Entries tagged with “bloggers”.
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Tuesday 19th November 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
The brief to address trendtalk #7 at the Plascon Auditorium last week led to three speakers in the Cape Town design industry approach design trendspotting from three very different perspectives, addressing the theme of ’Reflections on the Future’. Attending the Bloggers’ evening at the new I ♥ my Laundry branch on Bree Street last night, I saw how their bold use of orange is spot on trend, a colour they already chose when they opened on Buitengracht Street 19 months ago. Orange was described as a bright and cheerful colour which does not overwhelm and which works well in ‘dark moody spaces’.
#trendtalk was conceptualised by Lauren Shantall of Inhouse Brand Architects, and four design and decor trend talks are held in the Cape Town city centre per year.
1. Laurence Brick, co-founder of Loads of Living, spoke mainly about trends in interior home design, reflecting that consumers evolve, and feed each other with creative ideas, mainly seen on Social Media:
* The kitchen is the new lounge, where one entertains friends and gathers as a family. The design of the kitchen matches the artisanal fresh food which is on trend.
* Textiles chosen for interiors have texture, and reflect honesty and integrity in how they are made.
* Lighting has become very industrial and sculptural, ‘as good as art‘, with bare (more…)
Tuesday 1st October 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
One of the changes New Media Publishing has introduced for Eat Out‘s 2014 edition is that its printed Restaurant Guide will only list 500 restaurants, as opposed to 1100 last year. The method of selecting the included restaurants has changed too.
The process commenced with Eat Out announcing that it was looking for applications from restaurants to be included in the 2014 Eat Out Guide, such applications closing on 30 June. It described the application process as follows: ‘This call to action turns up the heat and shifts the onus onto the restaurant to put themselves forward in a simple process‘. The restaurants that wanted to be considered for inclusion had to complete a (more…)
Monday 23rd September 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Cape Town Tourism is hosting three bloggers over a three week period, as a repeat of the 2012 Travel Blogger visit, attempting to reach international and domestic travelers and to encourage them to visit Cape Town. This campaign failed to achieve its goal in 2012, and the new campaign could follow the same route!
We were very critical of the visit by the four bloggers last year, after the New York Times questioned the ethics of travel blogging, and focused its article on Keith Jenkins, the Velvet Escape blogger who led the Blogger team coming to Cape Town last year. The Bloggers were seen to have blogged little before, during, and after their visit to Cape Town, and to have little credibility in not declaring that their visits were sponsored by Cape Town Tourism and its members, and that there was little that they paid for themselves. This led to ‘advertorials’ written, mainly about their accommodation in Camps Bay. Most of what was posted by the bloggers was ‘photoblogs’, a blogpost consisting of a photograph only!
Cape Town Tourism issued a very brief media release about the pending blogger visits, and claimed incorrectly that the ‘inaugural #lovecapetown blogger hosting programme contributed to Cape Town Tourism winning a Travel + Leisure SMITTY Awards (Social Media in Travel + Tourism Awards) in the category Best Overall Use of Social Media, CVB, Global‘. The awards which were won by Cape Town Tourism (a Gold Loerie added on (more…)
Saturday 10th August 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
When Michael Olivier first launched Crush! food and wine digital magazine three years ago, it was evident that he and his team had no experience in the design and publishing of a magazine generally, and a digital magazine specifically. We wrote critically about the first few issues, but no feedback was accepted nor reacted to, and Olivier appeared to have lost advertising revenue as a result, thus leaving the magazine about a year ago. His departure appears to have rejuvenated the magazine, and it has improved vastly!
