{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

Over the past few months, Twitter has been used as an effective campaign tool to expose the corporate misdemeanors of many large companies, including Trafigura, H&M, and KFC.

Paperchase is the latest recipient of a growing internet fire-storm, facing criticism over claims that the stationery giant allegedly plagiarised the artwork of a British, independent artist, decorating notebooks, tote bags and albums, and making them available for sale around the UK. 

It's clear that the world has changed. There is simply nowhere for companies to hide: do something wrong or embarrassing, and internet users will respond rapidly to expose the corporate scandal in a matter of minutes. 

The artist in question is HiddenEloise, a British independent artist who sells artwork via Etsy and other independent online stores. Discovering that Paperchase had allegedly stolen and "badly traced" one of her unique designs, she contacted the stationery company to ask for the artwork to be removed from their shops and Amazon. Not only has Paperchase ignored her, but it is now selling even more products featuring the plagiarised artwork.

Realising that contacting the lawyers would result in astronomically high legal fees that she simply couldn't afford ($40,000 for court expenses), HiddenEloise instead took to her blog, accusing Paperchase of plagiarism, and asking readers to contact the stationery firm directly.

This blog post was subsequently tweeted by the English science fiction author, Neil Gaiman. With his approximately 1.5 million followers, it's unsurprising that the story was quickly gathered momentum on Twitter and was subsequently retweeted thousands of of times. It is now one of Twitter's top 10 trending topics, which spells trouble for Paperchase. 

As well as taking to Twitter, internet users also emailed Paperchase directly, and have started to write negative reviews on the company's product pages on Amazon (which it uses to distribute these items). Tags now showing on Paperchase's Amazon product page include "plagiarism", "boycott", and "stolen."

This latest scandal really demonstrates the power of the influencers: it only takes one influential Twitter user for a campaign to go viral. Stephen Fry proved this last year with the Trafigura scandal.

In addition, Twitter has empowered people like never before: previously independent artists - like HiddenEloise - would have little or no chance of sticking it to The Man. But now, through the power of social media, the world is very different. Big brands simply cannot afford to underestimate the power of blogs, Twitter and social networking sites. These are the biggest echo chambers you can imagine.

In some ways - as a cool, design-led and innovative brand - Paperchase is the ideal company to have a social presence, yet a quick Google search reveals it has little or no presence on the major social networks. Although it has a Facebook page with more than 2,000 fans, the page has not been updated since 2008. And, with no Twitter presence at all, it's difficult to see how Paperchase will resolve this internet firestorm. 

So, what can companies learn from Paperchase?

Don't underestimate the power of the network

Companies can no longer afford to bury their head in the sand or ignore the opinions of their customers. Customers are much more empowered through social channels. Quite simply, if you do something wrong, expect to be exposed publicly within seconds, minutes or hours

Companies need to work with bloggers and their most influential customers in order to build advocacy and their brand reputation. 

Go where your customers are

With limited presence on the major social networks, Paperchase has very few options in terms of how to deal with this latest crisis. Aside from email, there's really no other way for customers to contact the company.

Furthermore, Twitter has also exposed Paperchase's weaknesses in email marketing. As thousands of people emailed their complaints, Paperchase responded by welcoming 'new subscribers' to their email newsletter: 

Have appropriate crisis management policies in place 

All organisations need to have appropriate policies and guidelines covering how to deal rapidly with such online scandals. It's crucial to have appropriate reputation management tools in place so companies can deal with responses before they go viral.

And last but not least, having a social presence will enable companies to distribute messages to their customers quickly, and in real-time.

The Vodafone #beavergate scandal provides a great example of how companies can resolve such online firestorms. Vodafone is to be commended on its rapid response via Twitter, as well as its openness and transparency, as Dan Bowsher of Vodafone responded to criticism directly on the Econsultancy blog. 

Paperchase has traditionally been perceived as a well-known, trusted brand on the high street, so it will be interesting to see how the company responds to this latest backlash.

The clock is ticking...

Update: Paperchase are now on Twitter. Both Paperchase and the agency concerned have released an official statement on the Paperchase website.

Photo credit: Hidden Eloise on Flickr

Aliya Zaidi

Published 11 February, 2010 by Aliya Zaidi

Aliya Zaidi is Research Manager at Econsultancy. Follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn or Google+.

