Spank My Monkey: The Full Story
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Anti-Christ of the Hot Rod World Video
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This is Joseph "Corky" Coker.
To make parody comics of Corky Coker, check out The SpankMaker.
Coker is the President and owner of Coker Tire, the world's largest supplier of antique and classic tires. In addition, Coker is heavily involved with SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association. He served on the SEMA Board of Directors for twelve years, and was the SEMA Chairman of the Board from 2003-2005. Coker is now serving as Immediate Past Chairman at SEMA, as they keep the past chairman in an advisory position for two years. (For more information, see: SEMA.)
The Spank My Monkey/Anti-Christ Promotion
On August 20, 2006, the forums of Hotrodders.com were spammed with a promotion for a car giveaway at the upcoming SEMA Show. The promotional material for the SEMA car giveaway included a photograph of two men wearing women's thong underwear imprinted with the phrase: "Spank My Monkey" (slang for "Masturbate Me"). Also used to promote the SEMA car giveaway was a video that featured shots of drinking and driving, urinating in the street, and a scene in which a hot rod shop owner declared that he was "The Anti-Christ of the Hot Rod World". (For more information, see: Spank My Monkey thong photograph and Anti-Christ of the Hot Rod World video.)
To make parody comics of the Spank My Monkey photograph, check out The SpankMaker.
The car to be given away at the SEMA Show was a 1931 Ford Rat Rod. This was most likely connected to SEMA's efforts to market to the youth-driven "rat rod" automotive culture, which they had identified as an "emerging youth culture trend" in the "lucrative" youth market. In a September 2006 press release, SEMA encouraged automotive marketers to attend the upcoming SEMA Show, where they could "see up close and in depth what's next for this lucrative market, and get everything you need to take advantage of it".
The promotional video mentioned SEMA, Coker Tire, and "The Coker Family", and featured an appearance by Corky Coker's brother, David Coker, in support of his new company, Newstalgia Wheel.
Considering the "odd" promotional thong photograph, and the disturbing video, Hotrodders.com appealed to Coker Tire, Newstalgia Wheel, and SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association.
Corky Coker responded publicly, on the forums of the Hotrodders Bulletin Board.
Public Relations Fiasco
On August 26, 2006, Corky Coker registered on the Hotrodders Bulletin Board, under the username "Corky Coker".
The Anti-Christ of the Hot Rod World promotional video had mentioned Coker Tire (Coker's company), SEMA (Coker's marketing association), David Coker (Corky's brother), Newstalgia Wheel (David Coker's company), and "The Coker Family". Nevertheless, Corky Coker attempted to deny all responsibility for the failed promotion.
When Coker failed to convince the forum members of his or his brother's innocence, a "mystery" user registered on the forums, under the username "Man", and posted in the same discussion as Coker. "Man" posted the Hotrodders.com forum administrator's full name and town of residence, and claimed to live in the same area as the administrator. Then, "Man" told the Hotrodders.com administrator, "you're jealous because you're not on TV", and told him to "watch what you say" because it would "come back to bite you", and made veiled threats to his safety.
Hotrodders.com examined the website traffic logs. The log data revealed that "Man" had the same IP address as Corky Coker, and had been posting from the exact same location: Coker Tire headquarters in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Faced with the proof, Corky Coker admitted guilt. Though he contended that he had not personally registered the fake username and made the veiled threats, he did concede that it had been done by Coker Tire.
Despite the admission of guilt, Coker refused to apologize for the deception. He left the Hotrodders Bulletin Board in ill will, referencing a pile of feces on his grandfather's farm.
Corky Coker's Coverup
In the week that followed Corky Coker's appearance on the Hotrodders Bulletin Board, news of the fiasco spread around the online hotrodding community. Other large forums were discussing the incident, and webpages that mentioned the failed Spank My Monkey promotion had started to appear in Google when searching for the terms: "Corky Coker" or "Coker Tire".
