Clare and another social media disaster

Here we go again. As the facts start to leak out, people are hypothesizing as to where the scam involving Clare, Heidi, I mean, Clare, began – and who else was involved. Channel 9? Specialist agency, The Projects? Just herself?

Duncan Riley summarises the events here and asks some questions about how the video came to be on YouTube in the first place, instead of staying with Nine. I won’t bother uploading the original footage because you’ve probably already seen it – if you haven’t, here it is on one of mUmBRELLA’s early posts on the subject, where Tim Burrowes makes an important assertion when the first rumours of fakery started surfacing, suggesting that Clare may well be legitimate saying, “I think we are witnessing a legacy of the Naked / Witchery Man furore of earlier this year.”

Unfortunately for the advertising and media industries, social media set and readers of all things online and off, this was another set-up. How contrived and orchestrasted by the corporate sector it was, is still to come out. The two places to watch are, A Current Affair this Monday night (they have apparently secured an interview with 19-year-old, Clare), and Media Watch, later the same night.

[Update] – Clare Werbeloff is just a 19-year-old kid from the Northern Beaches of Sydney with a loud mouth who’s watched too much Fat Pizza. She ran in front of a camera and mouthed off what she has copied from TV ethnic slang without thinking about the implications for others, like the person who was shot.

Here’s Channel 9’s response to the whole incident, explaining what their contract cameraman did and his experience and attitude to Clare.

Regardless of the specifics of this incident, what disturbs me is that most punters probably don’t care whether they were duped or not. Has the average media viewer become so use to fake news stories through people ‘punking the news’ or the media itself creating hyperbole or artificial events, that (a) it has become a great game to guess what is real, or (b) no-one cares anymore – news IS entertainment.

For marketers and brand custodians, however, this bizarre, artificial media environment can only last for a short time historically and can only ever be a short-term marketing communications strategy for those that pursue it.

Creating brand-value – establishing communication between users and giving them a reason to recommend your brand DOES NOT START WITH A LIE. Even one that goes massively viral super fast. Further, the more people get sick of being duped (and it’s happening NOW) the more they will attached ‘negative’ value to any brand that involves themselves in any dubious, cloaked, faked, viral, social media campaigns.

For a look at some of the excellent ‘spoof’ videos of Clare that are already out, mUmBRELLA has a selection here.

We now know that the Kings Cross Bogan had nothing to do with a marketing stunt (congrats to Tooheys for investing in that OOH poster) – advertisers, however, will now be chasing that viral magic that saw Werbeloff and Susan Boyle go balistic over the past few weeks and try to create ‘a story’ that will take their campaigns to space.  Nothing wrong with great, honest, engaging stories, of course – so it will interesting to see what viral plays come out over the next few weeks as agencies push the envelope.


Doritos viral campaign that every advertiser should fear

I attended a social media breakfast this morning held by Bullseye digital sevices agency where Ian Farmer presented on his Social Media Action plan.

At the breakfast I caught up with Ian Lyons of PureProfile and The Cool Hunter who sent me the Doritos Banner Takeover viral video from YouTube. If you haven’t seen it, it is an eye-opener for publishers, advertising-network operators, advertisers and everybody else operating online – or thinking about transitioning their media business onto the interweb and using advertising as the revenue source. Yet another issue to consider. As Ian Lyons said, “here’s the video all publishers need to see”.

The only problem for Doritos, with all the viral traction they’re gaining from the immediate interest in this campaign, their website and download doesn’t seem to be up and running yet at Perhaps the video was leaked and escaped Doritos’ advertising camp too early?

Update: I was just doing some research on this campaign and found a reference in the Twitter Search logs from five months ago by @tbrunelle saying “ offers a Doritos plugin that works as a banner blocker. An advertiser removes other advertisers.” Yet again, there is NO plug-in at – there is, however, a live site with print and outdoor ad samples as well as other basic campaign info, including the video. I will continue to investigate, all the way to Sweden, to get an answer on what is happening here. If anyone else knows, please let us in on the mystery with a comment below. Maybe this is part of the elaborate and fictitious Doritos SNACK STRONG Productions that involves an online game, Crash the Super Bowl campaign, UGC and more.

The Swedish agency is Papercut and notes that it has won several awards for the work already in 2008.

