Since yesterday we've gotten shout-outs from The Daily Mail, The Huffington Post, PopCrush, the Hindustan Times, the International Business Times, Wetpaint, StyleBistro, Fashion Etc. and others.
Rihanna herself even picked it up on Twitter, adding the hashtag #G4L -- Gangsta for Life.
But there's a reason none of those reports link back to the original Ad Age report: It doesn't exist.
After seeing the attention the sexiest-ad survey got, we kind of wish we'd done one. We heard about it first from the Daily Mail.
Rihanna "has captured the hearts of the ad world, who voted her sizzling adverts for Armani Underwear the sexiest of 2011," the Daily Mail said, citing "a poll of advertising industry chiefs carried out by U.S. magazine Advertising Age."
That was enough for The Huffington Post, which built a slideshow headlined "Sexiest Ads Of 2011 List Includes Rihanna, Miranda Kerr, Models In Skivvies (PHOTOS)," pointing back to the Daily Mail.
And that was plenty for everyone else."We got our info for the post you are referring to from Huffington Post, who got their story from the Daily Mail (who all credited you)," GlobalGrind's celebrity editor explained Friday.
The Daily Mail said its source was a press release from an outfit called TNI Press Ltd.
"The 23-year-old singer's daring display was hailed the best of the year in a poll of advertising industry chiefs carried out by U.S. magazine Advertising Age," TNI's release said.
A former employee of TNI Press, which appears to lack any web presence at all, describes the firm in his LinkedIn resume as "a small albeit highly renowned press company which writes copy for national tabloid newspapers, a number of magazines and international newspapers," including the Daily Mail, the Daily Star, The Sun, The Mirror, Zoo and Nuts.
We called and wrote TNI but haven't heard back. If some other magazine did the sexiest-ad poll we're being credited with, we haven't had any luck finding that either.