Ogilvy London Hijacked

The viral advertising agency ASABAILEY has placed a well-aimed left hook on the chin of O&M, by scooping up http://www.ogilvymather.co.uk for £4.95.

(Read more!)

The question is, is this underhanded, or a cheap attack from the viral team, or is O&M and other Ad Goliaths, fair game for a stunt such as this? What is the team trying to prove? If it is to make a big established ad agencies look outdated – it worked. However you look at it, it's an underdogs blow to a massive advertising establishment, that by its nature, and as the ad states, should know how to protect its brand.

As its been proven before, it can only take a couple of shareholders to spot incompetence, to call in to question a companies position. After all this one does proclaim to manage its clients brands throughout 360 degrees.

But this unfortunately does not seem to apply here. What was the digital department doing, too many Canary Warf shopping trips no doubt - but the hard question is, does no one care enough to check these things? These questions are quite fundamental; as this really is a simple hole, that could cost the agency a great deal of credibility, and it could have been avoided for the cost of a tall Latté.

This stunt could certainly look like a simple jibe, but at its heart is the serious debate about the way the big, and in this case, made to look old agencies are looking after clients’ modern day brands. The lesson is simple and clear, check your own URL and protects your brand on and offline, for the cost of a couple of domain names you could save your business a whole load of trouble.

LPC24
update: Seems that ASABAILEY forgot they ever posted here, as they now spam everyone who wrote about this while forgetting adland had the first post. See this update here for story and links. /Dabitch

Comments (35)

  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    HAHAHAAHAAAAAAAA! *clap clap clap* That's awesome! Great post! *wipes tears from eyes* Great stunt.

    Nov 06, 2004
  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    lpc24 did you have anything to do with this? I wanna high-five everyone involved. C'mere! *Highfive*

    Nov 06, 2004
  • Andreas-Udd's picture
    Andreas-Udd

    Hang down your head, OG-IL-VY
    Hang down your head and cry
    Hang down your head, OG-IL-VY
    Poor boy, you

    Nov 06, 2004
  • lpc24's picture
    lpc24

    Who me! (Whistles and looks all innocent)

    Nov 06, 2004
  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    I'll buy you a pint of the good stuff for that you cheeky b'stard. Made me laugh out loud.

    Nov 06, 2004
  • lpc24's picture
    lpc24

    It's a pint of Guinness if you please my lady...

    Nov 06, 2004
  • deeped's picture
    deeped

    Isn't this a badlander too? These tags on toes I reckon have been up before... but hey, I couldn't find the link :)

    Nov 06, 2004
  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    Naturally, I did say "the good stuff". ;) Barman.. make that two please!

    Nov 06, 2004
  • lpc24's picture
    lpc24

    Not t o look a noob but what's a badlander? anyone?

    Nov 06, 2004
  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    He's refering to the dupliclaim twin (or triplet or more) ads in Badland. There was a case of two ads using the toe-tag visual with similar headlines and core ideas. This ain't a Badlander since the idea is the domain hijack, and the toe-tag is just executional dressing on top rather than the core concept. Could've been a headstone, or whatever.

    Nov 06, 2004
  • blabla's picture
    blabla

    How on earth does on FORGET to renew a domain!??? Ogilvy must have a lot of red tape to get through if a simple mouseclick+buy another year can't be done in time. This makes them look so bad.
    I'll have a pint too, please!

    By the way the usual paper press, like Campaign, have they mentioned this yet?

    Nov 07, 2004
  • lpc24's picture
    lpc24

    The team only let it out on Saturday afternoon - when they showed it me, they say they did it at the weekend, to at least get 48 hours out of it before the lawyers

    Nov 08, 2004
  • CopyWhore's picture
    CopyWhore

    I'm not sure I'm impressed; seems ASABAILEY has taken advantage of a bureaucratic SNAFU, rather than hit at the agency where it really counts...at the work itself...

    But I'll give 'em credit for the sheer ballsyness of the hijacking...

    Nov 08, 2004
  • blabla's picture
    blabla

    Still, this particular instance of SNAFU makes it funny.. I never did laugh at domain hijacks before, but in the case where a viral-agency snaps up the red braces precious name it's just too ironic. Your point about oudoing themworkwise still stands though, now you'll have to produce 100% great campaigns ASABAILEY.... Which from what I have seen, they haven't done yet.

    How could they let their domain slip like that? It's 2004, and you can buy domains for ten years at a time these days. Double-u Tee Eff Ogilvy!?