Update II: Well, as you can see from the links above, has been taken down, still doesn’t exist. However, it is most likely because the video was created by a couple of very talented Swedish students, Carl Frederick Jannerfeldt and Tomas Jonsson. I’m unclear how much or little of the work on the Papercut site is student work or client work, but it’s certainly worth having a look at for ideas and inspiration. Check out the lightart campaign for Maglite.

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Marshall McLuhan still influences with “The medium is the massage”

On a recent trip to Melbourne I visited the State Library of Victoria to have a look at some of the exhibitions, including one called, Mirror of the World: Books & Ideas. As part of this exhibit they had a display of, what the State Librarian determined to be, 15 Books of Influence’ . Books that have changed the course of history or that have changed the way we see ourselves and our culture. Of course, this is a hugely controversial topic and can be debated for hours (so please send me your comments). For me, the most interesting thing about the exhibit was the book chosen to be displayed on the wall above all the other monumental works, one I have heard of, but never read: The Medium is the Massage by Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore (graphical designer). No “Massage” is not a typo, anymore, at least. McLuhan was famous for coining the phrase, “the medium is the message”, however, according to a story told by McLuhan’s son, when it came to publishing the book, the proofs came back with the printing error “massage” on the cover and McLuhan, feeling that this was entirely symbolic of his philosophy that the medium led and drove the message, left the title as it appeared.

The Medium is the Massage - Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore

The Medium is the Massage - Marshall McLuhan and Quentin Fiore

McLuhan popularised other phrases like Global Village and said “If it works, it’s obsolete” – at the speed of current technological development, it seems a modern phrase, although said more than thirty years ago: McLuhan died in 1980. Though published in 1967, the commentary in McLuhan’s book about the role the medium plays in formatting the message is fundamental for all players in the new media landscape.

The complete list of books that have influenced the world is:

1) Astronomia Instaurata (De revolutionibus orbium coelestium) – by Nicolaus Copernicus

2) Traitté de la Peinture – by Leonardo Da Vinci

3) Dialogo … Sopra i Due Massimi Sistemi del Mondo – by Galileo Galilei

4) Der Achte Teil der Bücher des Ehrnwirdigen Herrn D. Martini Lutheri – by Martin Luther

5) Opticks or A treatise of the refractions, inflections, and colours of light – by Sir Isaac Newton (Yes, Opticks not Principia – considered just as, if not more, important as the discoveries of gravity and calculus)

6) New experiments and observations on electricity – by Benjamin Franklin (in display but not on Library website)

7) On the origin of species – by Charles Darwin

8) Traité de Radioactivité – by Marie Curie

9) Das Kapital: Kritik der Politischen Oekonomie – by Karl Marx

10) ‘Die Grundlage der allgemeinen Relativitatstheorie’ in Annalen der Physik, vol. 49 Albert Einstein

11) Gesammelte Schriften (Collected Writings)– by Sigmund Freud

12) Le Deuxieme Sexe – by Simone de Beauvior (on display when I was there but replaced by Mary Wollstonecraft on the Library website.)

13) Quotations from Chaiman Mao (The Little Red Book)

14) Why We Can’t Wait – by Martin Luther King, Jr

15) I am prepared to die – by Nelson Mandela

16) The female eunuch – by Germaine Greer

17)  The medium is the massage – by Marshall McLuhan (in display but not on Library website)

When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art’. I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing.
—George Orwell

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B&T Magazine launches new fortnightly format

Following on from my previous post about the viral marketing campaign B&T has been running at, the newly formatted, fortnightly magazine has started arriving today at subscribers letterboxes.

At the, address an electronic version of the title is available for those who want to browse the content online.

New format for B&T Magazine - also digitised online

New format for B&T Magazine - also digitised online

Update: As you can see from the dead digital link above, B&T have decided to pulled down the online version of the newly formatted B&T magazine. The online edition was only up to give people a taste of what the new format wold look like.

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The economics of moving from print to online

This is a must read article below, published on Monday Note, September 29, 2008 and edited by Frédéric Filloux. It addresses the structures and costs involved in a print and online newspaper business.


Let’s kill a myth. The dream of a compact newsroom, able to output a high-intensity general news website doesn’t fly. Numbers simply don’t add up. And here is why.

