Thursday, 6 September 2012

Justin Harrison vs Woolworths media fail

South Africa is a country that's obsessed with race.  So if I were a shady "internet entrepreneur" the nature of whose services are not exactly clear a full 10 minutes after reading my website but claims to be an expert who wants to be paid for them anyway , who doesn't feature in first four pages of the google search results of his own name, is gaming his social networking credentials and has to resort badgering local technologically ignorant brands for freebies, I'd jump at an opportunity to stir up a racial tensions in an effort to raise my profile and drive traffic to my website.  That's what Justin Harrison has done.

It looks like he spent the whole weekend pestering white people into boycotting Woolworths for what he considers to be a racist employment policy.  It looks like it finally paid off as word hit the galvanised masses on twitter on Tuesday.  And the "news" gave it legs soon afterwards (Hey news people, what happens twitter is not news.)  As expected Woolworths unleashed their PR machince to the situation and Mr Harrison was roundly mocked on twitter as neatly distilled in this piece (Hey Verashni, it's the 21st century, you can embed tweets to blogs now).

It's no coincidence that he doesn't want to do any interviews.  Why would he?  He got what he wanted: traffic to his crappy website (Hey Justin, I don't know what you're selling but if you're going to get people to part with money for it, you'll do well to hire a writer and an SEO practitioner.  They're very cheap in Kolkata, ask the people who sold you twitter followers, they should know).

Well done media, you've given a delusional nutcase attention and the traffic he so craved and he's now laughing all the way to the top of the top of the google search results.  And for what, so you could sell a few newspapers and airtime spots?  What are you going to do tomorrow?

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