A secretive digital marketing firm founded by Mike Bloomberg to help him win he 2020 election lured new recruits by falsely claiming that it would be the “primary platform” for the Democratic National Committee, according to CNBC.
The company, Hawkfish, was created “with the intention of overpowering the formidable data operation assembled by the Republican National Committee and Trump’s cash-flush campaign,” according to a previous CNBC report.
Yet to attract top talent – a roster which now includes former Facebook Chief Marketing Officer Gary Briggs and former CEO of location-tracking firm Foursquare – Hawkfish told prospective new hires that they are “currently working with the Bloomberg campaign and will be the primary platform used by the DNC throughout 2020.”
Bloomberg has placed the blame on the headhunter they used to find talent, Andiamo Partners, who they say mistakenly believed the company had a contract with the DNC.
Several potential hires received notices through LinkedIn in which they were informed that Hawkfish was working for both the Bloomberg campaign and the DNC. It wasn’t immediately clear how many recruiting targets received the erroneous pitch.
“The recruiting company mistook support for Democratic causes as Hawkfish working under contract with the DNC, which isn’t the case,” said Frazier, the Bloomberg aide.
According to the report, on Nov. 27, just three days after Bloomberg officially launched his campaign, the DNC fired off a notice to Hawkfish that their pitches were misleading, according to DNC spokesman Daniel Wessel.
“We had previously alerted Hawkfish that the recruiting emails were incorrect and misleading,” Wessel told CNBC.
Hawkfish, meanwhile, conceded to the DNC that the script wasn’t accurate – correcting it on December 2nd, according to Bloomberg campaign spokesman Michael Frazier.
The company says it’s done work for Democratic groups in state races in Virginia and Kentucky, but would not elaborate on who their clients were. Notably, Democrats won control of the Virginia statehouse for the first time in over two decades, while GOP candidate Matt Bevin was narrowly defeated by Democratic candidate Andy Beshear – which CNBC implies Hawkfish may have had something to do with.
Meanwhile, despite spending over $100 million on TV ads across the country and $20 million on digital Facebook and Google ads, Mike Bloomberg is polling in fifth place in the Democratic primary, behind Biden, Sanders, Warren and Buttigieg, according to Real Clear Politics.