Monday, 17 September 2012

Hot Grant Shapps News!

You may recall that I reported Tory Chairman Grant Shapps' family company to the Advertising Standards Authority, on the basis that the fictional figurehead claimed to be a successful businessman and an MP, and a range of other infringements: a bit difficult if you're not actually real. In real life, Shapps seems to spend most of his time removing incovnenient truths from his Wikipedia page, pretending to be a Lib Dem activist to intervene in their internal politics, and using one of his own products to follow and unfollow tens of thousands of Twitter users a week, to up his own stats. All this while working as an MP and government minister. Stakhanovite, I tell you!

The company has gone into hibernation, mostly because its business was webpage scraping: nicking other people's text and using it to drive traffic to website. Google doesn't like that kind of behaviour: it damages the global behemoth's profit margins, and so poor HowToCorp has been erased from its search algorithms. 

It's really easy to report people and companies to the ASA. I'm certainly going to do it more, and more often. I got this today:

Dear Dr Vole

Thank you for contacting us.  We have referred this matter to our Investigations Team, and an Executive will update you on the outcome of the Investigation in due course.  Thank you for your patience.

Yours sincerely

Lewis JonesComplaints Executive
 Advertising Standards AuthorityMid City Place, 71 High HolbornLondon WC1V 6QTTelephone 020 7492
As their logo is 'legal, decent, honest and truthful', I'm expecting a good result from their scrutiny of Mr Shapps!

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