David & Goliath MkII…

A while back, I posted comment on a legal battle between Hansen, makers of Monster Energy (the one in the big black can with the green claw marks on it) and a small brewery who were creating an ale, under the name “The Monster” – see my blog post here. Following a sustained social media campaign, the two companies eventually reached an agreement, and the whole debacle was hailed by some as an example of the power of social media.

Yesterday, I was made aware of a situation that’s developing around an initiative that was created last year by graduate designers, called MyPolice (MyPolice.org). Essentially, the problem lies in the fact that HMIC (Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabularies) are now about to launch My Police (MyPolice.org.uk). Confusing? You bet.

You can read more about the ins and outs of the argument on the Guardian blog, but in the same way I found it interesting to see how a large organisation with seeming naievity in social media (Hansen) dealt with a smaller company who embraced the problem to further their cause (Rock Art) in the example above, I’m looking forward to seeing how this works out.

At present, the smaller company has been on the media offensive, and has mentions on the Guardian website (as well as interest from other major media organisations), as well as a lot of traffic on their site – someone has also set up a parody site, levelled squarely at HMIC’s use of ‘My Police’ (MyMHIC.org), where individuals are expressing their displeasure at the current situation. On the other hand, the larger organisation has done little of note, apart from apparently removing the launch date from their holding page.

So, where will this end? At present, it’s hard to tell, although given the smaller organisation’s social media nouse, I wouldn’t bet against the little guy on this one.

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