50 more posts from this author

Comments (38)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

Luke

I like the David v Goliath aspect of these stories and like to see justice delivered with this kind of exposure, but one concern for me is how readily people support the victim, with only one biased side of the story to go on (I'm not referring to this Paperchase case in particular, as it looks like they've done a bad, but really, we don't know).

Look at how 1/4 million people join a Facebook campaign 'We will not pay [insert price] for Facebook on [insert date]' with no regard to truth, while some 15 year-old kid in Madrid is laughing at how gullible they all are and spamming them daily.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Hilda

Luke: While I think you raise a good point, if you do a short search for images related to this incident, you will find side by side pictures of her original design of a little girl and the poorly traced identical picture on Paperchase's bags and stationery. Their claim is that the image is similar in spirit/idea and no more, but it's obvious that while they've changed the illustration around the little girl, she is a blatant copy of the artist's drawing.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Marcus

Your list of lessons to be learned should include "Don't steal other people's work" surely?

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Matthew Gingell

This is a very interesting area that is evolving quickly.  

There are so many questions and unknowns in this area for example in the case given would the author or his equivalent be liable if the claims by the artist were false?  Paperchase would be rightly aggrieved if this was a vexatious claim without merit.  If it were a false claim and they suffered damage who would they sue and would suing compound the problem?

Even more questions:

  1. Could influential social media users set up a business or be sponsored to start a campaign against a corporate/brand;
  2. Should there be a law prohibiting "the incitement of negative PR for commercial benefit on a social network" who would police it - it would be very difficult to enforce and who do you enforce it against?

I wrote about the flip side of using social media as a defence to intellectual property infringement on my blog towards the end of last year:

http://mogsipblog.blogspot.com/2009/12/ip-threats-eroded-by-social-media.html

Ie crowd-sourcing support for your defence. 

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Josh

Twitter - and tech blogs - erupt.

High street shoppers oblivious. Let's all stamp our feet online but I seriously doubt Paperchase will feel this in their stores.

Interestingly, while this may be trending globally, it doesn't appear in UK trending topics.

over 6 years ago

Jonathan Beeston

Jonathan Beeston, Director, New Product Innovation, EMEA at Media & Advertising Solutions, Adobe

Plagiarism is a tricky subject, even cases like this that might seem cut and dried can be difficult to prove in court. An optimist would suggest suing in an attempt to get an out of court settlement, but I doubt a 'British independent artist' has the resources to do this.

My thoughts are:

  1. Would this do any lasting damage to Paperchase? These things are quickly forgotten about, particular when the next outrage comes along next week.  Will it stop us from nipping into one of their stores next month?
  2. The Twitterverse might be outraged, but what about people on the high street. I think there's a chicken and egg dilemma: what really drives a story to greater importance, Twitter or traditional press?
  3. As pointed out by Luke, the crowd is quick to take the side of the victim in these cases. It makes Twitter no different than Digusted of Tunbridge Wells writing into the Mail. Quick to express outrage but not necessarily right.

Companies (or individuals) that do engage in underhand practices deserve everything they get. Paperchase are doing themselves a disservice by not dealing with this quickly and openly.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Dan Calladine

Josh,

The point is that this will be picked up by the mainstream media very quickly, and 'compare and contrast' pictures will be used in lots of tomorrow's newspapers.  

If something becomes as popular as this on twitter the mainstream media write about it.

Then it will have an effect on the high street.  How many people are likely to visit Paperchase in the next couple of days looking for Valentines cards?  How many will be put off?

Plus people would be very unlikely to buy one of these items from Amazon now, given the comments.

over 6 years ago

Gavin Williams

Gavin Williams, Consultant at Gavin Williams

I enjoyed this post and Paperchase do indeed offer us another interesting example of poor corporate practice. But I hope you don't mind if I suggest that your piece on the social media angle lacks perspective.

You say that "the world has changed" but beyond the hyperbole I cannot see the evidence. If we've learnt anything from social media over the past couple of years it's that firestorms are becoming more frequent but also shorter in duration. I cite the reaction to Innocent Drinks and their deal with Coke last year and the Habitat hashtag hijack. Neither business attributed a loss of sales as a result of discontent in the social sphere.

The reference to Trafigura is an odd one. Stephen Fry was reporting a story that had already broken and had gone through a legal process. The Social Web simply reacted with fury but to imagine that a company like Trafigura is worried about it's public perception is frankly wishful thinking. These guys operate at the ruthless, dirty end of business.