The response by Olivier and his Crush! writers David Cope (@Foodie_za) and Andy Fenner (@JamieWhoSA in those days) to our feedback about the magazine at that time was to create the Whalespotter Twitter defamation account led by Cope, and condoned by (more…)
Thursday 11th July 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
What a diverse and controversial episode 10 was last night, generating many emotions at different levels, as well as criticism of M-Net and MasterChef SA on Twitter for the first time since the commencement of Season 2. There was little that was judged to be favourable in the episode:
The losing Red Team (Joani Mitchell, Karen Els, Khumo Twala, Jason Steel, Leandri van der Wat, and Neil Lowe) from Tuesday evening had to go into the ‘Spice’ Test when they lost the Pizza Challenge by two points. Robertsons ‘Spices’ were the focus point of the Test, annoying viewers for such strong blatant branding of the sponsors’ products, in addition to being subjected to so many TV commercials, especially relative to Season 1. The criticism was two-fold:
* Herbs and spices are two different things, yet the contestants had to guess which combination of Robertsons ‘spices’ had been used in a number of dishes they could smell and taste (the company advertises spice and herb combinations), according to the judges’ brief, yet they had both herbs and spices to evaluate, including in a tomato dish, and in caramelised butternut. Chef Andrew Atkinson said that one’s tastebuds must be attuned to seasoning, so that one can change or enhance a dish’s flavour profile.
* No serious chefs would use Robertsons spices in their kitchens (except Chef Reuben Riffel of course, who endorses the brand and appears in its advertisements!), as ‘fresh is best’, the trend in restaurant and home cooking! (more…)
Saturday 15th June 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Taking our intern Lorraine Bourgogne from Reunion on a recent sightseeing tour of Cape Point and Boulder’s Beach, we stopped at Groot Constantia, to ask for a map of the Constantia Wine Route. To our surprise, the best we were given was a hand-drawn map, an experience that was replicated at two other wine estates in the valley. A week later we returned to Constantia, and stopped at the wine estates we did not manage to get to last Thursday. It appears that little or no marketing, other than a few events, has been undertaken for the Constantia Wine Route, that there is confusion as to who is handling the marketing for the Route, and that there is huge disparity in the wine tasting experience across the ten wine estates on the Constantia Wine Route. Confusion exists amongst the wine estate staff between the Constantia Wine Route and the Constantia Valley Association, and between the roles of Karen Michalowsky of the Constantia Valley Association (a not-very-nice person on Twitter), and Carryn Wiltscher of the Constantia Wine Route, both first names sounding similar! (more…)
Sunday 17th March 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Yesterday I met up with a fellow writer at the Franschhoek Summer Wine festival, and we had an interesting discussion about PR companies, and how professional or mediocre they can be. Unfortunately there are many mediocre PR companies, and few truly professional ones. Smart Communications & Events, the PR agency of the festival, was a prime example of mediocrity, with no presence at the event nor providing a media pack.
The discussion arose when the writer shared his pet peeves about PR companies, being particularly sensitive about not having been invited to a wine-related function earlier this week, yet he was sent a media release after the dinner, which highlighted that top Tweeters and Bloggers had attended the prestigious dinner at The Greenhouse, he obviously not being one, in the opinion of the PR company, he felt! I shared a similar incident when I was not invited to the launch of a winter menu of Reuben’s in Cape Town, obviously seeing all the Tweets about it, and then received the media release whilst the lunch was on the go! Media invitation lists are a sensitive issue, and an invitation exclusion can be held against a PR company and/or its client’s brand, especially as we were reminded by one PR company recently that it is not the communications representative but often the client that decides on the final attendance list. This can make things awkward for the PR agency, especially when they represent a number of clients in the food and wine industry.
While we were on a roll, we shared the following peeves about PR agencies:
* not saying thank you for coverage received – a ‘thank you’ is a rare treat and much appreciated
* being chased for coverage – attending a function is no guarantee that any writer will write about it, although one does feel obliged to write. Most events attended are covered on Facebook and Twitter by the writers. Many PR agencies charge their clients for the number of Tweets achieved for an event, and hence the use of the hash tag to track this easily, it was explained to me.
* being asked to list an event on one’s ‘Events page of the blog’, even though our blog does not have such a page!
