The short and curly of this story is that this guy had a blog for the last two years about working around the world (obviously right), and then this big bad naughty corporation came in and stole his idea. That is what you hear, that is what you read, and that is where most people seem to be letting it end.
Now perhaps I am missing something here, and if I am, whoops, I’ll apologize later, but in the meantime…
Just because he had an idea, or the scratchings of an idea first, does not entitle him to everything and anything to do with that idea. I’m sure the guys Mark Zuckerburgh “stole” facebook from would be on his side, but the law wasn’t, and most people who watched the movie weren’t. Addeco used ‘Around the world in 80 jobs’ as a byline to a competition to send someone around the world in 80 jobs, I don’t see how he can believe he owns that idea. They are doing it, and they are doing it better. They are not even in the same market as him, they are a recruitment company, he is a travel blogger, and never the tween shall meet, except for on this one promotional byline (it is not even the name of the campaign) and the social media poop-storm created by those rallying around his bedside.
The phrase “Around the world in 80…” is a much loved and used classic, it is not so original as he thinks to add the word “jobs” to the end, and did he pay any sort of royalties or have to fight for trademarks on the four words and two numbers which make up eighty percent of “his” brand?
This company is doing a short term promotion, it will come, it will go and then he will have back ‘his’ brand. If he had worked so hard and put so much into this brand, surely it can withstand a temporary marketing campaign and come out again on top? If not, perhaps it wasn’t as popular or ready for the limelight as he thinks? Well, at least it wasn’t until Adecco came along and gave him more publicity than I would be willing to bet he has ever had.
The things he is asking for because he added one word to a well loved phrase seem ridiculous. He is asking for an apology, a cease and desist, $50 000 for himself with the excuse being “that’s how much they paid the marketing company”, and as a seeming after thought, $50 000 for an elephant’s charity in Thailand. All this and he is running a kickstarter-esq campaign for $25 000 on the back of this publicity, for doing no more than writing a blog, and working around the world. It irks me that this guy has the cheek to ask for so much and then add a charity in to make himself look like the second coming. It irks me that this guy steals an idea and then accuses someone else of stealing his idea. It irks me that he asks for money from both Adecco and his readers for nothing more than having a good time and writing about it.
I have seen almost nothing but support for his ‘right’ to a name that wasn’t trademarked, that wasn’t his to begin with, and that is being used for a short term campaign only vaguely related to his ‘brand’ (and please, the guy in the Adecco commercial is not a “lookalike” or a rip off of his character as is being claimed). Is no one looking at how much publicity he is now getting because of Adecco? Am I the only one that thinks he might now actually achieve his dreams of traveling the world and writing about it, because Adecco used a similar sentence to his name? And am I the only one that thinks he is playing the victim role and milking it for all it’s worth?
Don’t get me wrong, milk away, make your cash where you can, but surely there has to be someone else out there who can put their bleeding hearts away for a second, stop screaming “The corporations! The corporations!” And look at the reality of this situation?
If his brand was so good, if he had worked that hard and well to make it stick, why did Adecco jump to the top of Google so easily? And who cares if they did, does he not have enough loyal readers to maintain his audience? In fact, I would say his loyal audience would now have doubled if not tripled because of Adecco (I had no idea who he was until everyone started playing little violins for him).
Perhaps if he wasn’t asking for $50 000 for himself, perhaps if he wasn’t simultaneously raising money for himself in a kickstarter type campaign, and perhaps if his title hadn’t already been used by a million other people, I would have more sympathy. My blog name comes from Pancho Villa, a revolutionary in Mexico. If someone wanted to use it I would have no right to refute that. I could only hope that my blog would offer people something they wanted to read, and that they would come to me because of that, not because I was the only one using the name.
Two people came up with the theory of evolution independently (now that was a good idea!), and at the same time. One got the publicity, the other didn’t. That is the way the cookie crumbles. (Hmmm, I wonder if anyone has trademarked “the cookie crumbles”?)
Perhaps he should be grateful for the publicity this has brought him and stop asking for money he doesn’t deserve. Unless of course he wants to give the whole $100 000 and the money he is raising from the public to the elephants in Thailand? In which case, soldier on. Oh, and you’re welcome for the free publicity.
I have since learned that he won and was compensated everything he asked for, but my opinions still stand. He had the gall to call this an “important cause”, got given money for nothing and is trumpeting this apparent win around like a peacock in mating season. This breaks my heart. Bravo for his giant whinge netting him a result. I think he should give all the money to the elephants, especially if it was really about the cause, #makeitright mate, #makeitright.
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