ASABAILEY Ogilvy stunt jumps the shark twice over

Adgrunt extraordinaire Caffeinegodess has like so many other ad bloggers, gotten a self promotional email from ASABAILEY.COM.

They are flogging their prank the Ogilvy hijack yet again, this time because they managed to get an interview in PR Week. It looks like they're milking this stunt for ten times more than it's worth.
Seems ASABAILEY can't tell their arse from their elbow though, even online which should be their forté as Caffeinegoddess noted that they brag in the interview about their superior online placing skills saying "How did we get the Ogilvy & Mather out? We got someone independent to do it for us. They sent it to Ad Rants and blablabla.

Right. It's plain to see that Cup of Java , TextURL , Researcher and a bunch more ad obsessed blogs with ad obsessed readers covered it on November 6, Adrants covered it Sunday the 7th.

Brandon at TextURL understands how things work around here (anyone can stand on the soapbox and share some news) noted that the bigger cajones lies in their way of being the first to write about it here. Seems they forget that they did, how independent!

"by posting meta-commentary on their own stunt, ASA was able to control the initial seed and all further commentary on their stunt. To frame the reactions, and in so doing, remove some of the WTF-factor and potential backlash. Some may see this as perhaps more 'underhanded' than the stunt."


lpc24 who posted the prior articles here, is a freelance writer who helps write for ASABAILEY.

When NetImperative (google cache of article) wrote

" small agencies really have to start taking pops at large agencies with stunts like this? What does it say about an agency's work if its best advert is pointing the finger at someone else, let alone a global player in the media and communications businesses?"

ASABAILEY responded by using their l33t domain buying skillz again, and swooping up the domain name, announcing their second prank here to the bored yawns of adgrunts who had moved on to looking at shiny objects elsewhere.
Funny as it was the first time it didn't need an encore, like fart bags it's just not as funny the second time, and it just seems mean. Screenpages said it best:

By and large, web users navigate by search engine, not domain (for years, '' has been one of the top 100 search queries).
Further, grabbing a similar domain name actually makes any attempt to usurp the original more vulnerable if it contains a trademarked name (as the company has the right and the means to simply go about taking it from you).

So, funny may be, but clever it is not. In fact, the main beneficiaries of this latest online tussle appear to be providers of domain names.


Oh how right they were as Jack Cheng swooped up and it all started to get a bit silly.

So let's see, what have ASABAILEY acheived?

They have probably pissed off what was a likely client in 'napping the Ogilvy name.
Annoyed the ad bloggers that posted about the stunt first by forgetting they did and spamming them to post more about it. Check.
Become famous with a stunt that was, as MarketingVox pointed out, a gag that had been done before and better when Rob Manuel of nicked Price Waterhouse Cooper new name.

Looks like ASA will have to stick to announcing their gags on the paid-for-pages viral and ad blogs in the future, hot tip guys I hear Fark accepts paid-for-placements too.
The cherry on top would be if ASABAILEY awarded themselves a Viral Award for the whole shebang, their Principal Partner Creative Director Ben Wheatley is on the jury - so why not, right? Who bets me a pint that this will happen?

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Neo's picture


You said you understood online? Doesn't look like it, I'll take Ogilvy & Mather instead, thanks. Now go do some actual viral work instead, CP&B are whipping your ass.

slydecix's picture

Sheesh, now it's just getting out of hand. Makes me wonder though... how do great viral campaigns get seeded? Unless the agency does the paid-for-placement thing or someone within the agency has a blog that announces it (I wish this would happen more) isn't it all - like posting to video game forums in the case of W+K's Sega Beta-7 campaign - just some for of spamming or another?

Neo's picture

The most creative stunt in this whole thing was Jacks ;))

Seeded? Depends. Lycos Viral Chart, paid for placements on certain adblogs like ttr2, email lists like adlist and the viralchart - if the agency has balls enough they could post it here with credits, I share funny links with my friends. Do they post here Dabitch?

Dabitch's picture

Yep they do, but you nailed one of the most common problems with their posts right there - they forget that the advertising crowd here would like to see credits. ;) Never approved any posts to BETA-7 as they were all just a single line "beta tester gets sick from playing game" and the link. So like slydecix (is that you Jack? Hello!) said, it's more like spamming in forums. Years ago the RubberBurner 'viral' was launched by the creatives emailing all their friends, and before they could say "viral" it ended up on (a page listing lame pages). Like you Neo, people share funny links - a lot of virals are simply not that funny/good IMHO.

