'Alex From Target' Viral Sensation: Is It a Marketing Hoax?
Is the social media phenomenon #AlexFromTarget a random moment that went viral, or a marketing hoax? INSIDE EDITION reports.
It's the photo that became an overnight sensation, launching a teen from Texas, known only as “Alex from Target,” to instant fame.
It started when a Target shopper spotted the good looking check-out boy and snapped the pic with her cell phone. Yep, he was checked out, at check-out.
Since it was posted on Twitter Sunday afternoon, the photo has been shared more than two million times as #AlexFromTarget.
It even landed Alex LaBoeuf an appearance on Ellen.
Ellen Degeneres asked LaBoeuf, "Have you had marriage proposals?"
LaBoeuf replied, "I mean, yeah."
Degeneres then said, "That's amazing. Do you sing? Do you have any other talent? We should take advantage of this."
"I mean, I can apparently bag groceries pretty well," said LaBoeuf.
But was the "Alex from Target" phenomenon, actually the result of a scam?
One member of the Today show said, "This might just be a marketing ploy!"
And a reporter on Good Morning America said, "Ladies, you have been lied to, you have been manipulated."
Late Tuesday, the CEO of a marketing company called Breakr said the company was behind the whole thing.
The CEO said, ”We wanted to see how powerful the fan-girl demographic was by taking a unknown good-looking kid and Target employee from Texas to overnight viral internet sensation. Truly, we never thought it'd go this far."
So what do we know about Breakr? Well, we went to the address listed on the website and there's no office, just a post office box.
Now, INSIDE EDITION spoke to the teen who took the photo of 16-year-old Alex Laboeuf at his local Target in Frisco, Texas, north of Dallas. Brooklyn Reiff says if it was a marketing experiment, she didn't know anything about it.
Reiff told INSIDE EDITION, “We went to Target to get a few things we needed, and then I found myself in Alex's check-out line so I took a picture."
LaBoeuf himself tweeted," My family and I have never heard of this company."
A spokesperson for Target says the company had nothing to do with it either, stating, “From the first moment we saw this photo beginning to circulate, we shared that the Target team was as surprised as anyone."
CNBC Media and Entertainment reporter Julia Boorstin told INSIDE EDITION, "What's so amazing is that Target was not involved. They have jumped on the bandwagon a little bit and said, 'We love Alex from Target too," but this was not instigated by them. This was not their idea."
Hoax or not, the teen who snapped the photo still thinks Alex from Target is pretty cute.
Reiff concluded, "I'd like to meet him and just say ‘Hey!’"
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