Posts Tagged ‘phone call’

Did the Social Web ‘do’ for Ross & Brand?

Thursday, October 30th, 2008 by Rob Brown

For me there are two fascinating questions about the Brand and Ross debacle.  Why did they put out the show with the item in when it wasn’t live and why did the furore gather so much momentum in such a short time over a week after the broadcast?

Why was it broadcast?  Any fool could have guessed there would be an issue and there were some very experienced heads in the approval chain.  I believe that the reason for broadcasting may lie in the fact that by recording the messages on an answer machine the comments were already potentially in the public domain.   With the social web anyone can publish and Ross and Brand realised that.  By not broadcasting they would have acknowledged fault and the recording could still reach the public via the web.  The evidence might be there is in their comments in the a part of the programme that was edited out of the final broadcast: 

Ross: “let’s both put on striped t-shirts and break into his house, merely to delete the answerphone message – let’s see what happens. What could go wrong?” 

Brand:  “Nothing, literally, nothing could go wrong as we smash our way into Andrew Sachs’s house”

Ross: “break in like cat burglars tonight when he’s in bed”

Brand: “yes while he sleeps”

They must have felt that they had escaped censure when a week went by with no outcry but the press got hold of the story when Andrew Sachs complained.  It might have ended there but for the intervention of the social web once more.  The recording appeared on YouTube and there have been a million hits – somewhat more than the average listenership for Brand’s show.  As the hits on YouTube went up so did the complaints.  A week after the show went out there were just 69 complaints to the BBC at the last count there were more than 30,000.  A coincidence?  I doubt it.

About Rob Brown

Rob Brown has worked in PR for over 20 years and for over fifteen years held senior PR positions within three major global advertising networks; Euro RSCG, McCann and TBWA. He launched his own business ‘Rule 5’ in MediaCityUK, Manchester in November 2012. Rob is the author of ‘Public Relations and the Social Web’ (2009), blogs for The Huffington Post and is joint editor of 'Share This Too' (2013).