Page last updated at 11:11 GMT, Thursday, 21 May 2009 12:11 UK

Joke review boosts T-shirt sales

By Daniel Emery
Technology reporter, BBC News

Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt

A T-shirt has become one of the most popular items sold by online retailer Amazon in the past few weeks.

Sales of the kitsch Three Wolf Moon T-shirt shot up 2,300% after a spate of ironic reviews went viral.

The first review gave the shirt five stars, saying it "Fits my girthy frame, has wolves on it, attracts women" but "cannot see wolves with arms crossed".

That prompted hundreds of others to post frivolous reviews, turning the page into an internet phenomenon.

"When I put this T-shirt on for the first time, my wife left me! Thank you, Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt," wrote one wag, while another said that "the Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt gave me a +10 resistance to energy attacks, +8 Strength... and I have successfully solved 7 crimes in my city".

Amazon's senior manager of community content, Russell Dicker, said the T-shirt was currently the top selling item in their clothing store.

"The Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt recently moved up 2,300% in sales rank," he said. "We are grateful that our reviewers are so passionate."

Publicity shy

However, the firm which actually makes the T-shirt appeared less than pleased at some of the comments.

"The Mountain is a wholesale company and does not sell shirts on Amazon, so this viral assault went under our radar until the shirt made it into the top 10 in the Amazon apparel section," they said in a posting on the Amazon site.

"We appreciate humour as much as the next company, but we don't approve of some of the remarks.

"Not everyone can start out at the top and not everyone from our neck of the woods lives in a trailer or cruises Walmart to hook up."

However, speaking on Radio Five Live, the firms art director - Michael McGloin - said the firm were actually rather pleased with the publicity.

"We'll take ironic fashion any day.... and we're printing another 400,000 more's just a fantastic thing," he said.

This is not the first time comedy reviews on Amazon have gone viral. In 2006, there were more than a thousand reviews for Tuscan Whole Milk.

They ranged from soap opera-style script - "That was when I knew. He was tired of this life with me, tired of bringing home the Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 Gallon, 128 fl oz" - to stating the obvious: "Has anyone else tried pouring this stuff over dry cereal? A-W-E-S-O-M-E!"

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