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Ogilvy London Hijacked

The viral advertising agency ASABAILEY has placed a well-aimed left hook on the chin of O&M, by scooping up https://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 If it is to make a big established ad agencies look outdated – it worked.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.

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

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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lpc24's picture



Oh what DNS fun we have

blabla's picture

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!

AnonymousCoward's picture

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!

blabla's picture

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

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

caffeinegoddess's picture

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?

AnonymousCoward's picture

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

lpc24's picture

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...
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's picture

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.

AnonymousCoward's picture

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:

lpc24's picture

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.

AnonymousCoward's picture
Dabitch's picture

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

Dabitch's picture

Clickable link to the Getty Image that timireland mentions above.

AnonymousCoward's picture

awwww, I wanted it to be a surprise


Dabitch's picture

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

slydecix's picture

They also forgot about http://www.viraladvertisingagency.co.uk

No way I'm gonna let this thing die anytime soon :)

deeped's picture

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

deeped's picture

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.

Dabitch's picture

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

caffeinegoddess's picture

That is absolutely beaaaautiful!

Dabitch's picture

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

deeped's picture

Oh my... :)

Andreas-Udd's picture

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

lpc24's picture

Who me! (Whistles and looks all innocent)

Dabitch's picture

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

lpc24's picture

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

deeped's picture

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

Dabitch's picture

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

lpc24's picture

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

Dabitch's picture

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.

blabla's picture

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?

lpc24's picture

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

CopyWhore's picture

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...

blabla's picture

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!?

suddenwaffle's picture

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.