Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Truth in Advertising

Michelle Nicol, who describes herself thus:
Independent digital strategist & digital communities advisor; RushCrowder; recycle, reduce, reuse fan; rock chick; footy chick; good sort. And I love Elvis.
has a lot of time on her hands. She has been sending letters to every advertiser whose commercials appeared during the first episode of the Bolt Report on Channel Ten last Sunday.

She has tweeted this remarkable claim:
Today iPrimus apologised to me for their TVCs appearing on the #boltreport, and stated they have no association with the program's views.
This was followed by several more tweets:
I've written to 5 of them, and 3 have said they are pulling out. They were bonus spots, not scheduled or requested by the advertisers.
Anyone familiar with advertising will know there is a difference between "pulling out" and declining an offer, the former signifying regret as opposed to simply not being interested in paying for further media after receiving a freebie or discounted placement - very likely in a brand new, untested show.

I believe Michelle Nicol is dishonestly trying to infer advertiser discontent with Andrew Bolt. I suspected the letter (if any) she received from iPrimus was simply a polite PR response which would have indicated (quite correctly) that they are not responsible for any program's views. It would have probably included customer retention boilerplate to the effect they were sorry if she had been offended, even though it's really nothing to do with them.

In addition to harassing businesses, Nicol is running a smear campaign and trying to mislead people into believing the advertisers are shocked. Like minded Bolt-haters immediately retweeted her tweets, spreading the smear.

So I tweeted a simple, polite request to see exactly what was said.

Her reply was charming. (Click to embiggen)

I ask for simple proof, and get told to "piss off". She then insists I have to take her wild claims completely at face value, before covering her ears and refusing to listen.


Noting that Michelle Nicol is furiously tweeting her anti-Bolt activities, completely unsubstantiated to date, I repeat my challenge to her. Post your letter (I suspect it's libelous) and their response. Or retract your claims. An Independent digital strategist & digital communities advisor should have no difficulty doing so.

Update 1: The excuses get better.
@ I haven't evaded or denied anything, that's all in your head. I'm simply not going to post someone else's mail.
How convenient. It's probably been classified Top-Secret-Bullshit. So I asked her to simply post her own letter then. No go:
Michelle Nicol
@DanLew4U No thanks, I've got "way too much time on my hands" to bother wasting another second on your nonsense claims.
Uh huh. After half an hour of arguing the point. Poor dear is too busy, probably from writing to all those advertisers all day. So I called her on it again. Her reply:
Truly dude, your bully boy behaviour is not winning me over.
Evade, evade, evade...

Update 2: Oh this gets better and better. Referring to this blog, she writes:
@nadiarao Also, just did some forensics. Seems porn sites drive what little traffic there is to his site.
Well I don't know how much traffic this blog gets (clearly her "forensics" didn't extend to reading any of it and noting that I'm only a guest here). But I'm surprised she found the time to go looking. You know, what with being so busy and everything. Clearly too busy to post a simple letter which would show she isn't a liar and a fraud.

Update 3: Professor Bunyip has his own advice on the boycott attempt, known as "Operation Bolt-Cutter". The 18 year olds running marketing at some of these companies should read it.

Personally, I can't understand why any company would worry about their advertising upsetting people who claim they aren't watching. I also wonder whether the silence-Bolt campaign will be asking people to pull their advertising from the Melbourne Herald Sun. Good luck with that. This is the best PR Bolt could hope for. Talk about an own goal for the critics...



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps her father should have "pulled out" thus saving us from her pointless rubbish!

10:31 PM  
Anonymous Pedro the Ignorant said...

Professor Bunyip has an interesting take on this:

I sent a nice little note to iPrimus at the Prof's link.

11:26 PM  

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