If I was being facetious, I would point out that today is the anniversary of the Iranian Revolution but I do not see many green Twitter profile pics around these days. The social web moved on to another cause after the Iranian election last year, leaving dissidents to be rounded up, tortured and in some cases executed.

I don't agree that 'companies can no longer bury their head in the sand and ignore the opinions of their customers" simply because I don't believe that many companies are doing this. I have been an eCommerce consultant for a number of years and have yet to work with a company that is as dismissive of it's customer base as you suggest. Sure they make mistakes and may be anxious about new media but they are rarely stupid.

eConsultancy is also being slightly naive. Social media is being hijacked and manipulated by companies in much the same way as all media that has gone before it. There may be a paradigm shift but the game is the same.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Chris Frost

It now appears that Paperchase are claiming they purchased the design from an agency yet are not willing to disclose who the agency was!

I really hope this doesn't lose momentum! It would be great PR for a solicitor to jump in and act on behalf of @HiddenEloise but unless Paperchase come clean and quickly, this really could make or break the company!

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Douglas Spencer

It seems to me the real lesson here is not "don't underestimate the network", "go where your customers are", "have crisis management policies in place".

The real lesson here is "don't behave in a way that leads you into a situation like this in the first place".

Surprised you didn't say so.

over 6 years ago

Aliya Zaidi

Aliya Zaidi, - at Mrs Aliya Zaidi

Hi Gavin, 

Thanks for your comments, which I'll address in turn. 

With reference to "the world has changed" - I meant that it now takes minutes for a scandal to erupt as opposed to days. If you look at that Neil Gaiman tweet, it's dated from about 4 hours ago. The link was Tweeted before then, but it took an "influential" for it to go viral.

And, prior to social channels, there were limited means for an independent artist to reach such a wide audience of people in such a short amount of time. 

As for the loss in sales, Paperchase sell through their Amazon store front, and that this page features many negative reviews. Given the link between sales and ratings and reviews, it's likely that this tweetstorm will have some effect on the sales of the relevant product. Afterall, why else would they pull the offending product from Amazon? 

With reference to Trafigura, yes, it was a story that had already broken, but there's no doubt that social channels played an important part in spreading the word about the scandal.

You say that Trafigura are unlikely to be worried about their public perception. Leaving that aside, in contrast, I believe that Paperchase, traditionally perceived as a "trendy", "cool" brand on the high street would indeed be concerned about their public perception. And if Trafigura were not worried about their public perception, why would they even attempt to impose a gagging order in the first place? 

With reference to companies "burying their head in the sand," this goes back to my first point. Whereas they could perhaps afford to ignore the views of an independent artist previously (given the limited means to campaign against a large corporate entity), they simply cannot afford to do so now. Companies must work alongside with influencers and bloggers, as scandals break within minutes. 

All companies need to have crisis management policies in place to deal with the possibility of such negative PR. If you're not on any social networks, then you can't possibly respond to the people who are spreading negative word-of-mouth. 

over 6 years ago

Aliya Zaidi

Aliya Zaidi, - at Mrs Aliya Zaidi

Douglas - yes that's true, but let's say for one second that Paperchase did not behave in this way. Well, they still need to be on social networks and have policies in place to address the situation. If they were on Twitter or active on Facebook, they could simply tweet "what really happened" before it went viral. 

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Amy

Forgive me, Luke, but anyone with half an eye can see that the two drawings are identical - you could literally overlay one onto the other. And as the independent artist in question has been producing the image far longer than they seem to have been, I know who I believe.

-

Whether Paperchase bought the art from an agency or not is immaterial - when there was a suggestion that they were selling a plagarised product they should have at the very least investigated rather than being so rude to the artist.  They essentially said "we don't care".

over 6 years ago

Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles, Tech Reporter at Econsultancy

Difficult situation for Paperchase. Certainly most companies are not used to having to deal with this type of firestorm.

At the same time, I agree with most of the points made by Jonathan Beeston. I'm not sure if this is so cut and dried. One would assume that if this was an obvious 'money case', at least one lawyer would be interested in working on contingency.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Joseph Maguire

Ok If you're a company like Paperchase and it is so clear to the public that you ripped off an artist of original works and didn't want to pay them the paltry sum needed to license the creative than this shit storm is exactly what they deserved. What's most interesting is that a big figure like Neil did with his twitter account. It really shows you where power is today not in brands, but in voice. Go Neil!

over 6 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

Paperchase is still in a position to do the right thing, whether it purchased the picture from a third party or not. I can understand it passing off the blame on an agency but I don't think that's going to carry much weight legally. But it should never get to that position. There should be an amicable solution, and a fast one.