* being asked to send a link to the PR agency when the blogpost has been written and posted, an absolute no-no! Not all PR agencies follow one on Twitter, and are rarely ‘Likers’ on Facebook, so they don’t pick up the coverage their clients’ brands achieve on these Social Media forums.
* being sent media releases with large format photographs in the body of the media release, and on a colour background, make it impossible to print. The information is what counts, even though the ‘packaging’ of it does look impressive.
* being sent media releases regularly about clients’ wine and restaurant brands, yet never having been invited to the restaurants or sent a bottle of wine to try before using the media release! Such media releases have a very low chance of receiving coverage on a blog, and even on Facebook and Twitter.
* functions that are too long and start too early in the day, especially day-time ones, given that most writers have paying job commitments which must take first priority, especially in summer.
* not being introduced to fellow attendees, as not all writers know each other, the media mix changing for every function. Name tags are rarely seen.
* functions being held far out of Cape Town, where most writers live and work. Many wine writers will insist on accommodation for evening functions, or a transport service, which covers the issues of drinking/driving and the cost of petrol, and usually leads to great camaraderie on board.
* functions/launches being too similar – one takes one’s hat off to PR agencies that can find a new angle for their clients’ brands, and always search for new venues to host their clients’ functions.
When a media release was requested of the Franschhoek Summer Wines event yesterday afternoon, Franschhoek Wine Valley CEO Jenny Prinsloo contacted her PR company, and they promised to send a release. It was the same two paragraph e-mail we had been sent to attend the function. The PR company head said she wanted to wait for the attendance figures before she issued a media release, a total waste of effort, as most writers would write almost immediately or not at all. The ‘release’ only contained the names of 12 of the 28 wineries participating in the festival. Each winery only offered one white wine, Rosé, or MCC for tasting, yet there was no information provided about each of the 28 wines, and what makes them unique. With a few exceptions, it seemed as if the B Team had been sent to man the ‘stands’, which was just a wine barrel per winery. Very few of the winery representatives offered information proactively, being pourers of wine rather than sharers of information. Only Morena had a booklet of information one could take from its stand, always stylish with its owner Nick Davies hands-on and in attendance. There was no information provided about the specialist tastings that formed part of the festival.
Leopard’s Leap was an ideal venue and the perfect weather helped the event greatly. Additional parking was opened up, and golf carts drove one to the entrance. It’s a pity that a (outsourced security company) boom operator is persistently rude when one arrives at Leopard’s Leap. The invited media guests had to buy their own food (the wine tasting was on the house), something one would rarely experience if one is the guest of an event – the petrol alone for the journey from Cape Town and back would have cost around R375. The invitation’s description of the ‘mouth-watering deli-style food from the Harvest Table‘ was completely misleading, as they had changed their menu for the event, being chicken and a few leaves (R60), salmon quiche with a good helping of salad at R45, and a vegetarian wrap (R30), not representative of the fantastic food that The Rotisserie at Leopard’s Leap usually serves. Even though we wanted to pay for an ice cream when ordering our food, payment was not taken, and consequently the ice cream had run out at 16h00, an hour before the close of the event!
The Franschhoek Summer Wine Festival was organised for the second time, by professional event organiser Darielle Robertson of DnA Events. Franschhoek can do much better than it did yesterday to attract attendance, given its excellent track record in hosting the Franschhoek Cap Classique and Champagne Festival, Bastille Day festival, and Franschhoek Uncorked. It is unfortunate that the festival clashed with the Cape Town Carnival yesterday, the Spar Ladies Race this morning, and the start of the ABSA Cape Epic today, which would have kept many wine tasters from Franschhoek. From Twitter and spending time at the festival it appeared that the media attendance was extremely low (only three we picked up), which means that it will take longer to establish the event in years to come. We Tweeted twice only from the festival, the food and most of the stands not being attractive enough to photograph and Tweet. As a brand Franschhoek and its excellent wine estates and good restaurants are far too special and unique to be represented by a mediocre PR company!
