TikTok ad agency hostage and Ransoming the ransomers

This week I got stuck into one of the more interesting advertising industry social media incidents that I've seen. As covered here on adland, the story in question is about the graduates from Very Serious Partners who hijacked the TikTok accounts of a number of London's top advertising agencies, with the aim of being given a placement as their ransom.

Shortly after the pair's campaign went up online, I got involved directly. I put together a short reaction video where I offered the guys from Very Serious Partners a placement at my agency, Battenhall, whilst explaining that I had actually taken their own TikTok account hostage too. I ransomed the ransomers. 

This all took place on Wednesday evening and in the time that passed since, I have been tracking each of the ad agencies' TikTok accounts that were involved, to understand how this impacted their brands and exactly how they reacted. 

The below is an excerpt from my analysis which is being published on The Social Media Report this Sunday evening. Subscribe to receive the analysis in full here.


Some agencies played ball, most didn’t. Only VCCP responded publicly to Alex and Oli’s tweets. Most engagement came from social media and PR agencies it seemed. 


I saw on Wednesday that Media Monks was one of the agencies that Alex and Oli had taken a TikTok account for, and now the https://www.tiktok.com/@mediamonks TikTok account doesn’t exist, instead there’s one named https://www.tiktok.com/@mediamonks_x_tt. Perhaps a stern letter was sent? Or maybe a job offer’s in the post? 


Then the account for agency Who Wot Why, https://www.tiktok.com/@whowhotwhy, which appears in the bottom left hand side of Alex and Oli’s videos, is now stripped of content and has no information relating to the cybersquatting stunt. 


Read the full article in The Social Media Report, the weekly newsletter and blog about the intersection of social media and society. You can subscribe here.

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