@Josh - if Google matters for brand searches then there is the potential for long-term lasting damage here (take a look at some of those top 10 results), which is why Paperchase needs to turn bad noise into quiet applause. 

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

beth granger

'expose the corporate misdemeanors'

I don't get the righteous, good versus bad tone.

How many artists has Paperchase supported over the years? How much does Paperchase give to charity annually? How many people does Paperchase employ? How many landlords does it pay rent to? How many people really enjoy shopping at Paperchase? I do.

This idea that one tweet retweeted and we can expose corporate misdemenaors, punish, do the opposite of build something, I don't get. There is no context to these stories.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Charlotte Evans

I like what Chris says and what others have written about in terms of 'doing the right thing'. There is an opportunity here for Paperchase to take this on the chin, offer a heartfelt, meaningful apology and actually turn things around a bit.

It is hard isn't it, to say sorry and admit fault and we're in a world where apology isn't necessarily valued - consider the old 'never say sorry if you bump the car' approach. Protect yourself, legally at all time.

How about a bit of moral protection by tryng to do the right thing, albeit a little bit later in the day?

I run my own retail business and, having followed this story throughout the day, am more committed than ever to making meaningful apologies. (I just wrote a whole thing about it http://cottontailsbaby.blogspot.com/)

Fascinating stuff, anyway.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

beth granger

Kay, you can believe that Paperchase stole something. I don't. I trust you will not be selling any work to any corporations from now on? I think you are repeating what everyone else is in the goldfish bowl is saying. I am not in the goldfish bowl.

I have never heard of Neil Gaiman, but from now on I would not trust what he writes.

I don't think the headline on this piece is fair. Did the author speak to Paperchase before publishing it? She has written a post about what we can learn from Paperchase. Did she actually speak to Paperchase or 'copy' the story - is the story a copy in fact with no original research, no fact checking, an echo, no comment from Paperchase, one sided?

Both parties are businesses. Both parties aim is to make money. If you don't want to compete, then paint as a hobby. There has never been more opportunity for independents to sell product they make direct to the public. The artist has thousands of sales on her Etsy shop which charges 20 cents plus fees to market products globally. 

This is not a time for artists to be moaning about corporates. If artists have work that there is a market for they don't need Paperchase. This story is misleading. As I said, the notion that corporates are bad and independents are good is over-simplistic, unfair and untrue.

One other thing I noticed, from the artist's blog, when you click through to read Paperchase's statement, she keeps her url in your browser rather than Paperchase's url showing. I didn't like that. She knows what she is doing, if she is a she.

over 6 years ago

Linus Gregoriadis

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

@beth granger Aliya Zaidi tried hard to get comment from Paperchase but was unable to get hold of anyone to find out their view point. Which is the whole point of the story. While thousands of people Tweeted about the alleged wrong-doing by Paperchase, they had no action plan to give their view point and disseminate this online (or offline).

And the author of this blog post certainly didn't copy anyone else. She was the first to report this and that's exactly what she did .... report what was happening in the Twittersphere.

Paperchase say they bought the art in good faith from a London design agency. Let's give them the benefit of the doubt. But that doesn't invalidate the story .... which is about a company not being prepared for this kind of thing in what is now, yes, a different game.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

SallyF

Interesting that the Amazon link listed now points to a listing that doesn't exist any more. I wonder if that means Paperchase is 'taking steps' - or indeed if Amazon have removed it while the facts are explore, that would be even more interesting (though I doubt that's what's happened)

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

beth granger

I have to take issue with the tone which I do not think is fair, constructive or real world. If Paperchase refused to comment then that should have been reported. The Telegraph when it reported the story had plenty of quotes from Paperchase, the artist refused to give his/her name and refused to talk to the Telegraph's reporter, according to the newspaper. All this was included so the reader has the chance to be informed and decide what they think, rather than being told what to think.

On Tweeters about H&M - do they ever buy product from Primark? Have they all stopped shopping at H&M? Are all their purchases ethical? The whole idea that tweeters are right and paragons because they are tweeters and agree with each other, and companies need to be exposed by them as bad, I disagree with.

