From the Annals of Innovation Synergies: “In Taste Test, Ogilvy Cannot Tell the Difference Between Coke and Pepsi”

From the “conflict of interest or innovation synergy?” file.

Kroll Associates claims that Frank Holder had a separate agreement with Farrell Law — the firm represented members of the Lucchese crime family in a famous case in the 1980s — to work on a client account that Holder was contracted to handle for Kroll: Brasil Telecom.


The Bloggers for Dean use payola and stealth marketing to promote their message through “bloggers” who fail to disclose the institutional relationship.

… the committees of at least one presidential candidate and one Senate candidate paid bloggers for unattributed campaign promotions. See Charles Babington & Brian Faler, “A Committee Post and a Pledge Drive,” WASH. POST, Dec. 18, 2004, at A16 (noting payments by John Thune’s Senate campaign to two bloggers who attacked his opponents online); William M. Bulkely & James Bandler, “Dean Campaign Made Payments to Two Bloggers,” WALL ST. J., Jan. 14, 2005, at B2 (detailing payments made by Howard Dean’s presidential campaign to two bloggers in order to receive positive campaign promotions online). Political committees must disclose these disbursements in reports filed with the Federal Election Commission. 2 U.S.C. § 434 (2000 & Supp. IV 2004) –Ellen P. Goodman (see Big Think of the Day: “Stealth Marketing and Editorial Integrity”)

The head Blogger for Dean goes on to head the Berkman Center for the Intel-Inside Society at Harvard University Who funds Berkman, and to the tune of how much? That is none of your business. He also founded RSS Investors. He is “active in Massachussetts politics.”

Harvard seems to encourage innovative faculty moonlighting of this sort (Andre Schleifer).

As chairman of the DCCC, Howard Dean and his blogging armies preside over a losing presidential campaign that relies heavily such “innovative” tactics. And keeps his job. Go figure.

A supermarket CEO is caught trashing the competition in Internet forums under a pseudonym:

His pseudonym, reportedly an anagram of his girlfriend’s name, Deborah, is also an anagram of “bad hero” and “do rehab.” Shareholder confidence is eroded. Do we really pay our CEO to blog like a Rush Limbaugh dittohead? Is this what the guy went to B-school for?

A Costa Rican polling firm lists the Costa Rican presidency — and the Colombian death squad-funding Chiquita Brands — as one of its market research clients. Its polling on the free-trade referendum indicates a technical tie ahead of national voting on the measure.

A polling firm that does not work for the Costa Rican government indicates a significant advantage for NO.

The polling firm that represents the government calls the tight margin of victory for YES with a margin of error approaching zero.


And speaking of institutional conflicts of interest:

Drinks giant in rethink after discovering WPP agency handled Pepsi project.

Source: Media: Asia’s Media & Marketing Newspaper; 11/2/2007, p9-9, 1p

Coca-Cola has severed ties with Ogilvy in Thailand after discovering the WPP agency had been working for arch-rival Pepsi.


Coca-Cola’s flagship brand, Coke Classic, has been removed from Ogilvy’s care, as has Coke Zero, the low-calorie beverage launched in Thailand earlier this year. Ogilvy Thailand chairman Alan Couldrey confirmed the news, describing the decision of an unnamed Ogilvy staffer to handle a project for Pepsi as ‘unfortunate’.

Failure to provide adult supervision:

Couldrey said: ‘It shouldn’t have happened. However, we (Ogilvy) still have Fanta (a Coca-Cola brand), and we’re confident we can keep that relationship healthy.’

I am really fond of Fanta Apple, which you used to be able to get here in Brazil, but is no longer available. So crisp, so refreshing.

Fanta Uva is a favorite of young Fabio — a relative we have nepotistically hired (he receives no salary, we disclose, but does get a suspiciously large number of Xmas presents) as our NMM youth consultant, but his parents — dreading future dental bills — prefer soy-based juice products from a local manufacturer.

Favorite soft drink at the moment: Minalba-brand guaraná, though it is hard to find botecos that stock it. Antarctica’s guaraná and Coca-Cola’s (wretchedly corn-syrupy) Kwat seem to have signed a Treaty of Tordesillos to divide the local market.

The Coa-Cola executive who ran Mexico for six years is turning into a political leper.

The latest ethics flap: The outside audit firm hired to audit the Office of the Presidency and various federal agencies was founded by the top federal auditor — chief beancounter of the ASF (the “Mexican GAO”) — and run by his sons.

It also allegedly audited nonprofits in which Fox family members participated. Including Mrs. Fox, whom Fox hired as his Bill Moyers-Tony Snow communications coordinator.

Nonprofits that allegedly got money from federal agencies.

On which more later.

Coca-Cola deals with agencies on a project by project basis, and Ogilvy had shared advertising duties with M&C Saatchi, Lowe, McCann Erickson and Leo Burnett. The client is now believed to be in discussions with McCann and an unnamed local agency.

If Ogilvy can’t, McCann:

McCann won a sampling project for Coke Zero through Momentum last month. It also picked up Project Red, the activation business for Coke Classic, which covers in-store marketing, roadshows and events. Ogilvy handled retail and activation business for Coca-Cola, but the above-the-line portion of a 360-degree assignment for OgilvyAction had dwindled.

A $6 million failure to provide adult supervision of conflicts of interest innovation synergies:

Sister brands Fanta, Sprite and Minute Maid are outgrowing Coke Classic, and are given a larger proportion of the company’s USdollars 6 million Thai advertising budget.

On Ogilvy, see also

Ogilvy acquires Technorati after Edelman — after involving one of its biggest clients in a stealth marketing payola scandal — drops it.

Revolutionary! Paradigm-shifting! It’s like magic!

Not sure where I am going with this post. I have payola on my mind lately.

There is a joke in here somewhere about how not knowing the difference between Coke and Pepsi is a bit like not knowing the difference between cooperation and competition — or between cartel behavior and “emergent business ecosystems.”

Something something.

You can probably just ignore this fragmentary exercise in the spidering of Jim Moore-style business ecosystems.

Not all brainstorms end up producing lightning-bolts of illuminating insight.




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