baby names 28356

We've been had! Last week, Belly Ballot announced that mom to be Natasha Hill won a contest – she would get $5000 in exchange for letting Belly Ballot users choose the name of her new baby. And news organizations far and wide, including this blog, gave them a ton of publicity as we debated whether $5000 was payment enough for giving up the rights to name your own child.  But as it turns out, there was no contest, no baby, and no Natasha Hill – Belly Ballot had paid actress Natasha Lloyd to play struggling art teacher and expectant mom Natasha Hill.

Someone had ratted out the company and the actress, and the Today Show reported today that Belly Ballot CEO  Lacey Moler  had hired Lloyd in a bid for better publicity. They wanted to run a similar contest, apparently, but wanted to make sure they had control of the winner. Guess they figured if the winner was a plant, and there was no  real baby's name at stake, they wouldn't have to worry about it.

Of course with all this new publicity,  they could probably afford to run the real contest, and get a ton of entries. (In fact, the site has already been bombarded with requests to enter the next contest.) Which just goes to show you, there are plenty of people out there who would rather have cash in pocket rather than control over their child's name! What's your take on the whole Belly Ballot hullabaloo? Why do you think they went with the ringer? And would you trust Belly Ballot to help you pick the name of your child?

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Image: Baby names by Amir Ridhwan/