The world is not like that, companies do good and bad things, as do tweeters. I actually believe companies are good for society on balance. 

Twitters works to amplify one side against the other. It creates more sound than light.

over 6 years ago

Aliya Zaidi

Aliya Zaidi, - at Mrs Aliya Zaidi

Hi Beth, 

We're not saying tweeters are "good" and companies are "bad". We merely making the point that it's simply good business for companies to be on social networks in order to readdress such issues. "Fish where the fish are", as it were. 

Some of those people tweeting and those reading tweets are potential customers, so companies must engage with these individuals in order to address potential complaints. It's simply an extension of PR strategy and good marketing, i.e. a business issue. 

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

beth granger

Hi, and i think that is where we disagree, that companies have to be on Twitter and that if  they aren't, have no social conscience. Don't buy that at all.

When I read of an airline dedicating resources to Twitter I think I am not flying with that airline, I am flying with the airline that is putting those resources into safety!

Different points of view, which is fine of course. I just don't agree with the damage Twitter does, when a person looses their job because of it.

Your piece yesterday was very unfair to Paperchase, in my view, although if they refused to speak to you that did not help.

over 6 years ago

Linus Gregoriadis

Linus Gregoriadis, Research Director at Econsultancy, Centaur Marketing

@beth granger Yes, our blog post should have been more explicit in saying that Paperchase were unavailable to comment. As explained we weren't able to raise anyone from Paperchase, despite calling, leaving messages and emailing.

We felt it was fair enough to publish the article - hours before the Daily Telegraph - without Paperchase's side of the story because we were reporting what was happening in the Twittersphere - and the lack of a Paperchase voice online - rather than on their alleged offence.

Plus, there was and is always the opportunity for Paperchase to add a comment or for us to update our article (an update with a link to their comment was added earlier today).

It's instructive that Paperchase chose to respond to the Daily Telegraph but not to us, even though our article was the only one showing up on Google News for several hours yesterday.

A million people can be tweeting online and blogging something about a company, but it's only when a traditional media outlet tries to contact them that PR alarm bells start ringing.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

beth granger

Regarding tweeters as customers when they are tweeting that your company stole designs when creativity is a core part of your reputation is a slippery slope. It reminds me of customers taking banks to court for unauthorised overdraft charges.

There have to be rules in business to protect both sides. When one side or the other breaks those rules a lot of negative energy is wasted. The result is that Paperchase is being advised to increase expenditure on PR, and spend less on artists. I preferred it the way it was.

over 6 years ago

Gavin Williams

Gavin Williams, Consultant at Gavin Williams

Aliya,

I accept all your points and you make them well. I would still like to see more empirical evidence on some of the examples that are quoted. I think we need to go beyond the world of hyperbole in social media and start to deliver some cause and effect case studies.

To re-tweet a message takes a fraction of a second, to take a considered action on that impulse? Well that's a different matter. 

I feel uncomfortable about the element of mob rule that is inherent in these social firestorms. Who's checking the facts behind these stories. Your blog post in itself is an example of comment not journalism.  You yourself wield influence and have a degree of responsibility to check facts and report objectively and I'm sure you are aware of this. When comment becomes news then we might as well give up (or become Daily Mail readers).

The ethics of the Paperchase case may boil down to be simple case of right or wrong but this example ighlights the hugely contradictory nature of the modern consumer (of which I include myself of course). I show anger because a company has mis-used a design on some paper products but I'm ok with the fact that all my the clothes Im wearing today are made in far-eastern sweatshops? So I have one eye open and one eye closed. 

Paperchase aside, don't think that the speed to media is always a good thing. We're so eager to share that we forget to take time to think.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Cat

Beth, for the record the Telegraph article stated that the artist did not respond to repeated requests for comment. What this actually meant was that they emailed her a few times and that she didn't get back to them within the hour or so it probably took them to put the article together. Given the speed at which this story grew, I think it's understandable that ONE PERSON couldn't respond in time. On the other hand, Paperchase's comments were brash, condescending and little more than a PR nightmare, and that's with a whole team of people at the helm.

Meanwhile, this post doesn't say anything even remotely close to Corporates Bad, Independents Good. It simply says that there is now the power for wrong-doers to be exposed, PARTICULARLY, but not limited to, the large corporations who could previously hide behind legal departments and/or simply shoo the little guys away.

This is not a time for artists to be moaning about corporates. If artists have work that there is a market for they don't need Paperchase.

