Instagram: we need to talk about fakes

I’ve noticed these kind of accounts popping up on Instagram over the past few months.


Interesting shots probably re-grammed from the brands marketing materials or a magazine shoot. Going through to the site….


Great site design. Only the URL and the prices give it away as fake goods. For those who aren’t as sophisticated Facebook now has its classifieds section. Think Gumtree but inside Facebook.

Here’s a second example, this time replicas of BAPE’s iconic shark head hooded top.


This time they are selling the products through Amazon merchants accounts



Instagram has a lot of heat from brands, but this could turn very quickly when they realise that Instagram can be a facilitator of fake products sales. Look at how Alibaba and eBay have been vilified in the past.

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Benedict Evans on ten-year future predictions (well as good as anyone can)

YouGov | Who is on top in the Nike vs. Adidas battle? – UK only data

The bitcoin drugs trade is highly centralised | FT Alphaville – looks that the cryptocurrency bubble could burst pronto

How an unknown Chinese phone maker became No 3 in India by solving the oily fingers problem | South China Morning Post – “Big companies which sell smartphones in more than 100 countries are too global to care for one single market,” Chowdhury said in an interview in Shenzhen. “The core strategy for us is to become the favourite mobile phone brand in emerging markets.”

HSBC’s Amy and other soon-to-be released AI chatbots are about to change the way we bank | South China Morning Post

Why Uber Can Find You but 911 Can’t – WSJ – one can understand the reluctance of technology companies to get involved

The Pet Shop Boys are the face (and sound) of Christian Dior’s men’s collection this summer.

Luxury group Kering to spin off Puma to shareholders | RTE – not terribly surprising it fits awkwardly with the other brands

Google Plans to Vet YouTube Premium Video Content – Bloomberg – guessing the News International media campaign and Logan Paul debacle is starting to have an impact

How China’s market economy has fuelled a prostitution boom | South China Morning PostMy grandma was always grateful to Mao, mainly because she was upgraded from a concubine to a wife under the Communists “one wife” rule. – There is also the shredding of culture and community during the cultural revolution probably ruined community / support mechanisms

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

Facebook Is Shutting Down Its API That Marketers Lean on for Research – Adweek – big for proprietary agency tools, social media tools and ad platforms

Spicing up Hong Kong’s Café scene | Marketing Interactive – great write-up of Café de Coral

China’s central bank believes bitcoin will die | Quartz – I am more on the bearish side along with the Bank of China. A key function of bitcoin for China was aiding capital flight out of the country

Unilever moves global comms planning to Mindshare from PHD | Media | Campaign Asia – huge win for Mindshare and a move away at the global level between planning guidance and media buying. It would be analogous to investment managers to go back to taking advice from sell-side analysts. I guess part of the problem is trying to get global guidance to be implemented at a country level

Flotogram v1.1 Preview on Vimeo – interesting app that blurs the boundaries between AR and photography

Google’s AI Built its own AI That Outperforms Any Made by Humans – one thing humans jump to is the implications of a more general purpose rather than narrow focus machine learning tool

China’s Tariff Cuts Won’t Hurt Daigou Business For Now | Jing Daily  – China plans to reduce tariffs on 187 consumer goods, including cosmetics, apparel, health supplements, food, and pharmaceuticals. The new policy will go into effect on December 1. The average tax rate will drop to 7.7 percent from 17.3 percent.

China’s Toutiao Tried to Buy Reddit — The InformationOne reason was general skittishness among Reddit’s investors about selling to a Chinese internet company whose user and revenue numbers were tough to assess – and there is the burn

Chinese Smartphone Maker Xiaomi Eyes 2018 Stock Market Listing — The Information – interesting move given Xiaomi’s challenges with other Chinese smartphone companies

Futuristic Warfare Arena Ghost in the Shell: Arise Stealth Hounds – VR ZONE SHINJUKU – I’d love to have a go at this

Are we witnessing the end of the jumbo jet? | Quartz – interesting mix of game theory and economics involved

Apple: Chinese Buying Huawei et. al. but Sticking with iPhone, Says Morgan Stanley – Barron’s – The Jigaung data also highlights that in the 4 weeks ending October 22nd, more “switchers” left their Chinese branded smartphone for an iPhone than iPhone users left for a Chinese branded smartphone, across all local vendors. In fact, Apple’s net switching rate, or the net amount of switchers gained/lost as a percentage of all brand switchers increased to 7.6% in the latest 4 week period, up from 6.7% in the prior 4 week period ending October 8th. Comparatively, Vivo was the only Chinese smartphone vendor to gain “net switchers”, albeit at a significantly lower rate. We expect this trend to only accelerate as future data sets will include the period after the iPhone X first began shipping.

