Diary: Barry Scott makes a real mess with blog posting

Memo to marketers: mess with blogs at your peril. Tom Coates, who works at Yahoo! and blogs on www.plasticbag.org, recently wrote a post about his father, whom he hasn't spoken to in 28 years.

One reply, from "Barry", left a sympathetic message offering support.

Very nice of him, you might think. Except "Barry" was in fact Barry Scott, the fictitious character in the Cillit Bang ads, and the message had come from Cillit Bang's own blog.

Coates was understandably a bit pissed off, calling the post: "Revolting, corrupt, cynical, disgusting, sick and dishonourable." Numerous examples of other messages received from "Barry Scott" flooded into his site from other bloggers.

Coates tracked the IP address for the post back to Young & Rubicam, but no-one there, nor at JWT (Cillit Bang's agency), admitted having anything to do with it. Reckitt Benckiser eventually apologised, although it said the post was not endorsed by either the company or the agencies. We're still not sure who did write it, but it definitely was not Barry Scott.

- Got a diary story? E-mail us at campaign@haynet.com or call (020) 8267 4656.

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