Owen Smith v Buzzfeed

Shots fired from one time Labour leadership candidate Owen Smith at the occasionally Corbyn-sympathetic Buzzfeed this morning:

owen-smith-2

Buzzfeed’s political editor hits back:

jim

Other Buzzfeed staff are responding by tweeting their entire back catalogue of negative stories about Smith:

alan1

To be fair to Buzzfeed, they command more respect in Westminster than Owen Smith…

Buzzfeed Books Profit in UK, Making Losses in Brazil, Spain & Japan

buzzfeed

Guido understands that Buzzfeed UK has booked a “middling six-figure profit”, is breaking even in Germany and making six-figure losses in Brazil, France and Spain. Congratulations…

Guardian Blasts Own Editors For Traingate Blunder, BuzzFeed Turned Story Down

train

An internal Guardian investigation has blasted the paper’s editors for publishing the original Traingate story by a freelance journalist who turned out to be a Trot. The Guardian readers’ editor rubbishes the article as “a kind of gonzo news release by two Corbyn supporters”, concluding that the paper “misled” its readers and that editors’ “pre-publication checks and balances failed”. Turns out the freelance filmmaker who shot the pictures of the Labour leader sitting on the floor was being paid by the Jeremy For Leader campaign. The Trotskyite freelance journalist who wrote the story wasn’t even on the train. The authors first pitched their pro-Jez propaganda to BuzzFeed, who embarrassingly for the Guardian smelled a rat and turned it down. Standards at Kings Place were alas significantly lower…

OMG! Cameron Meets Buzzfeed: “You’ve F**ked Every F**king Thing Up”

And she was a Remainer. WTF?

5 Times BuzzFeed Featured Jack Wills

BUZZFEED jack wills

The federasts at BuzzFeed love to trumpet their trendy appeal to a higher ethical code. Even in the age of aggressive native marketing and advertorials, BuzzFeed has promised to never run stories about ads it’s being paid for:

“Appreciation buzz posts celebrating a fun or cool ad are fine, as are posts critical of ads — but that content should not be about ads BuzzFeed’s business side has created.”

That’s all well and good, especially as doing so could be in breach of EU directive 2005/29/EC, which places a firm ban on “Using editorial content in the media to promote a product where a trader has paid for the promotion without making that clear in the content” – in other words, advertorials which don’t carry a “sponsored” or “advert” heading.

BuzzFeed has so far run five stories featuring the Jack Wills brand, purely as an act of “celebrating a fun or cool ad”. Here are our fave snaps from them:

1. Those totes-beaut hoodies.

jack wills hoody

2. That fetch Jack Wills in Cheshire

cheshire jack wills

3. …and that even fetcher one in Surrey.

jack wills surrey

4. Got to love those JW scents.

jack wills spray

5. And last but not least, all those steamy Jack Wills models wearing Jack Wills clothes.

BUZZFEED jack wills models

After asking BuzzFeed a spokesman was quick to tell Guido there was no commercial relationship between the trendy site and clothing company – after all, they’ve fallen foul of native advertising laws before on articles by “Brand Publishers”. You won’t believe what BuzzFeed’s shareholders must think about running (unpaid?) advertorials…

UPDATE: UK editor Janine Gibson tweets in response ‘In the words of Tina Fey: “Nope. Not product placement. That’s just the kind of revenue creating geniuses we are.”‘

Profitless Buzzfeed Misses Revenue Target

omg-buzzfeed

The Financial Times reports that Buzzfeed fell short of its 2015 revenue target by 30% and has slashed its 2016 target by 50%. It took Guido 4 years to make a profit. No one ever said it was easy, overnight success generally takes years. Buzzfeed, the cool new kid on the block, has been going 9 years without making a profit. Nine years…

During those 9 years it has burned through hundreds of millions of dollars without paying investors a cent back. Smart people buy into the Buzzfeed concept, that it can reach millenials on their phones and on social networks with viral content as well as disguised advertising in the form of snarky content. They also have a conventional website famous for cat videos and lists. To make advertisers feel better about the online context of their paid content, Buzzfeed has branched out into serious content from serious journalists, with serious investigations and even some politics. It gives the Buzzfeed brand more journalistic credibility. Which goes comparatively unread.

Business Insider, Huffington Post and Vice News are all engaged in an online land grab, promising investors they will grab the global audience first and make profits later. Business Insider sold to Axel Springer for a cool $442 million last year. Outside the US it was not making a profit – though Insiders told Guido they were no longer losing money in London. Insider has a model that makes sense, aiming at time-pressed people interested in business. HuffPo aims to maximise traffic through aggregation and SEO optimisation, selling conventional display advertising – the AOL parent has a massive digital advertising sales operation. Vice is apparently to the millenial generation what MTV was to their parents and appears to be making money hand over fist.

