Currys got this so wrong. Tesco got it so right.

Currys & Tesco

We're living in pretty cool times. We've invented duster socks for cats. Science has blessed us with bacon-scented cologne. Even advertising's started to move with the times - Twitter's new TV tie-in represents some serious joined up thinking. I'm a big fan of the clever remarketing Facebook's now offering via its FBX platform (there's some golden potential for Social Commerce in them there hills).

So, when I see dumbo, dumb-ass, dum-dum advertising like the Currys Adwords example below, I just despair:

Currys advert

First, I was served this ad in early June, a massive 82 days until the next bank holiday (thanks for reminding me - guh). Secondly, it's Officejet, folks. Capital O. Like you might find in the sentence: "Oliver worked on the Currys account but now flips burgers for a living." Thirdly, how much is it again? "xxx"? I'm not sure I can stretch to that much. And finally, perhaps worst of all, the link leads to a search results page on the Currys website which doesn't even feature the HP printer in question. Or, in fact, any printer.

Ah well. Balls-ups happen (although it doesn't take a genius to proof-read an ad and set it to expire). But that's


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Competitions are officially worthless

Competitions are officially worthless

We'll keep this one short but sweet. In fact, you only really need to read the quote in bold below. It's a biggie. So, here we go...

We had a fascinating meeting with the Marketing Director of a consumer goods giant this morning. It would be wrong to name names, but this company's high up in the Forbes Global 2000, they're a household name brand. And one line struck us hard. It should strike you hard, too:

"We need to stop doing competitions. They're worthless to us. We need to prove that the fans we're attracting to our Facebook page are willing to invest in our brand."

Take a second to let that sink in, because it's a massive, unspoken truth. Competitions might seem to work, you might collect umpteen new 'Likes', you might gather god-knows-how-many email addresses. But all you're actually doing is identifying people who want something for nothing - the very people, in fact, you should be actively eradicating from your marketing databases.

It's a really bold move from this brand, and we're delighted to be helping them explore ways of growing a real community of passionate advocates who actually want to buy their products. Because that's


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'Customer' reviews are often fake. Social advocacy NEVER is.

Online reviews mean nothing. Social advocacy is everything.

Never move house. Just don't do it. You pay a fortune to own the same old stuff in a different place. And then, to cap it off, your better half decides that you need a new washing machine when everyone knows it's perfectly adequate just to take your smalls down to a riverbank and whack them with a stick.

Yeah, I'm feeling the pinch.

Anyway... buying a washing machine. With a million online shops and a trillion online 'customer' reviews, you'd have thought picking a brand, model and retailer would be a doddle. Well, guess what? It ain't. And that's mainly because you just can't trust what you read in online reviews anymore - why else would one retailer have 59 negative reviews on ciao.co.uk with barely any positives, but almost exactly the opposite on Google seller reviews?

The problem is: online reviews are so scammed by businesses hyping themselves and slating their rivals that it's next to impossible to figure out what's a genuine, balanced perspective from a real consumer and what's 'seed content' or 'tactical interference'.

Everyone really is a critic... including the shops themselves.

Luckily, the one thing you just can't fix is social advocacy


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Is LinkedIn about to become the Amazon for business?

LinkedIn world First

Since its launch 10 years ago, LinkedIn has become the world's leading social network for business and recruitment. More recently, it's evolved into a powerhouse content publisher, hosting bespoke content from the likes of Barack Obama and Richard Branson.

But, as of next week, LinkedIn is set to become a fully-fledged sales channel.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg predicted that social commerce - selling things through social networks - was about "to blow up". Now buyapowa, the people who have helped B2C brands like Sony, Pepsi and Robbie Williams run social commerce channels in Facebook, are about to take the phenomenon to the B2B market, unlocking the massive potential of LinkedIn by powering the site's first ever social commerce campaign for Clarion Events - the UK's largest independent events organiser.

Clarion Events, will be offering professionals in the gaming industry the chance to buy tickets to the GiGse and Social Casino Summit events in San Francisco next month. Customers will be able to flex the power of their LinkedIn networks and the site's uniquely active groups to invite other professionals to join them in buying tickets - and the more people who buy, the better the price will become for everyone.

The


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Putting On The Brits: Why Brands Rode The Gravy-Train Last Night

Brits and Brands

Looks like Damien Hirst may have used some of our favourites on the #BRITs2013 award! twitpic.com/c5f6nr

— Dulux (@duluxuk) February 20, 2013

If you've been anywhere near Facebook or Twitter in the past 24 hours, you'll have seen lots of this: brands casually mentioning The Brit Awards, or posting pictures of their products dressed up as pop stars, awards or anything 'Britsy'. And it wasn't just last night that this kind of thing went on. There were similar tidal waves of products arranged into heart shapes for Valentine's Day, brands 'celebrating' the DVD release of 'Skyfall' (though they had Sweet MI6 to do with the movie) and endless random Superbowl posts - often saying something along the lines of "We don't understand it either, but... yay! Exciting!"

These posts are arguably there for two reasons. Ostensibly, they form an association between the product and an event everyone's talking about (official sponsorship seems so superfluous in the social age) - but, when all your rival brands are playing the same game then... meh, not so much. No, the real reason behind posts like these is that they garner lots of 'Likes', shares and comments on Facebook and retweets, replies and


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