This comment still has me stumped. Artists have more means than ever to show their work to the world. This also means that small businesses, large corporations and lazy 'designers' alike also have more means to simply pilfer the hard work of others. HiddenLouise didn't NEED Paperchase to obtain her designs, then ignore her when she pointed out the issue. She didn't NEED Paperchase to say outright that they had 'investigated' and wouldn't be withdrawing HER artwork from sale. She also didn't NEED Paperchase to blame her, and Twitter, and the design agency for THEIR lack of action in the first instance. They had the opportunity to handle this appropriately back in November 09. They didn't. They had an opportunity to handle this well when it broke on Twitter. They didn't. They STILL have the opportunity to apologise to the artist for their mishandling of her complaint from the get-go. And still, silence. So please, don't try to paint them as innocent victims in this, whether you think you're out of the 'fishbowl' or not.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Hidden ELoise

Dear writer,

Thank you for your article covering this Paperchase issue.

For your information, the designer of Gathernomoss, Kitty Mason has admitted copying my character and there is an update in my blog : HiddenEloise.com
or directly to her apology here:
http://hidenseek.typepad.com/come_out_come_out/2010/02/the-designer-apologises.html

Many thanks again and all the best!


Bear hugs,

Hidden Eloise xx

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

beth granger

Would econsultancy consider editing the name of the designer in Hidden Eloise's post?

I realise these things are retweeted and there is no way of stopping information once it is on the internet, and it is contrary to free speech to suggest editing. I just worry about individuals being named, companies can look after themselves.

over 6 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

@Beth - Why would we do this? The designer's name is out in the open so there's no reason for it to be edited. Note too that we didn't mention her name in the article.

Kitty's admission of guilt / honesty speaks volumes, and is to be applauded. Saying sorry is as good as it gets. This will blow over now. 

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

beth granger

Because it changes the story which was reported as a corporate scandal.

over 6 years ago

Chris Lake

Chris Lake, CEO at Empirical Proof

@Beth - Stories evolve. That said, the naming of the artist is no big deal. This story has now run about as far as it will go. 

To be clear, as far as I'm concerned the story isn't about Kitty, nor about Paperchase, nor about HiddenEloise, but about the wider reaction, and the reaction to that reaction. Our audience is interested in social media, reputation monitoring and crisis management, rather than one artist ripping off another one.

over 6 years ago

Graham Ruddick

Graham Ruddick, Managing Director at Digital Excellence

I think there is an angle that most people seem to be missing. There is much talk about the power, reach, etc of (in this case) twitter. but in both the major examples quoted it has taken one person with a large following to really kick off the reaction. This is a very traditional model. Single authorative voices have dominated opinion changing media for centuries. Granted the speed of transmission of that opinion has changed, but the core dynamics in these quoted cases are nothing new.

I accept there are other examples where this may be less true or not true at all. But this story is really a story of nothing changed at all.

over 6 years ago

Aliya Zaidi

Aliya Zaidi, - at Mrs Aliya Zaidi

Hi Graham, 

I agree with you, and this model is a variation on The Tipping Point i.e. the idea that some people are more influential than others, and if you distribute a message (be it marketing, or a campaign or anything else) through the influentials you basically reach everyone else for free. 

However, as you point out the speed of distribution has certainly changed, and companies must adapt to the speed with which a shitstorm can emerge. There has to be be a balance between speed and substance of the response. In this case, Paperchase could have used Twitter to say they were looking into this issue, whilst at the same time, choosing to publish a statement later. It was the absence of any response that caused this firestorm to grow out of control. 

It's also worth noting that these channels (blogs, Twitter etc) have empowered ordinary individuals to create content, and thus made it far easier to reach the influentials in the first place. 

over 6 years ago

Alec Kinnear

Alec Kinnear, Creative Director at Foliovision

Chris, I think you are misestimating your audience. Many of us are content creators as well as marketing experts. While we have a professional interest in the firestorm in the twitterverse, we also have one in the story of a middle sized corporate entity boldly ripping off independent artists.

As for Beth, she should go and have a tea party. Stateside. Frankly, she sounds so foolish and inept, she could only be a plant from Paperchase.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Roger Whiting

This is awesome. I'm glad that the internet is empowering individuals to get what is rightfully theirs.

over 6 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Salinas

I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your website?
Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
Maybe you could space it out better?

about 4 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.