Amazon (AMZN) is so good at keeping prices low, it’s changed how economists think about inflation — Quartz

ICYMI | 万一你错过了| 당신이 그것을 놓친 경우

WSJ City | Gig work may stifle some startups – a gig firm’s entry into a given area caused a decline in the number of unfunded and underfunded Kickstarter campaigns launched locally a year later

Ctrip launches global rebrand to – interesting staking out global ambitions against Agoda, and Expedia

Google Translate: Telefonini e patenti | L’Espresso – Umberto Eco making the valid point that communications by phone are often less circumspect because of the immediacy of the medium. Writing a letter allows more time for consideration and weight in the communications

Red Bull Content Pool – interesting that Red Bull has its own inhouse picture agency

Vote Leave donations: the dark ads, the mystery ‘letter’ – and Brexit’s online guru | Politics | The Guardian – The Guardian have the bit between their teeth on this and other media aren’t picking it up at all. How to Use Facebook Dark Posts | Duct Tape Marketing – nice simple explanation of dark ads for non marketers out there – far more elegant than when I have explained it. Despite the name it isn’t sinister

PR Research: The death of Twitter as a marketing tool? Recent research says half of marketers don’t see the point of Twitter any more | PRmoment – probably not the most scientific pieces of research, I think the answer is more nuanced

Understanding “New Power” | Harvard Business Review – interesting read, if you haven’t had the chance already

Is The Streetwear Market Headed For The Mainstream? : NPR  – interesting piece on streetwear by NPR. It echoes some of the concerns I had about the streetwear market. If you want to know how it all got so big: Louis Vuitton, Supreme and the tangled relationship between streetwear and luxury brands

JR Tokai gives media a peek at maglev work underway at Shinagawa Station | The Japan Times – so cool

Chadlington: ban all ads and promotion for gambling | PR Week – (paywall)

Five for Friday | 五日(星期五)

Things that made my day this week:

It’s quite rare for someone who has had as as long a career as Mick Jagger to still do relevant material. His double A side single featuring England’s Lost is an exceptionally political track featuring Skepta. The last track from similar artist would likely be Pink Floyd’s The Wall. It wouldn’t sound out of step with The Stone Roses or The Charlatans and the video with Luke Evans performance is amazing.

Omega seem to have spent most of the summer dwelling on the NASA Apollo programme heritage of the Omega Speedmaster with launches happening around the world including PR people in faux spacesuits for photo shoots and socialite cocktail parties.  The excuse is the 60th anniversary of the Omega Speedmaster’s launch in 1957. They’ve supported it with a scripted film using brand spokesperson George Clooney talking with Buzz Aldrin. Aldrin as ever is awesome.

60 years of production makes the Speedmaster a design classic. At the time of the Speedmaster’s launch Omega would have been a more bankable name than Rolex. That seems surprising now given Omega’s move more towards the fashion end of the market. There is a great interview at The Peak Magazine; with Peter Chow the recently retired veteran salesman at The Hour Glass in Singapore. The Hour Glass is a famous watch retailer that has attracted the world’s richest customers.

“You could buy a manual mechanical watch with a fine Swiss movement for S$20 plus,” Mr Chong says. The well-known brands then were Titoni, Titus, Movado and Cyma. “Omega was the best, not Rolex.” Mr Chong quit his job in 1959 and with S$6000 from savings and loans, opened a shop in Bukit Panjang. But within three years, poor sales drove him out of business.

It was something I heard from my parents, though I had partly put this down to both of them having had Omegas – which they bought for each other when they got married.

Northampton’s most famous son, author Alan Moore Interviewed by Greg Wilson and Kermit – real name Paul Leveridge from the Ruthless Rap Assassins and Black Grape. Interesting dissection of modern counterculture and the general sense of ennui.

I am addicted to videos about mesmerising manufacturing processes and vinyl records. This video combines both of them. The hipster movement has done more than drive up the cost of avocados and gentrification. We’ve seen vinyl manufacturing plants revived and thrive. Over time the machinery has needed to be modernised, this has meant modern manufacturing techniques (like SCADA controllers) have been melted to post-war industrial technology. Anyway enough of my blathering check it out.

My week was soundtracked by this epic mix of Herbie Hancock tracks.