actress standing beside the owner of Sunny Coast Social Media, who explained that the video had been part of their strategy to promote HolidayMooloolaba.com.
"I own a company called Sunny Coast Social Media, we do viral videos for businesses".
"This lady volunteered for this, I've been doing all the replying on Facebook and YouTube".
"We just wanted to put Mooloolaba on the map".
The reaction to the reveal has been overwhelmingly negative, leading Sunny Coast Social Media to take to the comments, writing "Calm down everyone, it was just a joke".
One user asked "why advertise in such a negative way?" with another writing "If you do this for a living you need to find a new job, there was so many flaws in this".
Many users have pointed out that the stunt was already done by the Dutch tourist board a few years ago.