    Nov 08, 2004
  • suddenwaffle's picture
    suddenwaffle

    Funny on one hand, I guess, in the ad world. But if I was a client I'd think it was just a sophomoric prank. I wouldn't give it much beyond a passing smirk before retyping the correct address. Multi-million dollar business it a lot more than a lucky break or clever joke. And I'm not so sure the act of this hijacking really does prove it's point. It brings up too many fundamental questions for me...like; did they really have that much time on their hands to rush and buy up the domain...and did they take away time from their real client's business? In the end, it probably just reinforces Ogilvy's position--who could just easily counter that they're much too busy solving their client's problems than trying to defend their own site from every snafu imaginable. Or they do even better and not even acknowledge it, as is the usual accepted response to hijacking. Witty though.

    Nov 08, 2004
  • lpc24's picture
    lpc24

    Have you taken a look at this little ditty that if figures are to go by, it has
    already entered the viral hall of fame. Shame there was not a real brand attached,
    its a stunt for their production co mrandmrs take a look here
    Cunning stunt
    From what they say on the site, it has been seen by over 5 million users in
    it's first month, and the agency is still very young, only out the box this
    year - so give em a chance. But in principle I agree after this little O&M
    stunt the work that comes out of this new little hot shop better be damn white
    hot in my book, as they are sure making a name for themselves, that will need
    to be lived up to. I also find the SEGA stuff a bit juvenile but then - it is
    aimed at football heads.

    Nov 08, 2004
  • blabla's picture
    blabla

    Nitpicks: 1) The correct address? The co.uk is the correct address, here's yahoos cache of what it looked like last week. 2) Time on their hands to rush up and buy the domain? There are domain-resellers that watch and grab domains for you out there, they probably created a watchlist of all old school agencies which took them all of ten minutes and paid out big now that Ogilvy forgot to renew.

    I'm really curious to what Ogilvy might do in return, they can't just ignore it. I hope they are more creative than that!

    Nov 09, 2004
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    People in glasshouses? Yes indeed!

    Go to ASABAILEY.COM and all you'll see is a link to VIRALADVERTISINGAGENCY.COM...

    Yet they failed to snag the much more obvious VIRALADAGENCY.COM when it wasn't renewed.

    Big mistake!

    Nov 09, 2004
  • blabla's picture
    blabla

    I hearby nominate this thread to the funniest post on AdLand 2004.

    Hahahahahaha! Good one! I kiss you!! More pints all around!

    Nov 09, 2004
  • caffeinegoddess's picture
    caffeinegoddess

    hahahahahah! This is amusing. Nice of you guys to actually link it to viraladvertisingagency.com.

    Does anyone know if O&M actually knows about this yet?

    Nov 09, 2004
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    Nice of us? Oh dear. That wasn't the intention at all. The link has now been removed ;-)

    Nov 09, 2004
  • lpc24's picture
    lpc24

    Just to put this one right.
    Some posts have questioned the attack by the viral team as being misguided
    as O&M use Ogilvy as its worldwide brand, OK fine, but can any one explain
    this then...
    http://www.ogilvymather.nl
    Seems to me that those who are saying otherwise such as the misinformed netimperative.com
    should do a bit more research before jumping in with their comments. The legend
    lives on.

    LPC24

    Nov 11, 2004
  • lpc24's picture
    lpc24

    Oh no, www.netimperative.co.uk
    I have posted a full update to dabitch. I'll leve it up to her to release the
    next episode in this mad crazy game.

    Nov 11, 2004
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    Has anyone else noticed that ASABAILEY have owned asabailey.com since Dec 2003, but they only bothered to secure the local variant asabailey.co.uk themselves on the very same day they hijacked oglivymather.co.uk?

    whois lookups and a few thoughts from myself posted here:
    http://www.screenpages.com/archives/000110.html

    Nov 11, 2004
  • lpc24's picture
    lpc24

    HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA hahaha!

    Nice

    Oh what DNS fun we have

    Nov 11, 2004
  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    you are on the stage and have the microphone!. Go on, do "wherever I lay my hat is my home"! Go on!

    Nov 11, 2004
  • AnonymousCoward's picture
    AnonymousCoward (not verified)

    awwww, I wanted it to be a surprise

    ;o)

    Nov 12, 2004
  • Dabitch's picture
    Dabitch

    drats.. sorry. Didn't mean to give the punchline away. ;))

    Nov 12, 2004
  • deeped's picture
    deeped

    Man, this badlandish is hard to understand sometimes...

    Nov 14, 2004
  • deeped's picture
    deeped

    Well. I don't think so. If Ogilvy is doing brand-work for a client their primary target should be "secure all the domains" and when making an ass out of themselves letting go of their own, and in a topdom as co.uk I think there's no win for O&M.

    I can't see what point to be proven more than ASABAILEY is making big bucks on the PR this hijacking-stunt is making.

    But of course: I dislike domainhijacking too. And I could think out a couple of better ways to make the PR... but not today. It's freaking Sunday and I'm still in bed.

    Nov 14, 2004

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