First, the cost structure of a daily. In a typical operation, the biggest costs are industrial ones: around 25%-35% for paper and printing; another 30%-40% for distribution; around 18-25% for editorial; the remaining 10-15% are for administrative and marketing expenditures. It varies from country to country but we can safely assert most of the costs — at least 60% — are industrial in nature. Evidently, that part disappears when going online.

Now let’s compare three numbers:

a) the cost of an online newspaper,

b) the audience needed to absorb costs

c) the audience of the biggest website

Journalists make up most of the costs of a pure digital newsroom. As an example, assume the “loaded” (salary, benefits, expenses, overhead) cost of one journalist is about 60,000 € per year. If the objective is to provide a general news site, the starting point for a comparison is the print press. As an high end instance, a newsroom such as the New York Times’ still counts 1400 journalists, paper and digital operations included (they tend to merge). The Los Angeles Times now has 720 after the deep cuts demanded by its new owner (10 years ago, the headcount was 1300). The Washington Post has a staff of 600.

For the rest of the article see:

The economics of moving from print to online: lose one hundred, get back eight | Monday Note.

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B&T makes some changes

The latest B&T magazine was shoved in my letterbox when I arrived home tonight. Fourteen virtually blank pages with nothing on them except:


plus a double-page-spread advertisement in the middle of the magazine showing two people lying on the floor (dead?) near a water cooler with the new B&T masthead on the page.

Agency Euro RSCG has created the TV and print ads to launch the new masthead and magazine format. The publishers have also set up a website at with three videos of the TV ads, hoping they will go viral as part of the campaign. The site notes:

The new B&T will feature in-depth articles about the latest in advertising, marketing and media. Still delivering breaking news online, the new B&T magazine will go deeper, digging up detail and serving up the stories. We’ll get into it, so you can too.
May small talk rest in peace.

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Google Ad Planner draws on wealth of data

I’m looking forward to checking out Google Ad Planner in detail. I have read the Introduction pages within the Google mega-site, and applied for access to the free beta product, especially designed for media managers.

Google Ad Planner

As you’d hope, Ad Planner allows you to plan campaigns by identifying the most relevant sites for a target market, providing demographic data and traffic statistics – as long as the sites are large enough to be included in the tool.

The Google site explains that:

Google Ad Planner combines information from a variety of sources, such as aggregated Google search data, opt-in anonymous Google Analytics data, opt-in external consumer panel data, and other third-party market research. The data is aggregated over millions of users and powered by computer algorithms; it doesn’t contain personally-identifiable information.

In addition, Google Ad Planner only shows results for sites that receive a significant amount of traffic, and enforces minimum thresholds for inclusion in the tool.

This, of course raises, the question, if your site falls below the threshold, will you be cut out of the media buying space and experience a significant fall in revenue share, particularly if Ad Planner is taken up as aggressively as Analytics has been?

For those concerned about how the Google Analytics data they chose to share is being used, Google says this:

Google Ad Planner uses Google Analytics data in a manner consistent with our firm commitment to user trust and privacy. Specifically:

  • Google Analytics doesn’t share individual, site-level information with Google Ad Planner.
  • Google Ad Planner gathers data from multiple sources. This data is then checked against anonymous, aggregate, industry benchmarking data within Google Analytics.
  • Google Ad Planner only uses anonymous Google Analytics data to calibrate category data and correct for under-reporting or over-reporting in certain verticals.
  • Google Analytics benchmarking data only comes from Google Analytics customers who’ve proactively chosen to share their data in an anonymous and aggregate form.

I have no doubt Ad Planner will be a highly popular product for media agencies and SME marketers. It will not be so popular with current providers of online analysis such as Nielsen Online, Hitwise and ComScore.

Update: Here’s an important note from Strategic Market Segmentation about the intended link between Ad Planner and the Ad Sense network:

Google Ad Planner May Make Ad Sense Profitable Again

Google Ad Planner will spread more of the growing Internet advertising income across more Web sites.

However, to earn your share, your Web site has to get 3000 visitors per month, and you have to be an Ad Sense site. If your site qualifies, you may start earning more Ad Sense revenue. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Google Ad Planner revolutionize Ad Sense.

You can read what other bloggers are saying about Google Ad Planner through these links:

Tribble Ad Agency


New York Times

Domain Tools Blog

And get the inside word from Google’s Analytics Evangelist, Avinash Kaushik at Occam’s Razor.