Late yesterday I saw something odd pop up on Twitter - a retweet of a new arrival on Twitter, called Stinky Jim's Brewing (@StinkyJimsBrew). It read "Here we are world! Watch this space, cause we're going to throw Hops at you, and although it will be slightly annoying, you'll love it."
Their Twitter bio reads as...
Stinky Jim is one of Auckland's most respected DJs, having treated listeners to his Stinky Grooves show on Radio 95BFM for about 20 years now, even educating a younger generation of BFM DJs as they came thru the ranks. Hes also the man behind Round Trip Mars Records (SJD, Naked and Famous, James Duncan) and makes music as part of Phase 5 and Unitone Hifi.
In short, he has built an impeccable reputation as purveyor of the best in stonkingly good tunes. His legendary radio show is a testament to that. I've had the pleasure of knowing Jim for nearly 20 years, having first crossed paths via BFM and Planet magazine - he interviewed my band Hallelujah Picassos for Planet, it was a very mad interview. I've still got it somewhere.
The person who retweeted/reposted the above comment from Stinky Jims Brewing was Charlotte Ryan from 95BFM's Morning Glory show. She told me she had done so as she assumed that they had something to do with Stinky Jim. I emailed Jim to ask him. The answer was an emphatic no. Jim was very unhappy at having his name borrowed like this.
I tried to find out more today about what rights Jim had as far as protecting his name from this type of theft, via Twitter. One person pointed out to me that "That's not how trademarks work. Different industries can have the same marks. It's not theft, and it's not illegal." While it is morally wrong to take someone's name/brand, it may not be illegal to do so. I also had a lawyer offer to help out Jim for free, which was most kind.Twitter isn't just noise.
Someone then pointed out that their avatar using an image of rapper Savage was stolen too: "the Savage-cradling-kitten image was made by Tommy Ill - it looks like @StinkyJimBrew took that w/o asking".
Then, at approx 4.45pm this afternoon, Stinky Jim's Brewing posted these messages to Twitter...
"Alas, we have been found out. Stinky Jim's Brewing Co was a social media experiment to test the effectiveness of social media in creating..."
" ..a buzz for a new company. No money has changed hands, no one has profited from the use of a name or image. But we are impressed with the.."
"...tenacity with which you defended the use of the images/names. Happy Tweeting, Twits!"
This provoked a number of responses - mine was " wow, @StinkyJimBrew messed with someone's reputation for an experiment. Get the fuck outta here."
and then "We got punked by @StinkyJimBrew - yeah nah. not funny."
Simon Grigg wrote to me via Tiwtter "is @StinkyJimBrew serious? That is dorkish behaviour at the most dorkish."
And Kirk Harding responded with "whoever is behind the @StinkyJimBrew prank/social experiment/bullshit is extremely idiotic. Cheap thrills?"
Over the past two days, the Social Media Junction conference has been running in Auckland at Skycity Convention Centre. It may be possible that this experiment/prank/hoax is in some way connected with that conference - I hope not. As Andy Beal, one of the speakers said "Don't fake it; you get found out."
Or it maybe right now some "social media expert" is working away in a cutting-edge ad agency or marketing company on a Power Point presentation on how to create a buzz for your company, with this stunning example of bullshit as his/her illustration of success.
The Twitter account for Stinky Jim's Brewing was deleted early this evening.
Someone out there knows who did this. Know anything? Hit me up via email. The address is at the top right of this blog. Thanks.
This image below is from Google cache, before they deleted the photo collage stolen from Tommy Ill, featuring Savage - it's hard to see, but Savage is on front of a kid on a swing, saying "let me see your kid swing".