Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Nokia - PR accident or comment spam?

Nokia appears to have been caught out comment spamming – possibly the work of an over-eager PR person trying to build links and Nokia’s word of mouth PR programme (though this is not certain at the time of writing).

It’s a timely reminder that as part of every agency’s basic account handler training, they should include how to use social media programmes responsibly (and legally). It is increasingly difficult for companies to keep a handle on everything that is being emailed / posted on public forums by eager account handlers, so educating them at the outset of the campaign before you get caught out.

Thursday, 16 October 2008

Will sueing make Absolut cool again?

Absolut Vodka is suing Absolute Radio for infringement of its trademark. What’s going on? Last I knew, absolute was an everyday descriptive word (to use trademark language). As you can’t trademark everyday descriptive words in the UK, I’m not sure how it will infringe on Absolut’s trademark.

Although I can understand Absolut trying to claw back its ‘we used to be achingly cool when we were only sold in style bars’ image (and therefore not wanting to be associated with an endless stream of Coldplay and Keane), I’m guessing people can tell the difference between a radio station and a vodka brand.

Oh, and the process of suing makes you look more corporate powerhouse than style brand.

Media shame

Showing an unusually optimistic side to my character, I had hoped that the days of ‘are we being run by a gay mafia’ (The Sun) reporting were over. But the return of Peter Mandelson to politics has shown an unpleasant side to media reporting that seems to be setting us back 10 years. Extra-marital affairs, prostitutes and nazi-themed orgies aside, few straight public figures are subjected to the level of snide comments that Lord M finds himself having to put up with.

While he has had his share of controversy, none of it as far as I know has had any relevance to his sexuality, about which he has always chosen to remain private. Love him or hate him, there is no excuse for the kind of reporting that sees him referred to as ‘Dandy Lord Mandy’, ‘sashaying’ into the House of Lords (and worse), Brown’s ‘new darling’; or that takes snipes at his long-term partner.