POSTSCRIPT 8/4: Epic Communications, organisers of the publicity for the RE•CM Top Ten Year Old Wines dinner at the Greenhouse last month, sent this e-mail today: ‘The RE:CM 10 Year Old Wine Awards 2013 winners were announced at a gala dinner held in Cape Town on 14 March 2013 where valued clients and judges were treated to a three-course dinner at the award winning Greenhouse Restaurant by acclaimed chef, Peter Tempelhoff, who specially designed courses to pair with each 2013 RE:CM 10 Year Old Wine Award winner. Please see attached social images, as well as images of the dishes served on the evening and the handover of the awards. I have also pasted below captions for the images and a press release with further information. Would this be of interest for your blog?’ Our bogpost about the event was posted on 18 March!
POSTSCRIPT 7/5: It appears that we were removed from Smart Communications & Events media list after posting this blogpost. We have just been added back to the list again, after sending a request to the Franschhoek Wine Valley CEO!
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage
Saturday 16th March 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Cape Town and the Western Cape once again showed their strength in dominating the Eat Out DStv Food Network Produce Awards 2013, at a function held at the Neighbourgoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill last night, winning seven of the sixteen awards. KwaZulu-Natal came a close second, with four awards.
The judges of the Eat Out Produce Awards were 2012 Eat Out Top Chef Margot Janse of The Tasting Room, Chef Jackie Cameron of Hartford House, Anna Trapido, MasterChef SA judge and Chef Pete Goffe-Wood, and Eat Out editor Abigail Donnelly, evaluating products which were nominated by the public. ‘These small poducers are all doing their bit by bringing the very best quality produce to our shopping baskets and tables’, the Awards booklet shared. The Awards celebrate outstanding food producers, and great home-grown tastes and flavours, Eat Out’s Content Director Anelde Greeff said, and reflects producers, chefs, home cooks, bloggers and food lovers sharing and eating together
The 2013 award winning Eat Out DStv Food Network producers are the following (more…)
Thursday 14th March 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Yesterday afternoon Anton Groenewald, Executive Director of the City of Cape Town’s new TEAM (Tourism, Events, Arts, Marketing) Directorate, addressed the French networking group CAP40 at the Alliance Française on the topic ‘Perspective on strategic and policy intiatives to grow the Tourism business in Cape Town‘. He was described as the ‘keyholder that can unlock tourism to the Cape’. Groenewald has become the most powerful person in Tourism in Cape Town, and has a considerable budget.
Groenewald is an interesting man, very honest (often at his own expense) and direct, very goal-orientated, non-political in his actions, and charming even though he may be ruthlessly honest. He is not always ‘media-correct’ in his honesty, yet he does not seem to mind being quoted, no matter how sensitive his response may be to the parties he may be commenting about, as we discovered last year when Cape Town Tourism was blowing its own horn about the number of Twitter impressions it had created by inviting four international bloggers to the city. For Groenewald it is all about the bottom line, his mantra being ‘commercialisation’ to achieve revenue targets. His department has promised Cape Town Tourism R117 million for the three year period from 1 July 2013 onwards, but with demanding revenue and commercialisation targets to be achieved. He certainly means business, and was honest in admitting that a head of Cape Town Tourism who has been in the position for nine years no longer is fresh enough to be on top of her game. He confirmed that its outgoing-CEO Mariette du Toit-Helmbold did not need any encouragement to not renew her contract. They will shortly start recruiting a replacement CEO nationally as well as internationally. His no-nonsense attitude shows when he stopped Cape Town Tourism PR (more…)
Thursday 7th March 2013 - Posted by Chris von Ulmenstein
Having been on the receiving end of a deceiving, defamatory, and dishonest attempt to extract information about my guest houses from 2oceansvibe ‘Chief Whip’ Simon Hartley, we were interested to read about the dishonest past of 2oceansvibe founder ‘Seth Rotherham’ in the March issue of Playboy!
