Verizon-sponsored concert contest sparks controversy

Dec 27, 2019 oigcpvet

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsBut teachers and students at Hoover High School in Glendale say they, not San Fernando, were the rightful winners. “We are livid over here – livid,” said Nareg Keshishian, an Advanced Placement teacher and student body adviser at Hoover High. “We’re not going to be cheated. We won that contest fair and square.” When the contest ended Jan. 9, students say, a Verizon Web site listed Hoover High with 8.9 million entries to San Fernando High’s 6.7 million entries. “Hoover won … it wasn’t even close,” said Ani Petrosyan, 17, of Glendale, who attends Rose and Alex Philibos School, a Hollywood competitor. “In the beginning, San Fernando was ahead, but at the end, I knew for sure Hoover won, because of the Web site.” Not so fast, Verizon officials said, before The Black Eyed Peas took the stage at Tiger Field. PACOIMA – As The Black Eyed Peas performed their hip-hop artistry during a concert Thursday at San Fernando High, controversy raged over the Verizon-sponsored contest that offered up the gig as first prize. The multiplatinum artists of “Monkey Business” fame took the stage amid cheers from San Fernando High students – but jeers from competing high schools that saw a whole lot of monkey business in the high-tech challenge. Sponsored by Verizon Wireless, the competition challenged students to send in the greatest number of cell-phone text messages or online submissions. Verizon Wireless counted more than 10 million valid entries from 120 participating campuses – the most from San Fernando High. “We spent at least two weeks auditing the results. One of the rules was no automated entries – bots, or a program that submits entries automatically,” said Gregg Yacovone, director of marketing for Verizon Wireless. Yacovone said each automated entry was traced to an Internet Protocol address for each student, then disqualified. “You could see there were some IP addresses that had five entries per second, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for several weeks on end,” he said. “San Fernando was the true winner.” San Fernando High students who gathered to hear the band said they worked hard to win the contest. “We didn’t sleep at all, we did so much text-messaging,” said Nelly Higneros, 19, of Pacoima, standing just beneath the stage. “Hoover did a scam, they tried to cheat us – Tigers all the way,” added Ana Oliperos, 16, of Mission Hills. Some said it was remarkable that working-class Latinos were able to dominate the high-tech match-up. “There’s a great consumer market in young Latino children,” San Fernando Councilwoman Maribel de la Torre said at the show. “This is one of the poorest schools in the state of California and yet they’ve proven they have access to computers, cell phones – and have mastered technology.” [email protected] (818) 713-3730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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