As previously written about on the Firefly blog, we have been particularly interested in the branding guidelines for the summer Games.

Well, as the games are now underway we thought we would have a look at how brands have been reacting. It seems that a lot of people want to show their support for Team GB and the Games but, like a middle-aged mother looking after some over-excited toddlers at a birthday party, LOCOG are trying to control the fun; well it’s their party and if your name’s not down, you’re not allowed to display the rings.

However, it seems that as hard as they try, these regulations are backfiring. Data from Experian shows that following the ban of Pepsi clothing at the games, saw a traffic increase of 53% to their site, while official sponsor Coca-Cola’s corporate site traffic fell by 69%. Official sponsor also saw a 20% drop in visitor numbers this Sunday, while non-sponsor Nike saw a 16% increase in traffic.

We have collected below some of our favourite competitors of the new Olympic sport we are calling LOCOG Dodgeball. If you find any more, please do take a pic and tweet them to us @firefly_comms. has produced this window display featuring some strategic typos and square rings.

Cheeky older brother, Paddy Power has sponsored an egg-and-spoon race in the city of ‘London’ in France reports The Drum, which means that there is nothing the LOCOG police can do about their billboard below. We particularly like the official Olympic venues sign post below this shot. Bravo Paddy Power, bravo.

 Everybody’s favourite offy, Oddbins also wants to play ball. Slightly passive aggressively yet hugely amusing, we think we are more tempted to buy this bottle of sparkling rosé than the Official Olympic toothbrush.

Original Penguin UK have also been participating over email, thanks to @dangrech for sending over this email alert featuring their trademark penguin in some active shots decorated with some beautifully placed punctuation.

And as the Games are taking place in Britain, it’s only right that we have a royal entry. Representing the Royals in LOCOG Dodgeball are The Middletons. The family business, Party Pieces is advertising on their website a range of ‘party pieces’ under the tab of ‘Celebrate the Games;’ one ‘party piece’ is an Olympic ring coloured ring toss game. Cheeky – and a step too far? – which according to The Mail Online could result in a £20,000 fine.

The brand police are also active inside the Olympic Park. We heard this week that LOCOG has asked volunteers to empty any non-Olympic sponsor snacks in to a clear plastic bag, which does bring a nice image to mind: people packed in to tents in the Olympic village, carefully decanting their Wotsits into zip lock bags.

Let’s see who the real winners are after the Games.




Paddy Power


Middletons The Mail Online

There have been some great posts recently about how to make the Wikipedia and PR “dance” more like a waltz and less like head-banging; Stuart Bruce’s and Phil Gomes’s being two that convey solid arguments in favour of open and responsible Wikipedia editing by PRs and corporate communicators.

To rewind: agencies – most notably, Bell Pottinger – have come under fire for heavy-handed editing of Wikipedia profiles on behalf of clients. The latest furore comes to us via Stella Artois and the attempted removal of “wife beater” from their entry. The brewer, InBev, said it disapproved of the reference to domestic violence; others yet said Stella “shouldn’t look to change details that are factually correct”.

Wikipedia belongs to everyone and no one. But people do feel proprietorial about its contents. It’s not just the image police who try to re-write history: disgruntled employees or anyone with an axe to grind can also have a go. (Firefly itself was the target of some unkind editing whereby, buried in the lower levels of text and not immediately obvious unless reading the whole script, were unflattering and factually inaccurate comments about the company). Ultimately, the ‘disgruntled’ are unlikely to be successful, given Wikipedia’s official rules of engagement; but that’s where its metadata is fascinating, because it can sometimes reveal the motive behind these edits.

On matters of editing, it’s easy to say, “stick to the facts”. But in these naked days of PR, one should do exactly that. Goodness knows there are enough policies and guidelines to make that line in the sand between fact and fabrication very painstakingly clear. And if you still had doubts, more guidelines look to be on their way from the various industry bodies.

So why do PRs still get it wrong? Is it because real brand-neutrality (for a client or one’s employer) can be difficult to achieve? Personally, I don’t think this tells the whole story.  Contrary to some people’s beliefs, PR is not an industry where you’re brow-beaten into submission, even when your moral compass is pointed in the right direction.

I think the Wikipedia crisis has revealed a crisis in writing. We need a re-training of the mind to write in a way that is simple, factual and is there primarily to inform –not necessarily influence. There are plenty of other vehicles for that.

Wikipedia’s importance – to companies, PRs, the media and the public at large – is not in question. But I have no doubt the quality of many entries can actually be improved with PR intervention. Of course, I would say that: but I would also put my money where my mouth is and participate in industry dialogue or training on this topic, to make sure I was doing a heck of a good job (acknowledging that “good” in this context can be subjective; in time, I hope it won’t be).

Firefly’s top six Wikipedia editing tips:

And last but not least, in true Wikipedia fashion, engage; engage in the dialogue, as there is certainly more to come in this hotly-contested space.  


Over the last couple of years, I have seen a plethora of bold new social media monitoring solutions promising to cut through the unstructured chaos of online conversations.

Are we ever going to see a consolidation?  Only yesterday I came across a wiki, providing me with a list of 130 solutions, I just wonder how many will still be running in 6 months…?

Of course we don’t condone cheating but this isn’t really cheating! The CMO’s guide to: the Social landscape, is an easily digestible summary of major social media, created by Drew McLellan

Good for collecting top line thoughts to jump start your thinking, this sheet serves as a comparison between various sites and the positive effects that the incorporation of these tactics could have on your overall strategy.

It comprises a dissection of ‘Customer comms’, ‘Brand exposure’, Traffic to site’, and ‘SEO’ and which of these sites are ‘good’, ‘ok’, or ‘bad’ for each of these disciplines.

Click here to view the Social media cheat sheet

The Social Media Landscape

Is it time to shape your reputation?

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