I forgot to add a link to the post. In yet another twist from Screenhead: ASABAILEY.COM, Hijacked!

How quickly the jackers become the jackees. ASABAILEY, they of the Ogilvy London hijacking on Saturday, have apparently had their own url jacked by,who are evidently much tighter with Satan than themselves.
slydecix's picture

Yeah! Thanks for the mention :)

AnonymousCoward's picture

Will he never learn?(Asa) All he's doing is turning potential clients away. Still he's been doing this (Viral thingy!) for six months so he'll be getting bored soon and getting ready to catch the next band-wagon...Tony Blair needs some new spin guru's I think!

amoeba's picture

Right. Maybe they'll start a "blog" it's all the rage I hear.

Amazingly badly handled. Did they set out to cause a blowback? I wouldn't hire them if they were the last agency on earth.

amoeba's picture

I find it rather odd that NetImperative seems to have lost the post where they are critical to ASABAILEY This is all I found. Good thing you got the google cache link Dabitch. Anyone care to guess what is up with that?

caffeinegoddess's picture

"...people share funny links - a lot of virals are simply not that funny/good IMHO."

And that is exactly the reason it ends up becoming spam. If it's not interesting enough, people don't give a rat's arse about it- plain and simple. Just because "viral" is hot right now, it doesn't mean it's always the right thing to do. Especially if you don't have a good idea behind it. And a lot of them out there don't.

Remember folks, it's all about the idea.

caffeinegoddess's picture

Hmmm. Even more bizarre, that link you posted to states this :
"The domain stunt was first broken on the online marketing blog"

Something is fishy with that...even on MarketingVox, the post was up November 7th, a day after it was on AdLand. Sounds like they have no idea what is going on.

Beyond that, all their mistakes are just proving the point that they aren't trying to make- show that it's not worthwhile. All a part of why it's easy to do a bad viral and harder to do a really good one.

deeped's picture

How come that lpc24 is silent? Where this one of the spamming?

kamari's picture

CopyWhore and Suddenwaffle are my new heroes - right on the money when they first saw it.

brandonbarr's picture

Good post. Obviously I was wrong when I said I thought they might control the backlash. :P

Anyway, this has gone from great stunt to speed bump on the road to burnout in two weeks. They're definitely getting my business.

AnonymousCoward's picture

We (MarketingVOX) saw it first on Adland, and if I'm not mistaken, we credited it on the first line. So we definitely didn't break the story.

One thing to note about these new trade rags-cum-blogs is that we often change the dates of posts in order to suit publishing system needs. For instance, in order for the email newsletter scraper to get the right time period of posts for a Monday issue, Friday afternoon stories will sometimes be retroactively given Sunday evening timestamps, just to trick the system. This isn't the case with this one, though. We were caught on our heels. I bring this up because Adrants or others mentioned here may indeed (or may not) have had it prior to the 7th, despite the apparent date.

On a personal note, I'm not particularly offended by the Asa stunt. Even though it is a bit stale. Having worked for a WPP firm, I kinda thought it was funny.

I do think the whole national domain name thing is a bit much. I've always had the conceit that us internet guys weren't as beholden to national regimes.


caffeinegoddess's picture

Yeah, well that time stamp changeablility is true. And it wasn't a jab directed at MarketingVox (or anyone really) but the link I was speaking of was Net Imperative.

Considering the fact that I had emailed Bailey regarding where their "news" was indeed first posted, and received a reply that yes it was wrong to give credit to another blog besides AdLand and they would make the correction- and the fact that it has yet to be done in their PRWeekly interview...I think that is a good indication of something fishy is going on, to me at least.

Dabitch's picture

What's this "we" thing? The royal one? ;)
One thing to note about these new trade rags-cum-blogs is that we often change the dates of posts in. we don't, you might. ;)) But then again we don't have an email system to trick, like "MarketingVox" do it for the mailinglist problems you described. You might want someone to have a look at the code on that, sounds like it could be easily solved without changing dates. ;) And oh yeah, MarketingVOX does credit by writing "adland: (linked headline)."