The Telegraph and the Daily Mail are so alike

April 25, 2008Comments Off on The Telegraph and the Daily Mail are so alike

Sure it’s a funny story, but…in case anybody was ever in any doubt just how much of a press release might make it into a news story.

Telegraph Headline: OGC unveils new logo to red faces

The Daily Mail: New £14,000 logo causes blushes in Treasury office


Telegraph: It cost £14,000 to create, but clearly no-one at the smart London
design outfit that came up with the new logo for HM Treasury thought to
turn it on its side. The logo, for the Office of Government Commerce, was intended to
signify a bold commitment to the body’s aim of “improving value for
money by driving up standards and capability in procurement”.

Daily Mail: When the Office of Government Commerce decided to embark on a fresh new
image, signifying their commitment to their aim of "improving value for
money by driving up standards", little did they realise the impact it
would make.

Verdict: Great journalists think alike.


Telegraph: According to insiders, the graphic was already proudly etched on mousemats and pens before it was unveiled for employees, who spotted the clanger within seconds. Staff have apparently now stripped their office of souvenirs bearing the logo, which could appear on eBay within days.

Daily Mail:  Sharp-eyed employees quickly noticed the glaring error, but unfortunately for bosses the graphic had already been reproduced widely on office stationary. There are now fears that items with the embarrassing logo could appear on eBay despite the valiant efforts of staff members to frantically remove all trace of the design from their offices.

Verdict: At least one of the two made the half-arsed effort to restructure the story slightly. Still very similar paragraphs.


Telegraph: A spokesman for OGC said: “It is true that it caused a few titters among some staff when viewed on its side, but on consideration we concluded that the effect was generic to the particular combination of the letters OGC – and it is not inappropriate to an organisation that’s looking to have a firm grip on Government spend."

Daily Mail:  A spokesman for the OGC said: "It is true that it caused a few laughs when viewed on its side. On final consideration we concluded the effect was generic to the particular combination of the letters OGC and is therefore not inappropriate to an organisation that’s looking to have a firm grip on Government spend."

Verdict: The spokesman said the same thing to both newspapers, nothing strange there.


Telegraph: The OGC was created in the early days of the Blair Government when the premier brought in Peter Gershon from GEC Marconi to improve spending efficiency. .

Daily Mail:  The OGC was created when then Prime Minister Tony Blair brought in Peter Gershon from GEC Marconi to improve spending efficiency.

Verdict: You know, I think this might’ve been lifted from a press release too…


Telegraph: Brand expert Michael Hamilton said while the logo’s double-entendre was probably not deliberate, it could prove an added bonus for OGC. “They’re going to get more column inches than they could ever have expected before. If I were them, I would be pretty pleased.”

Daily Mail:  Brand expert Michael Hamilton said that the logo could eventually prove to be a success, despite the mistake. He said: "They’re going to get more column inches than they could ever have expected before. "If I were them, I would be pretty pleased."

Verdict: They both found a brand expert in time to quote for the story too, what luck!



Conclusion

I’m angry because journalists aren’t doing their jobs. Both The Telegraph and the Daily Mail knew the OGC were creating this fake story to generate awareness, and both were happily complicit. That’s lazy and it demeans the work of the PRs. So now we have to resort to masturbation-esque logos to generate a story? What’s next? What about the poor PRs who have dignity?

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