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Thursday, March 13, 2008

Poison Pens 2: Return of the fake blog

Some of you may recall a little storm in the Irish blogosphere (or a tea cup, you decide) earlier this month.

Shane Hegarty at the Irish Times spotted how a PR firm trying to peddle salty snacks had come up with the wheeze of creating a fake blog about Irish celebs.

Shane is not the poison pen here. He is a good journalist and this was good, albeit not earth-shattering, investigation.

Actual Irish bloggers soon stormed the site - justnutsabout - and deluged it in comments ranging from the outraged ("You fakes!") to the surreally hilarious (random lengthy quotes from The Bible.)

The PR bunnies panicked, deleted all the nasty comments, and let the issue die down for a week or so. Then started spinning again. After all, where there's a will (and a retainer cheque) there's a way.

And there's usually also a pet journalist who owes you a favour or a stupid one incapable of doing the basic research, like Shane did, and identifying blatant PR fluff.

Cue The Star, and Kathryn Rogers today. The top half of page thirteen (no linky sadly - their website doesn't work) features a full half-page of breathless puff for - you guessed it - justnutsabout.

The justification for this nonsense? There isn't any, nor any attempt at any. Since there is no linky, I intend to quote extensively from this poison pen:

"HOT Irish model Glenda Gilson has inspired a range of wacky Benda with Glenda goodies. The unofficial gear includes pink Glenda T-shirts, bags, badges, stickers and drinks coasters.
The items all bear the legend: Just been on a benda with Glenda. Limited edition Glenda fan-packs are available for free from the site justnutsabout.com.
'We sent her some fan-packs and she thought it was very funny,' said a spokesman...."

And so on, for another hundred words.

Now, this is pure poison penning. There's no mention that this is a PR website aimed at selling snack products (bad-for-you, salty products, too.) There's no attempt to verify anything with Glenda Gilson, who this PR firm are blatantly piggybacking their site on.

In fact, the entire article is basically ripped from a press release, and illustrated with a file pic of the aforementioned model into which a 'Benda with Glenda' t-shirt has been badly photoshopped.

I hope your journalistic integrity was worth all those salty snacks, Ms Rogers. The Irish Star - justnutsabout press releases.

I'd go posting the entire Koran on the comments section of the fake blog if I could, but the cowards have removed the site's comments facility.


Twenty Major said...

Shane Hegarty, dude.

Not sure we should expect any more from The Star though.

JC Skinner said...

Will correct immediately. Cheers 20.

Random Roger's other brother, Stan said...

I don't know if you can just copy and paste the Koran ( some crazy shit in that koran)

Green Ink said...

Seriously, I hope Glenda's management hang them by the, eh, nuts. If they're not already in on it and getting "unofficial" royalties.

Sanjay said...

Some crazy shit in that Poison pens. all the best.

Pens said...

how come you always remove my comments? im always checking if you'll reply but they are always deleted =[

JC Skinner said...

Because I don't permit advertising or corporate spam in the comments.