Coker was beginning to feel the effects of the wave of negative publicity from the Spank My Monkey promotion and Coker Tire's veiled anonymous threats. As the owner of a wealthy company in the automotive aftermarket, Coker stood to lose money and influence, and jeopardize the relationships he had forged from a lifetime of political connections.
Corky Coker responded by publishing a series of biased articles and webpages about himself.
Within two weeks of his last post on the Hotrodders Bulletin Board, the domain name CorkyCoker.com was registered to Coker Tire, and developed to laud Coker's business and personal achievements. An article praising Coker's reputation would soon appear on the Coker Tire website, at: http://www.coker.com/corky-coker/corky_coker.html.
In addition to the CorkyCoker.com website, an article about Corky Coker soon appeared on Wikipedia, the net's free encyclopedia. In defiance of Wikipedia's policy against financially-influenced articles, a user named "CokerTire" created a "biographical" article about Corky Coker. The article was heavily biased, and praised Coker's "instinct, dedication, and strong work ethic".
The Corky Coker article was deleted by Wikipedia administration, as it clearly violated Wikipedia's policy on self-promotion and financial conflict of interest. One Wikipedia editor would say: "That was one of the most advertisement-toned articles I've ever seen here". Screenshots of the Wikipedia article are available below. Click on the photos for full-size versions.
Related Information on SpankMyMarketer.com
- Coker Tire. An Introduction to Coker Tire. Coker.com. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://cokertire.com/page/company/.
- Coker, Corky (Aug. 1, 2006). SEMA Council Summit and Hall of Fame. Coker.com. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://blog.coker.com/index.php/2006/08/01/sema-council-summit-and-hall-of-fame/.
- Coker, Corky (Nov. 7, 2006). SEMA Show 2006! Coker.com. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://blog.coker.com/index.php/2006/11/07/sema-show-2006/.
- Andrews, Stephen (Aug. 20, 2006). Gas Monkey Garage is giving away a Hot Rod -- need your help. Hotrodders Bulletin Board. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/gas-monkey-garage-giving-away-hot-rod-need-your-help-96191.html#post679393.
- SEMA News Bureau (Sep. 19, 2006). Rebels with Causes. Press release. Retrieved Dec 17, 2006 from http://www.semashow.com/main/main.aspx?id=70173.
- Coker, Corky (Aug. 26, 2006). Gas Monkey Garage is giving away a Hot Rod -- need your help. Hotrodders Bulletin Board. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/gas-monkey-garage-giving-away-hot-rod-need-your-help-96191-11.html#post682189.
- Corky Coker User Profile. Hotrodders Bulletin Board. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://hotrodders.com/forum/members/corky-coker.html.
- Coker Tire (Aug. 28, 2006). Gas Monkey Garage is giving away a Hot Rod -- need your help. Hotrodders Bulletin Board. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/gas-monkey-garage-giving-away-hot-rod-need-your-help-96191-12.html#post682919.
- Hotrodders.com (Aug. 28, 2006). Gas Monkey Garage is giving away a Hot Rod -- need your help. Hotrodders Bulletin Board. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/gas-monkey-garage-giving-away-hot-rod-need-your-help-96191-12.html#post682929.
- Coker, Corky (Aug. 29, 2006). Gas Monkey Garage is giving away a Hot Rod -- need your help. Hotrodders Bulletin Board. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://www.hotrodders.com/forum/gas-monkey-garage-giving-away-hot-rod-need-your-help-96191-15.html#post683874.
- Google search results. Google.com. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=corky+coker.
- Domain name registration data for CorkyCoker.com. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://who.securepaynet.net/WhoIs.aspx?domain=corkycoker.com&prog_id=261782.
- Corky Coker. CorkyCoker.com. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://www.corkycoker.com.
- Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. Wikipedia.org. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Conflict_of_interest.
- Mac Davis (Sep. 13, 2006). Wikipedia Help desk/Archive 62. Wikipedia.org. Retrieved Dec. 17, 2006 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Help_desk/Archive_62.