Monthly Archives: April 2010

Lebedev officially takes the helm at The Indy

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Why Twitter doesn’t matter at all (in this election)

At the beginning of the campaign we weren’t really sure, but by last night it was blindly clear. Twitter, and social media generally, in this election campaign do not matter – not in the wider scheme of things at least.

The blizzard of tweets last night, 154,342 in all (up on the second debate but down on the first) were in the main anti Cameron in nature– Tweetminister’s sentiment score had it as Clegg 3.13 (-0.5), Brown 2.99 (-0.15), Cameron 2.96 (-0.22) #leadersdebate.

Clegg was the clear winner on Twitter and on Facebook and Brown it appeared to be agreed had done better. It was Clegg one; Brown two; and Cameron three.

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TV election debating doesn’t get tougher than this!

Forget Dimbleby, John Torode and Gregg the Veg
should chair tonight’s debate.

Though Gregg
‘if-I-eat-one-more-potato-I’ll-turn-into-one’ Wallace’s distinctly
over-dramatic turn of phrase grates every time I watch Masterchef, it would be more
than appropriate if he piped up with it come 8.30pm tonight.

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When email gets political

There can be no
doubt Barack Obama rewrote the rulebook with his use of digital marketing
during the last US election. Catalysed by this success the UK’s political
parties have jumped aboard the bandwagon for the 2010 general election.

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Editor’s blog: ‘My Peppa Pig hell’ by Marnie Gwyther, aged 11 months

Yesterday I was forced to do a photo-op with Yvette Cooper (but not Peppa Pig). I cried.

The first thing you’ll probably want to know is why haven’t politicians learned the first rule of campaign photo opportunities – never go anywhere near small kids like me. Or animals. There are known knowns and known knowns when it comes to this activity. And anyway, baby-kissing during elections is sooo 20th century.

It all started on Monday when The Parents get a text from the nursery informing them that Peppa Pig was going to be putting in an appearance together with a couple of senior government ministers – and would they mind us lot being snapped by the paps? (Peppa Pig – as if! Some out-of-work actor dressed up in a pink porcine suit, more like).

Anyway, so yesterday morning we’re all sitting there in a circle, freshly scrubbed, having been carefully vetted for nasty smells in the strides. And in they all march in search of some cheap photo opportunity on safe ground.

Then we hear a rumour that due to copyright issues and a disagreement with the owners of the rights, Peppa won’t be appearing after all. ‘Lol’, I muttered to my mate Septimus (yes, really): ‘The Sun will go to town on this’. (I was right – ‘Pig Deserts Sinking Ship – I’m sick of all their porkies’ was today’s front-page splash.)

So, in Peppa’s absence, the next thing I know I’ve been carried from the playpen outside and plonked down at a table next to these two strange, badly-dressed women with dubious broad smiles. Why they chose me, God knows. I’m a party-loving girl like the best of them, but only have two teeth and am bald as a budgie. Not Pampers ad material.

What with all this prodding and false bonhomie, it wasn’t long before I decided it was time to give the assembled snappers and hacks a few home truths. Can you blame me? Nobody contacted my agent – what about my share of royalties and repeat fees? You can’t just use a kid like this.

The next thing I know, all hell has broken loose and I’m on page 3 of the Evening Standard with the caption. ‘Crying shame: it was every politician’s worst nightmare as Labour MPs Tessa Jowell and Yvette Cooper did their best to comfort a baby on the campaign trail in Waterloo today. But sadly for the two women, it all ended in tears’. Take a look. Those subs at Associated never gave NuLabour an even break at the best of times, and the gloves are really off now.

They say politics has been reduced to a level of juvenile banality, and I have to say I agree. Amid all this Punch and Judy nonsense with the TV debates, just where is the proper discussion about family tax credits, or the reduction in the value of nursery vouchers for higher rate taxpayers? Never mind whether the contagion currently spreading outwards from Greece threatens next Portugal and, eventually, the fiscal stability of the whole EU .

And, at the same time, I’m telling you I’m seriously rethinking my ambition to get a job at Goldman Sachs when I graduate in 2032. Letting a kid down with a Peppa Pig no-show is one thing. But, the ethics of market-making notwithstanding, how on earth you can secretly go short against ‘sh*tty’ mortgage-related securities, when simultaneously flogging them to valued customers, is anyone’s guess. Take it from an 11-month-old who knows a Number Two when she sees one.

Read more on Editor’s blog: ‘My Peppa Pig hell’ by Marnie Gwyther, aged 11 months…

Would your business win in the Dragon’s Den?

The bear-pit for budding entrepreneurs returns to TV next week, a new series of Dragon’s Den.

Let’s imagine a couple of scenarios from the businesses of sellers and buyers of media space, to see how they might stand-up to the intense scrutiny of the Dragons.

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Are some people in advertising really dumb (aka the case of Charlie Brooker + M&C Saatchi)?

I only just saw this, but now I have I have to ask the above question after it emerged that the Tories, ahem, second ad agency of the election M&C Saatchi asked Guardian writer, and the world’s second favourite *misanthrope, Charlie Brooker to appear in an ad.

This happened the other day, he tweeted about it and it has to be repeated due to the special interest we take around here regarding advertising and the election (did I miss a word out there?).

Read more on Are some people in advertising really dumb (aka the case of Charlie Brooker + M&C Saatchi)?…

Facebook isn’t a political weapon unless you love Rage Against the Machine.

Despite the claims by the digital industry (hyped
up as ever, based on
quantity not quality) I have to doubt that social networking is really
going to
swing many votes for the main parties. Well with one possible exception –
We
got Rage Against the Machine to #1, we can get the Lib Dems into #10!

Read more on Facebook isn’t a political weapon unless you love Rage Against the Machine….

It’s political correctness gone mad, no this time it really is

What do you think of the latest Labour poster, inspired by one of the few good lines by Gordon Brown during yesterday’s leaders debate?

You may, like me, find it rather funny, emit a chuckle then carry on with your day.

But the Tories were last night attempting a smear job on Labour claiming that the ad is offensive to people in wheelchairs.

Are they that out of touch that they’ve never seen Little Britain? Or is something else going on here?

Veteran CCHQ spinner Henry Macrory led the charge and others followed in condemning the ad. Now whileMacrory’s outrage may be genuine – as he’s not exactly in the Little Britain demographic – I’m pretty sure most of the ire is just pure mischief-making.

PerhapsTeam Daveis also worried that Labourhas learntits lesson after the Gene Hunt poster mega-fail. Namelythatusing aspirational characters in attack ads is stupid beyond belief.

Read more on It’s political correctness gone mad, no this time it really is…