01 August 2006

Speaking in forked tongues….

There's been consternation at Hotwire over the past week with the imminent launch of the UK's latest tech agency Babel PR, which has been launched just two weeks after the departure of Director Narelle Morrison.

Founded with fellow Hotwire Director Ian Hood and European Business Development Director, Alexia Sciplino, who have both left in the last two months, the fear is whether there are yet more members of the Hotwire top brass about to jump ship.

There’s some suggestion that Babel is 'pioneering' the virtual agency model (aka they can't afford an office), so perhaps Hotwire shouldn't be so worried. However the Babel website says its address is 1 Quality Court, Chancery Lane. Let’s hope so, as that way it can be referred to as the Tower of Babel.

Anyway, the word on the street is that at least one of the Babel founders is engaged in a bitter legal wrangle with Hotwire, so the only people who are going to get rich from Babel in the near future are the lawyers.

As a by the way, on the Babel thing, Wikipedia assures us that the Tower of Babel was a tower built by a united humanity to reach the heavens. Because man had it in his heart to be like God, God stopped this project by confusing their languages so that each spoke a different language. As a result, they could no longer communicate with one another and the work was halted. Which doesn’t sound like something a PR company should endorse.

So we assume the agency name comes from the Babel Fish of Douglas Adams’ imagination, in which case it’s just a bit geeky. A theory backed up by the three founders’ individual emoticons on Babel’s About page.

Anyway people, best of luck.

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

you can understand why Hotwire might be a bit upset.....my guess is a lot of those client logos which appear on Babel's site might actually belong somewhere else...

Anonymous said...

So Hotwire puts itself up for sale and then when the sale doesn't happen (priced too high?) so the senior folk leave? Or was it that the senior folk learned about the possibility of being sold and thought I may as well get out now as work for Martin Sorrell. Either way it looks like Hotwire is going to remain independent ... like Firefly.

Babel said...

It's always nice to get a little free publicity when you launch a new venture but it's probably worth clearing up one or two points:

- there's nothing "virtual" about Babel. The address quoted is correct and anyone is welcome to visit us (I'm told that in the heat we've been having recently our air conditioned offices are not unpleasant).

- nobody at Babel is involved in a legal wrangle with Hotwire (bitter or otherwise). In fact we received a very pleasant message of congratulations from Hotwire's founder, Kristin Syltevik only yesterday.

- you can read too much into a name. It might be that we just like it :-)

- whoops, used one of those "geeky" emoticons. Can I assure the readers that there's very little geeky about Babel. When Mrs Hood starts using smileys (that's what we non-geeks call them) in her emails, it's safe to assume they've gone mainstream ;-) (whoops, there's another one)

- thanks for your best wishes

Ian Hood
Founding Director of the non-geeky babel PR

Anonymous said...

"...three of the UK’s most experienced technology PR specialists..." - not judging the experience page and some of the munting clients these guys have worked on.

"...provides services to companies of all sizes..." - means they're desparate to work with anyone.

And as for the noddy post about 3GSM on the babel blog...

Anonymous said...

"- you can read too much into a name. It might be that we just like it :-)"

True - seems you're not the only ones either:

http://www.babel-mpr.com/
http://www.babelfishpr.co.uk/

Monkey Nuts said...

'Nowt wrong with being geeky!

Anonymous said...

"In fact we received a very pleasant message of congratulations from Hotwire's founder, Kristin Syltevik only yesterday."

sounds like you have her 'full support'. where have I heard that before...?

Anonymous said...

That 3GSM posting is genius! These guys could charge a fortune for such insight into how an exhibition works, but they're giving it away for free. Wow. Will they also be providing tutorials showing grandmothers how to suck eggs?

I thought it was an inexcusable attempt to win a mobile client...but with all that experience surely they won't need to resort to such cheap tactics to bring one in. Sounds like they're queuing up.

I also thought it was the usual 'here's a load of clients who our last 5 agencies worked for, a bit, and we answered the phone to one of them once so we thought we could put them on our client list'...but then again would anyone really shout about working for NTHell?

Anonymous said...

Another one! Won't be long til everyone has worked for everyone. Look at most agency sites - logo-tastic. Ask this lot (www.3-monkeys.co.uk) about the vast experience on their impressive client list...

And while you're at it ask them how much they sold that 'successful PR agency' for. Put it this way, the Pound Saver Menu at the Golden Arches came into its own on that triumphant day of the celebratory lunch...for one of the happy ladies anyhow.

Anonymous said...

Babel Fish or BF for short. Lot's of BF but no BS. I can just see the tagline...

Anonymous said...

ok, so Babel is a very silly name...but look on the bright side - they could have named it 'Hood Morrison Sciplino' - at which point I would have declared open season on them...

....the world's leading.... said...

Many thanks to Ian and Babel for clarifing the original post.

You seem to have come in for a bit of stick on the comments, so we'll just reiterate that we wish you luck with the new venture.

Anonymous said...

I think we are all missing a trick here. Think about it, Hotwire has got to the size where it must be encountering serious client conflicts and is in need of a sister agency. It seems odd that Babel has appeared so quickly and is so well funded and by the founders own words 'welcomed' by the founder of Hotwire. I think we will soon find that both agencies have more in common than just staff...

Anonymous said...

Given that only one Babel employee has apparently spoken to a journalist in the last 18 months it's going to be intersting to see how many briefings they are going to get at 3GSM. Though media relations is hardly a priority when you have no clients. Oh, well we can but wish them well, after all change is good.

figgis said...

Babel Fish - I wish you the best of luck, setting up is lots of fun bar the far too much hard work. But its a hell of a lot better to give it a go than sit on the sidlines working for the man.

Anonymous said...

"But its a hell of a lot better to give it a go than sit on the sidlines working for the man."

or in this case, 'the woman'. fair point though...

figgis said...

aha - a very fair point mr anon... apologies :)

Anonymous said...

The Babel boys and girls continue to dig that hole...I went there expecting to see that 3GSM post mysteriously removed, but no it is still there.

It gets better - they are now claiming huge success for their launch based on their web stats...half of the UK PR agencies popped by apparently...do they not realise we were all trying to find out if the 3GSM nonsense post was true!?

AND NOW...they've put up some 'PR by Numbers' story about how effective surveys are, written by the cleaner it seems.

Tune in next week when Babel shares more expert insight for the Newsround crowd.

Anonymous said...

their blog is odd, right enough. Aside from their dubious estimate of two grand for a national survey (surely some mistake?), their story about the Babel launch makes much of the fact that they have now been approached by an increasing number of potential employees, as though that was a 'good thing'.

I'd be gutted if I launched a new agency and all I got in response was a pile of CVs...