Monthly Archives: March 2011

Keeping the Trolls at Bay


If you have ever commented on a blog post, web news article or Facebook group, you will probably have come into contact with trolls. They are the thoroughly irksome, pedantic and occasionally downright unsavoury individuals who post irrelevant, inflammatory and/or abusive remarks in message boards, often with the sole intent of disrupting on-topic conversation or undermining other forum users.

For the most part, trolls are accepted as just one of those irritations that happen online – like receiving those persistent emails about enlarging your penis, or unwittingly helping to prolong Rick Astley’s career – but for us marketing types trolls are more than just an annoyance. The truth is that these cyber-tosspots cost advertising agencies in the UK alone millions of pounds every year. Continue reading

Bohemian Oddity #1: The Withered Hand

Prior to the April release of my new travel article in stalkingElk Magazine, I’ll be previewing just a few of the Bohemian oddities that will be featured. First up, it’s Church of St. James… and the creepy mummified arm of a 17th century thief.

Here’s how the legend goes. One night in Prague, a rather unsavoury fellow was strolling past the Church of St. James when he noticed that the door was ever-so-slightly ajar. Sensing a rare opportunity, he ventured inside to see what precious items he could pinch… and his eyes soon fell upon the jewels hanging around the neck of the Virgin Mary statue. But as he reached up to unburden the Madonna, she suddenly sprang into life and grabbed his arm, before promptly turning back into cold, hard stone. Continue reading

A Quick Word About Wordle

Words words words... an image of words from Joe Reaney's We Like posting for Red C Marketing, Advertising, Online Marketing and Brand Marketing Agency Manchester & London[ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON 18TH NOVEMBER 2009 BY RED C MAGAZINE]

I like words. They happify me. In fact, they make me tripudiate with joy. I’m one of those people who take far more pleasure in hearing about a crepuscular splodge than actually seeing one; and would much rather read about a spelunking scrimshanker than go and cheer him on. I get a kick out of the English language and, at the risk of being philodoxical, I think everybody should. Language may be fundamentally a means of communication, in the way that food is fundamentally a means of nutrition, but both offer pleasure far beyond their function. Words should be savoured like a sumptuous steak.

Of course, when I try to convince my chums about the myriad delights of mellifluous language, they call me a ponce. Well, until a few weeks back. All of a sudden, they’re casually dropping obscure words into every conversation. It’s frippet this and proprioception that. And while I love to think it’s down to my strategic nagging, I’m afraid it isn’t. They still think I’m a ponce. But they’ve become huge fans of this website called Wordle. Continue reading

The Peaks and Troughs of Celebrity Endorsement


Really, what’s the point of celebrity endorsement? Does anyone actually care what kind of natural yoghurt tickles the tastebuds of a vacuous reality star, or which department store has flip-flops to fit a has-been pop singer? Perhaps, or perhaps not… it really depends who the celebrity is, and whether they appeal to the product’s target market. I, for one, am happy to believe that Peter Kay really does enjoy a cheeky pint of John Smith’s, and that Stephen Fry genuinely relishes “the soothing taste of Twinings”. And I’m also thoroughly convinced that Kerry Katona does – or did – her big shop at Iceland.

Good celebrity endorsements rely on a careful marriage between product and ‘star’. If the collaboration works then both brand and celebrity could reap the rewards, but if the two are utterly mismatched then the association could have a severely damaging effect on product sales, profits and worse – reputations. Continue reading