The risk for Buzzfeed investors is that people no longer want the funny GIFs once they graduate, get a job and get busy. This leaves them with teenage “trash-traffic” of appeal only to generic advertisers who won’t pay high prices. Advertisers also worry, now that the novelty has worn off, that the advertorials don’t work or worse still, don’t fit their advertising goals. 

Buzzfeed Offers Free Beer To “Muslim Issues” Reporter

buzzfeed

Buzzfeed UK are taking on a new reporter with a “special interest in Muslim issues”, who must be fluent in either Bengali, Urdu, or Arabic and have a “strong list of contacts and sources within the Muslim community”. Perks of the job? They’re offering the successful candidate free beer once a month…

No shortage of beer-loving Arabic, Bengali and Urdu speakers who could apply…

British Journalism Awards Bunfight! Speccie v Newsnight / Buzzfeed

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It wouldn’t be the British Journalism Awards without a good old barney about the nominations. Newsnight and Buzzfeed are jointly nominated for Investigation of the Year for the Kids Co scandal – a story on which they did a lot of good follow-up work but was broken by Miles Goslett in the Speccie. Five months earlier…

Buzzfeed’s ‘Head of News’ Stuart Millar is probably regretting engaging:

Media organisations can pay £75 for a vanity-satisfying nomination, something Newsnight and Buzzfeed apparently wasted no time in doing but Miles Goslett, who is a freelancer, didn’t. As Goslett explains:

“Until February 2015, when The Spectator published my article on Kids Company, not a single bad word about it or its chief executive Camila Batmanghelidjh had appeared in the mainstream media.”

You can read the original Goslett scoop here

Guardianisation of Buzzfeed Continues

The Guardian’s head of news is the latest to twig that former colleagues who’ve jumped to Buzzfeed are getting paid more money for less work:

Millar joins Janine Gibson and James Ball as part of the ongoing exodus from Kings Place to their more productivity-relaxed internet alter ego.[…] Read the rest

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LOL: Guardian’s Janine Gibson New Buzzfeed UK Chief

Confirming Buzzfeed’s status as the growing place where disappointed hacks retreat for more money and less work, Janine Gibson is off to do “serious news” as their editor-in-chief.

In a swift update to his Twitter bio, current editor Luke Lewis has been forced sideways to be Executive Editor.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +

Buzzfeed Accused of Murky Microsoft Dirty Work

buzzfeed fail

Central European News, a viral news agency based in Vienna, have responded to a hit-job article on them by rivals BuzzFeed. CEN accuse them of being in the pocket of Microsoft – a major advertiser – and doing their dirty work.[…] Read the rest

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How Buzzfeed’s #BoardGamerGate Played Out

monopoly-sucks-lol

Back in March Tom Chivers, formerly of The Telegraph, poster a mildly mocking why-oh-why piece about “Why Monopoly Is The Worst Game In The World”. Some time later it was deleted. We now are told at the behest of the Editor-in-chief, Ben Smith.[…] Read the rest

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Buzzfeed: Follow the Monopoly Money

Following Media Guido’s revelation that Buzzfeed deleted a negative article about the board game Monopoly just a month after entering a lucrative sponsored content deal with Monopoly’s owner Hasbro, Techno Guido can report that Buzzfeed inserted computer code into their website that forced Google and Wayback Machine into hiding the deleted article from their cache:

buzzfeed robot

This stops people from viewing an article critical of one its sponsored content ‘collaborators’ and even prevents people who search for the article to see that it existed.[…] Read the rest

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Buzzfeed Monopoly Advertising Mystery

monopoly buzzfeed

On the 12 March Buzzfeed published an article by Tom Chivers called “Why Monopoly Is The Worst Game In The World, And What You Should Play Instead“. The next day the article had been deletedat the request of the author.” A strange request for a journalist to make.[…] Read the rest

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Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can’t…

wmf

Media Guido has been invited to pay £210 plus VAT to learn about the future of news as told by keynote speakers from Twitter ($1.8 billion in debt), Buzzfeed ($96.3 million in debt after 8 years), Sky News (reputed to lose £10 million annually) and the BBC (not-for-profit).[…] Read the rest

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Lefty Topspin Takes Sheen Off Buzzfeed

“Michael Sheen Has Delivered A Furious Attack On The Tories’ Treatment Of The NHS” reads the Buzzfeed headline reporting on a speech by the actor over the weekend. Sheen “delivered a impassioned speech in defence of the NHS” and apparently “people on the internet are absolutely loving it”.[…] Read the rest

+ READ MORE +



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