The article highlights the following about 2oceansvibe and its owner:
* Its slogan of ‘Work is a sideline, live the holiday‘, implying that the owner sits on the beach or at Café Caprice in Camps Bay all the time is obviously not truthful, and interestingly does not reflect the content of his website. Through the slogan he has created a profile of himself as a wealthy person who has hooked in some brand ‘partners’ at great expense to feed his extravagant lifestyle. Those who have met ‘Seth’ know that he works hard, writing for his website, and being involved in his Radio and TV stations 2OV. He has also run a luxury villa rental business (DG Rentals with the Dogon Group), but appears to have fallen out with its owner.
* A sensitive issue appears to be the use of the pseudonym ‘Seth Rotherham’, instead of his real name Will Mellor. When we sent an sms to ask him why he hides behind a false name, he referred us to Playboy, as he had been asked the same question by them. His weak reply was that he needed a clean name for the property rental business (but which he has not operated in the past 4 years), therefore using his real name for that business, and he created ‘Seth Rotherham’ for his 2oceansvibe website, as his ‘risqué party-times might not sit well with my daytime clients’.
* The article shares how dishonest he was whilst working as a Butlers pizza delivery boy, cheating the system so that he got the largest orders, guaranteeing him the largest tips, at the expense of his colleagues, and which led to him being fired!
* He explains in the magazine that he rarely takes calls (one a week, he says), wanting to be contacted on his terms, which is only via e-mail or sms, as we discovered last week, when I tried to contact him about Hartley’s information request. He explains that he is ‘actually quite shy. I need to be in my comfort zone and I don’t like surprises. I feel bad if I don’t remember people’ names. So, everything I do daily is managed digitally’. Having Will’s cell number, I attempted to call him, but I should have known that he never answers his phone. I sent an sms, and he (cowardly) wrote that he could not take the call as he was in a bad reception area (a predictable cop out), but surprisingly he was able to send sms’s perfectly, and almost immediately!
* His radio station 2OV, with Darren Scott’s Ballz, was embarrassed last year when IT expert Shaun Dewberry discovered that their radio listenership data was highly suspect and overstated. NetDynamix, the company hired by both radio stations to supply listener data, said the botch up was a miscommunication on its part and that the figures supplied to the radio stations referred to the number of times people had logged on to the station instead of the actual number of listeners. One wonders how someone as IT astute as Mellor would not have known instinctively that the numbers were inflated, and that he was misleading his brand ‘partners’ (including Pierre Jourdan – it was Boschendal until recently, Vespa, MINI, Mail & Guardian – just the other day it was still News24 – Block & Chisel, Puma, Jack Black, Vida e Caffè, The Westcliff, The Mount Nelson, De Grendel) in terms of claimed listenership! Will tells Playboy: ‘Darren and us (and indeed the public) were all duped by the same incorrect data’ - come on Will, you were paying the company to generate the data!
* The article claims that Mellor is karmic, and that he fired a staff member after four days of being employed, in not fitting the karma of his business, which led to Mellor being called to face a CCMA hearing, which he described as ‘not cool”!
2Oceansvibe has been a benchmark for bloggers, having been created long before most bloggers had even heard the B-word. Many envied ‘Seth Rotherham’ for his advertised lifestyle arrogantly communicated via its pay-off line. As a new blogger I had held Mellor in high esteem, especially after meeting him at a bloggers’ function. He generously organised a pair of Rayban sunglasses from his client Sunglass Hut when our hug led to my sunglasses being crushed.
