Recently I posted on reputation management in an article concerning Gen. William Caldwell and his friends at Rolling Stone Magazine. It appears that one of the keys to helping Gen Caldwell is the later and more disconcerting news about the “killer Teams” in Afghanistan that took his news off the page…for now. As they say, timing is everything.
Now for the elite crowd, Sir David Tang, founder of Shanghai Tang, a very successful department store chain, we have a new answer to bad news. Write a check and we’ll make it go away. Wow, who would have thought? I don’t think many will write the check when their American Express card will suffice.
The service ICorrect went live this month and has approximately 35 ‘founding members’ as they are called. Many came from Sir David’s discrete ‘little black book’ and represent some well knowns like Stephen Fry, Cherie Blair, Sienna Miller, and Tommy Hilfiger. The fee to become a ‘member’ is just $1,000 per year – a bargain for a dry cleaned reputation.
IConnect will post a ‘rebuttal’ on their site from one of their ‘members’ in correction of some gossip or other sad news the members wants to refute. From some initial numbers the site is drawing page views – Stephen Fry had over 250,000 hits for his missive about not actually hating Catholics. Tommy Hilfiger also refuted the fact that he never said that he didn’t want black people to wear his clothes.
Since this has launched in England, there should be no surprise that the British media has shown a great deal of skepticism about Sir David’s program. Guffaws are more like it. Stephen Pritchard of The Observer of London, one of the few news outlets that actually has an actual correction column thought ICorrect could cause more harm than good by calling attention to the news that they hoped would go away. Ouch.
What does this mean to the digital world – perhaps absolutely nothing, which would be fine. What’s life without a little scandal, especially for the celebrities and horse and hound set in Britain. As with General Caldwell, perhaps all we need is a little time and it will pass over. I’ll take it more seriously myself when Sir David talks SEO and shows me the analytics on the campaigns. Until then, Cheerio mate.