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Amplify: Brand “Thinking”

Posted 15th January 2010

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As some of you may know, I used to write for a site called Noise to Signal. It covered everything, really – telly, films, gaming, you name it – hopefully with at least a vague modicum of intelligence.

Yesterday, I received the following little email. Because I’m nice, the name is redacted – but company is very much not.

[redacted] sent a message using the contact form at

Hi there

Hope you’re well. I work at Amplify (this is our site: http://www.weareamplify.com) – we’re an experiential marketing agency based in Shoreditch, London, working with music and entertainment brands like 3:Seriously Social, PlayStation and Warner Music. Hope you don’t mind me getting in touch, but I wanted to introduce us as an agency as you’re one of the key blogs we keep up to date with, in particular your editorial style.

I’d be really grateful if you’d let us know whether you mind us getting in touch when we’ve got projects on which are directly related to your blog. We’d also be really interested to know what kind of things you’re particularly interested in so we can make sure we’re only sending you info which is relevant. If it helps at all, there are likely to be perks in it for you – VIP tickets to our events and festivals, exclusive content and product freebies etc.

If this sounds good to you please do get back in touch, let us know who is the best person to contact and give us an idea of what kind of stories and offers really work for you.

Hope to speak to you soon…

Yeah. Erm… Noise to Signal closed last year. You’d think they would have known that, seeing as we were one of their “key blogs”, wouldn’t you?

As for the blatant bribery in the second paragraph… possibly the only thing worse than sending an email like that is the knowledge that some people would accept it. But the fact that there are dishonest people running blogs doesn’t excuse the company doing it in the first place.

It’s all wrong. And the worst thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way. I set this blog up just at the start of the year, but I’ve been writing on the net for a few years now. And if I see something good… I’ll write about it. I’ll give you free, honest publicity. Don’t pretend you know my writing – engage with it. Don’t bribe me with VIP tickets – just give me something to love. Why not engage honestly… unless you’re not sure that what you’re doing has any merit in the first place?

For what it’s worth, I gave the company the right of reply. This was the response:

Hi John

I’m an intern working through a list of top bloggers Amplify have used, the list was put together at the end of last year and you were on there.

Didn’t mean to cause any offence I’m just updating a database

Of course, I don’t blame that particular person; I blame the company ethos. A company ethos that sucks to high hell.

On their About page, we are told: “Amplify engages with people to create an emotional connection between brands and their consumers.”

No. They don’t. They do the precise opposite.

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Brig Bother on 16 January 2010 @ 11pm

Ooh, I got one of these as well! How spooky!

genericdave on 16 January 2010 @ 11pm

“if I see something good… I’ll write about it. I’ll give you free, honest publicity.”

I tried to come up with a joke about public shagging, sex tapes and this quote. I’ll let you know if anything ever comes of this.

Does the reply from your response seem tetchy, or am I just reading it wrong? Seems that if your willing to put your name in an email trying to bribe you into advertising for them, you shouldn’t be getting tetchy no matter what the response. Unless it’s, you know, bringing the size of your penis into question… then I think you’ve got a bit of a right to be miffed.

I had a point when I started writing this comment, but I fear I’ve forgotten it forever.

John Hoare on 17 January 2010 @ 11am

I’m not sure it quite comes across as tetchy – but I don’t think the apology was exactly heartfelt, no.

I especially like the fact they didn’t even try to explain themselves properly.