Marketing campaign or viral photo? Company claims responsibility for viral #AlexFromTarget meme

(ABC News; auscalum/Twitter)

Say it isn't so, Alex! A marketing company has come forward to claim responsibility for this week's #AlexFromTarget meme.

In a blog post on LinkedIn, Breakr CEO Dil-Domine Jacobe Leonares says his company harnessed the power of its "fangirl" base to make Alex Lee a viral sensation.

Leonares said his team and legion of fangirls monitored social media platforms for positive and negative reactions to the #AlexFromTarget hashtag as it spread, and gave fuel to each side to keep it going.

"By controlling both sides of the conversation, we got more and more people to talk about the situation which kept the hashtag trending #1 on Twitter worldwide," he wrote.

Alex's Twitter following exploded from 2,000 followers before the hashtag took off to more than half a million by Tuesday evening. Just about every major media organization, including ABC, wrote about him and his charming good looks and he even appeared on a major television talk show.

Initially, it seemed the rest was Twitter history.

But then Breakr's claims it had orchestrated the event came into question when the young woman who first tweeted Alex's photo said that not only did she not work for Breakr, but she had never even heard of the company.

Alex chimed in as well, also saying he had never heard of the company. He tweeted that he had no knowledge of the viral tweet prior to his manager showing him the trending hashtag.

Late Tuesday, it seemed as if Breakr had backpedaled from its earlier claim, saying in a series of tweets that it was not responsible for the initial photo or tweet and @auscalum did not work for the company, but their efforts are what made #AlexFromTarget go viral.

Breakr is currently in beta. On its website, the company claims to help connect fans to their fandom.

At the time of publication, Target had not made a statement on Breakr's claim.

What did you think of the #AlexFromTarget meme? Let us know in the comments below.
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