Hairy tale of pop group

Posted on: May 15, 2007

Some examples of corporate behaviour are a joy to bloggers. The latest example is the famed advertising and marcoms group Saatchi & Saatchi’s creation of a girl band called ‘Honeyshot’. As reported in The Guardian (UK) recently, it had the explicit role of “a vessel for covertly advertising products to music fans”.

At the beginning of April, Honeyshot’s first single ‘Style, Attract, Shock’ was sent out to DJs but without notifying them that it had been created by a subsidiary of the ad agency and that its title was the new slogan for a hair gel called Shockwave.

It was quickly rumbled by the BBC, whose Radio 1 is the top audience pop and rock music station in the UK, and banned from playlists. But not without being played. This may have been an outcome that got coverage for the brand, which has been mentioned for reasons of explaining the story in the previous paragraph. And probably someone has already told the brand’s owner that this furore was worth some absurd figure in advertising value equivalent.

Peter Robinson, who broke the story, makes two cogent points – “From Saatchi & Saatchi’s point of view, it (the record) betrays a stunning level of deception – which is going some, in the ad industry” and “… it is important that the Honeyshot project fails, which it has, unless the whole thing was a double bluff aimed solely at securing Shockwave’s column inches to promote the company’s penchant for insulting their customers’ intelligence.”

Will brands, their owners and advisers ever learn that honesty and authenticity are integral to their reputation?


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Tom Watson

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