However, I saw a different side to him and his business last week, when he allowed his website to post a story devoid of all journalistic ethics. On Friday afternoon we received a call from Hartley, mumbling indistinctly about a story he was ‘researching‘ relating to the SA Butler Academy, and requesting a radio interview. I told him that we were frantic, having had a large number of check-outs, and new check-ins expected for the afternoon. I requested more time, explained how busy I was, and asked Simon to e-mail the questions. He set a deadline for 3 pm, and would not budge. The two questions were not related to our SA Butler Academy blogpost at all (which it is evident that he never read, so much for balance!), and when I asked him to explain what the relevance of the questions was to the SA Butler Academy he brushed the question aside. He did not even send the link of the City of Cape Town’s property valuation roll, the crux of his story, and request an explanation. It is clear now that he was in a rush to leave Cape Town to get to Hermanus for the weekend, according to his Tweets. He did offer an opportunity to opt out if I did not want to respond, saying that ‘you will be credited as being unavailable for comment’, but that would have been dishonest, so I did not accept that option! I had sought advice from two communications specialists, and both encouraged me to do the interview initially. In the last minute however one of them sent an urgent sms: ‘Don’t agree to the interview. The chap is apparently not above board’. Seeing the story that Hartley wrote, the advice was spot on, as Hartley had not written about the SA Butler Academy at all, and had tried to dishonestly mislead me, not revealing the real topic of his story.
It made me wonder why 2Oceansvibe would have wanted to publish a non-story, with such a weak headline as ‘Outspoken Guest House owner Knee-Deep in Controversy‘! Short of traffic they are not, with ’350000 unique readers and nearly a million page views in the past month‘, Mellor smsd proudly, and he was clearly annoyed and sounded almost threatening when I decided to turn the tables, and asked him a few questions, just as Hartley had done to ourselves: ‘Chris I think I need to make something very clear to you because it seems you might be going down a bad path here’. Quoting his readership and page views, he continued: ‘I say that to make clear the fact that it is no longer a blog, it’s a news outlet with 10 permanent editorial staff. Simon is the editor overseeing all of that. This is his job. I can only interfere to a certain point’. He continued, now clearly fired up and concerned about this blogpost: ‘Regarding standards, I expect my staff to be thorough and truthful and to give subjects an opportunity to respond. I also insist they include comment post-publication, if the subject was initially unable to respond. Again I must stress that I can only interfere with Simon’s work to a certain extent. He is a highly ethical person and known for his integrity. Chris I assure you that I am giving every effort to ensure this doesn’t come out as bad as it could, and will keep doing so’ (our underlining). Now please Mr Mellor, don’t think that we will buy that – you ARE brand 2Oceansvibe! You have been lied to by your editor, and the PR industry does not agree with your faith in Hartley either. ’Response’ is not answering two questions unrelated to the false and misleading topic Hartley spoke about, meaning that Mellor’s instructions are not being followed by his staff! On the top right of the website ‘Seth Rotherham’ is introduced as ‘Editor in Chief’, with no mention of Hartley!
A long sms from Mellor highlighted that ‘I insisted he (Hartley) gets your side of the story before publishing’. This did not happen, as Hartley unprofessionally denied us the opportunity to be told the real topic of his story, or even be given an opportunity to see the full story before it was posted. A follow-up sms from us, to express the disappointment with Hartley’s unprofessional conduct, received Mellor’s reply: ‘I don’t have browsing internet access where I am – data very slow. Simon smsd to say he tried to get comment from you and were able to reply more than once but refused to‘, which is devoid of all truth! Clearly Hartley was desperate to get the story posted, and used Mellor’s absence to post it without any ‘journalistic’ integrity!
Our blog being highlighted as being controversial is not newsworthy, and we carry the badge from the SA Blog Awards, having been nominated as ‘Top 10 Most Controversial Blog’ in 2010 (the category has been discontinued since then), a category that was won by 2oceansvibe in that year, even though it wasn’t controversial, it never was a blog, and Mellor was a judge for the Awards too, showing how poor his ethics are, his sms claim of no longer being a blog being noted – it never was! In fact, his website is nothing more than a rehash of other writers’ work, with little original writing! He is not universally liked, seen by many to be arrogant and a ‘cheat’: here, here, here, here.
