September 23, 2009

Taser Takes To Facebook To Publicize New Products

The 49ers recently beat the Cardinals in a National Football League game using their "taser" formation, just as a Facebook update made by stun gun manufacturer Taser predicted that they would.

The company is using blogs and social networks more and more to endorse new products and fight concerns about them.

Tasers, or conductive energy weapons, shock individuals with 50,000-volts of electricity, and are being used more and more by police globally.

Taser's newest X3 gun is being advertised on the company's Facebook page, which is devoted to discussing and promoting their products.

The 49er's win was another little victory for the company in publicizing their controversial weapons.

The company normally spends $4 million annually in lawsuit expenses, which is more than its net profit in 2008.

Their 46 current lawsuits are one of the reasons why the company is utilizing Facebook, Twitter and building an online evidence "warehouse."

"We use Facebook and Twitter not only as marketing teasers, but also as a way to influence information in terms of making it fun and making it relevant to the younger generation," Steve Tuttle, Taser's vice president for communications, said to Reuters News.

The company has created Evidence.Com, a website that gathers videos that can be used for their defense later.

Taser guns are purchased by the police, military and correction facilities. They are also bought by citizens, casinos and security companies.

The company's weapons are not considered firearms in the US and are legal in the majority of states.

In 2007, the loss of a Polish immigrant at the Vancouver International Airport caused a lot of media coverage and established a committee to review the effects of using Tasers.

The commission found that 300 deaths in the US and 25 in Canada were connected to their use.

Responding to the commission's findings, Tuttle said, "It appears that the politics trumped the science. Most of the negativity comes from the lack of publicity about the correct use of Tasers."

Tuttle does not agree with several of the commission's suggestions. Even though normal methods of communication are the companies main focus, he noted that, "We wanted to make sure we do not become a dinosaur, using only the traditional methods."


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