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You shouldn't have done it, mainly for reason number 1.

Anyone reading the blog, book or listening to the odd interview would know that you don't think cafes are in decline and that it would be hypocritical for you to say otherwise. They also seem to be going for an anti-American angle here, which is understandable but again (for fairly easy to find reasons) you are the wrong person to ask to front that.

"I might give it away, but I’m not going to sell it cheaply." You are right here too. (You sound like Seth Godin in his glory days ...).

Money, fame or glory wasn't the issue here, they should have spent a few minutes of that "desktop research" finding out a bit more about their target.

Ah yes, hypocrisy, I'd forgotten about that.

The approach seems absolutely par for the course. I can just picture the PR agency brainstorm now...eerruuugghhh.

It seems to me that the EBC&B 'thing' is about celebrating something rather special. Nothing more, nothing less.

Overall, my two cents would be that when approaching the sensitive issue of brands working with bloggers (and occasionally vice versa) the best place to start is by seeing if you can create something together. Something that both parties feel interested in, excited about and commited to.

A simple test would be that if either side can't get over that first critical hurdle, then there's absolutely no point trying to push it any further.

We'll only end up with similar pieces to the one you've just written and a load of comments that will reverberate around the place for some time to come.

3 things to tell you:
#1 (as a healthy breakfast fan): you actually should start a campaign to put an end to English breakfast - I still can´t believe english people eat egg bacon and beans for breakfast.
#2 (as a brand fan): their approache was the worse possible. I´t was almost naive...
#3 (as a Russell Davies´ fan): you should never be payed to say things on your blog. If I knew that you are getting payed to say something in your blog (even if it is the bacon one), I would be very disappointed and would never read any of your blogs again. It would discredit everything you said before. Don´t. Never. Freedom of Speach rules - not money.

the other thing I thought was interesting was they didn't tell me / ask me not to blog about this. Which was naive. Bloggers blog, that's just what they do. I could easily have broken some embargo or something. Though, I thought it was just polite to wait.

Unless this is all a very clever trick to get some free coverage and there never was supposed to be a campaign. Which would be simultaneously clever and stupid.

Not sure if this is what you are looking for ... http://www.visit4info.com/details.cfm?adid=29829 ... though if they were interested in using online communication, they also should have asked you about YouTube.

What did you say in the APG video (the one with all the Andre Gide quotes)? "In order to get back consistency cause that's what we're looking for" (I am quoting this on memory so it may not be the exact words).

I think that the main reason why you made the best choice is consistency.

A) you don't think cafe are in decline

B) you would have wounded the "Russell Davies" (as a brand) consistency

So it would have been maybe good for HB but not so much for you, in a way...

makes any sense?

To sell or not to sell? That is the question in the attention economy. And btw, TypePad costs less than $200 a year. ;)

If you look hard enough, isn't HP owned by Heinz?

I was doing some work for HP last year and ended up buying the following URLs...


which were not used and they do not want....so if you have a use for them...

Is this it? http://www.proper-british.co.uk/ I think they've nicked one of my photos - cheeky bastards.

Should you have done it?
You have done it.

I'm off to buy some HP Sauce ...

yes, that's it. It probably is your picture. `They ripped some of mine off for their demo version which a journalist accidentally sent me. They're not doing themselves any favours with the blogging community. Except for me giving them all this free publicity.

I'm all for learning those pesky Yanks how to make a proper brekky though, HP sauce n all.


My cholestorol clogged arteries need some bean juice to keep the fat chugging along.

There's a story in the telegraph today.

Greasy spoons fight for survival against cappuccino culture
By Jonathan Petre

Hi Russel,

not sure if you pick up metro in the morning. There is a small article (more a snippet really) about the HP campaign on page 23 today: " A saucy plan to save our cafes".

Email me if you need to see it.


It's good you're sticking to your principles as the commercial aspect of this campaign is rather a turn off. Being independent is best.

Noel Kingsley

Russell, there has just been a 3-4 minute piece on the BBC's London News about this. About the campaign, not this post.

They claim cafes will be gone by 2010, but independent skinny latte merchants will thrive. They even interviewed cafe owners and customers. Then they interviewed Paul Harvey, who I think is you. If you see what I mean. No mention of HP.

I imagine you could watch it again online, should you wish http://www.bbc.co.uk/london/

yes, it's been a depressingly succesful campaign. Depressing in that the lazy PR and dumb research has led to lots of coverage.

But good in that there's lots of talk of cafes.

The Mirror's got all excited and got me to make up a top ten list of cafes for tomorrow's paper. And then made me do the usual embarrasing picture of me and a fry-up.

Guardian editorial today...


It does seem like they want to make you fit their promotion instead of just joining in with what you are really saying.

If its saying something you dont believe then its good not to do it. Marketing works best when its truthful.

I did see the article in the Mirror today though! Well done.

Oh dear.


Have you seen that they are moving production from Britain to Holland? http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/west_midlands/4754351.stm

That PR doesn't seem to be working.

I wonder if you are glad that you didn't do the publicity for Heinz in view of their plan to move manufacture of HP Sauce to Holland ?
Sauce of Great Britain, my arse.

I am very glad to hear that decent cafs are still around. Having spent a few years abroad I was nervous that yet another of the parts of British life that I appreciate would be on the way to extinction.

My paean to the Great Fry is at



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