In one of Mellor’s sms messages he wrote that he has opened his own Twitter account (@SethRotherham): ‘I even had to get my own twitter handle as I can no longer use 2oceansvibe twitter for personal use‘
That brings us to Hartley, someone I have never met. Asking what his agenda was with the story, he replied that ‘I was following a journalistic lead’, and that we had not met previously. However via Twitter (great research medium which Hartley likes to use too for his so-called ‘research’) we discovered that he had been alerted to the story by Twitch Marthèlize Tredoux, a good friend of Hartley’s wife Lize, and a continual abusive Tweeter (as @konfytbekkie) about ourselves (she and I have never met, but she does love our Blog and Tweets, obsessively reading them and writing about them ad nauseam)! Unsurprisingly, Hartley’s defamatory call via Twitter for information for his ‘research’ was eagerly replied to by Skye Grove, PR and Communications Manager of Cape Town Tourism!
Asking Hartley why he did not send me a copy of his story before posting it, so that I could give him a detailed response, he arrogantly replied: “There is no onus on 2oceansvibe, or any other publication (sic) to send the subject of their investigations an entire article before it is published. On which journalistic handbook do you base this expectation? The onus on the publication is to strive for a balance of views, which we did in earnest by calling, texting and emailing you. Despite your ability to answer multiple emails, you did not comment on two short questions. Quite frankly, I did answer your questions as to how my questions for you were related to your dispute with SABA. I informed you that dozens of readers alerted us to the dispute you had/have with SABA, and while reading all of the available correspondence, an important lead appeared (you’ll see the screenshot in our post) – a lead that required its own investigation. So, as I answered at the time: the questions to you arose over the course of our reading through your dispute with SABA. I completely reject any assertions that I or 2oceansvibe Media acted dishonestly at any point in the investigation or publishing of the article, and should you be able to demonstrate any error in our reporting (we are confident there is none), we will gladly publish an amendment”.
We have highlighted the dishonesty of his misleading approach, and his unprofessional unwillingness to reveal what the story was really about. There was no balance sought, as claimed, as Hartley did not even verify which aspects of the SA Butler Academy blogpost were indeed honest and truthful (we did not terminate the services of Mrs Novacovic, for example, as he claimed, both our blogpost and that of the SA Butler Academy stating that, reflecting his poor research capability!). He spent three hours looking for information, yet gave us an unfairly short lead time to respond. He Tweeted libellously during his research, as he did on Tuesday too, proving how unprofessional he is: ‘Currently standing behind J Arthur Brown in the line for Cirque du Soleil. He’s looking terrifically rested for a criminal’.
‘Infamous’ 2oceansvibe (Hartley’s description) has a chequered past as far as honesty goes, and it makes one wonder how honest and balanced any writing on the website is! Clearly ethics and honesty are not part of the 2oceansvibe karma and vibe!
POSTSCRIPT 8/3: A blog reader asked about the tax liability of Mellor receiving the use of the MINI and the Vespa for free. We sent him a text message: ‘Hi Will, one of my readers has asked if you pay tax on the use of the MINI and the Vespa? What value is placed on each of these two vehicles?’ It was sent at 20h36 last night, and given no reply, again at 9h56 this morning. There has been no response from Mellor!
POSTSCRIPT 20/3: We have sent a lawyer’s letter to 2oceansvibe about their blogpost, which contained numerous untruths and is defamatory. Will Mellor has reacted in anger, and launched another attack. The two (unanswered!) sms messages (the second one was a repeat of the first because of non-reply!) we sent him about his own affairs (the value of and tax paid on his MINI and Vespa) he labels as ‘harrassment’, rich coming from someone who does not allow one to call, and who deals with communication with humans via sms or e-mail, on his terms. This is what we wrote: “Hi Will, one of my readers has asked if you pay tax on the use of the MINI and the Vespa? What value is placed on each of these two vehicles?”. So much for ‘harassment’!
POSTSCRIPT 20/3: 2oceansvibe has added a further article to their website, an angry reaction by Will Mellor to our request to the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) to take down the defamatory and dishonest 2oceansvibe article. Their response ridicules the Take Down notice they received, as well as the ISPA Code of Conduct, especially the clauses relating to “Lawful Conduct’.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com Twitter: @WhaleCottage