When the Adecco needed a name for a summer contest and marketing push, it didn’t have to look much farther than Turner Barr’s nearly two-year old travel blog Around the World in 80 Jobs for inspiration.
The only problem is they didn’t ask Barr.
Barr discovered the lifted concept after a friend noticed Adecco’s Facebook contest page in mid May, and reached out to Adecco to ask them what was going on. According to Barr, after he contacted them there were discussions about him participating on some level, but he did not agree. “The conditions, to me, were unreasonable and would forfeit my main objective,” Barr said. “My main objective is to take control back of my brand, and spread the word so it doesn’t happen to others”
Brands have been turning to bloggers with greater frequency to help them spread the word about their products and create the impression that people are excited about buying their product or using their service. Expedia and G Adventures lead the way in the travel space by paying or providing goods to bloggers in exchange for marketing the brands.
Adecco’s move — taking the name of an existing blog, slapping a “TM” on the logo, and promoting a concept similar to the blog — is a bold one, to say the least. And instead of getting people talking about how cool the contest is, they’re getting people talking about why Adecco is bad:
— JohnnyJet (@JohnnyJet) June 20, 2013
— Kirsten Alana (@KirstenAlana) June 20, 2013
Adecco did not respond to two interview requests from Skift.
UPDATE: Comments on Adecco’s Facebook page are trending very negative.
Here is Adecco’s video promoting their contest. According to Barr, the person is a paid actor.