Surprise, surprise. The “dynamic, expressive and informed personalities, writers and commentators” being approached to contribute to Dom Joly’s shit new Menshn, Runaview, are being asked to provide their expertise and insight without recompense. This despite the fact that Runaview claims to be investing “over £100k in marketing”.
This was challenged expertly on Twitter by music writer Joe Muggs, who had been approached to contribute. Joly responded rather in the manner of an ugly bloke spurned by an attractive woman, declaring that he never fancied her anyway. He then went on to suggest that Muggs was “obsessed” for asking some perfectly reasonable questions.
Meanwhile, the splendid Dawn Foster had posted a screengrab of the email sent by Runaview to potential contributors, adding only the caption “This looks terrible”. Runaview’s response was to instruct her to delete the tweet, telephoning her at work (she is deputy features editor of Inside Housing magazine) when she refused to do so.
The Runaview media pack makes for an interesting read. It suggests that the site will work on a “similar model to Facebook, Twitter and givemesport.com”. Well yes, I’m always lumping them together as the three biggest hitters in the online world. Runaview will rely on “Facebook and Twitter marketing predominantly”. Anyone can market themselves or their products on Facebook and Twitter for nowt. So, if all the marketing’s happening on Facebook and Twitter, where’s that 100 large going?
The site aims to exploit a hitherto unnoticed “gap in the market”. Apparently, there is “no website which is similar in nature and totally unique”, and Runaview promises “sensationalism mixed with high quality content from society’s elite”. The first part of that is meaningless (“totally unique”?), the second part means it’ll be shite.
The media pack , including postings under the names of Paul Merton, Will Self, David Mitchell, Ricky Gervais, Jeremy Clarkson, George Galloway and Jo Brand. Meanwhile, another page poses the question “Why use Runaview?”, and provides the answer “Seeing how celebrities/influential people feel about the latest issues on a regular basis”, alongside pictures of Jeremy Clarkson, Frankie Boyle, Kirsty Young, Jack Whitehall and Joly. So, the implication seems to be that all of these major figures (and Joly) are running with Runaview. Are they? Really? Do they know?
So, who’s behind Joly’s folly? Some received the initial email from ‘Dominic Spencer’, the project’s ‘creative director’. Others have received an identically-worded email from ‘Jamie Spencer’, whose job title is ‘head of music’. ‘Jamie Spencer’ has also communicated with potential contributors wearing the hat of ‘head of science and tech’. Who says men can’t multi-task? I wonder if ‘Jamie’ and ‘Dominic’ are related?
Apart from Joly, the only other verifiable name I can find linked to this risible venture is that of Daniel Yossman, director of Westminster Publications, the firm responsible for The Parliamentary Review. I asked my man in Westminster if he’d heard of Yossman, and he replied no, and added that he “didn’t even know Parliamentary Review was still going”.
UPDATE – Wednesday 15/10/2014, 13.34
A chum has alerted me, in my Twitter exile, to this billet doux from Joly. So, on the basis of “1 meeting”, Joly was willing to lend his image to this venture. A publicity photograph was taken, presumably at this “1 meeting”, where Joly posed with the godawful Runaview logo. Then, when asked about Runaview’s recruitment tactics, Joly defended with vigour people he hardly knew and an email he says he didn’t until after it was sent out. Odd. I tend not to go in to bat for anyone unless I know them quite well, but maybe that’s just me. Anyway, Joly is “no longer involved” with Runaview. Oh well, at least they’ve still got David Mitchell, Will Self and Jeremy Clarkson.