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Subject: UKNM: No dirty tricks please, we're British
From: Alastair Duncan
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 1998 16:25:26 +0000 (GMT)

For clarification on the IMRG guy's original post, I believe we have all done much to make web marketing a respectable profession, I would prefer you all to keep it that way. So, anyone falsely claiming an association with our work will need to justify it to our solicitors. For those who might be thinking about it, here are the facts.

1) Rover Group has been APL's client for some time. Certain visionary individuals developed the strategy for Mini to go online, and invented, created and (still) maintain the Mini brand web site. We looked in 1996 for a web production shop to work on the code, and chose Good Technology to handle technical development for the site (the quality of which I am happy to advise in the form of a reference). There were other individuals and companies who engaged in the early stages of this project (eg for the 3D work), and I can reference these personally if anyone is really interested. APL Digital has since expanded considerably and developed into a global agency by organic growth in key offices(not by acquisition or merger).

Meanwhile, through 1997 and 1998, the Mini web site engaged considerable interest in the brand for our client, and has gained a world reputation as one of the best UK sites, through innovative use of branding, creativity, and technology which was ground breaking. The 'design your own mini' concept has now been copied by a number of car brands, including Land Rover, Audi and Mercedes Benz, and reasonably, those that participated in doing the idea first should be and have been given credit.

But there should never be any confusion as to who wrote the brief, who developed the idea, who handled the client, who wrote all the copy and made all the graphics and who were paid by Rover to make it happen for that brand - it was APL. It can be very confusing in a market cluttered with many different companies from the hopeless to the optimistic to the larger networks all selling slightly different skills from online media strategy to HTML authoring using Office 97. I am flattered that so many wish to be associated, as it were, with so few, but as far as www.mini.co.uk goes, the truth is, as Detective Columbo might say, Good Technology's client was not Rover, but was in fact, APL.

2) Likewise, Van den Bergh is an APL client. With regard to the Peperami brand site originally made one long weekend in November 1996, the strategy, content, copy and graphics were entirely devised and created by APL, (I remember distinctly filming the veg porn). Good Technology were the production company for HTML, and the site is currently still hosted in their server. For the record, the highly successful 1998 Peperami web campaign was invented and executed entirely by the APL Digital team here at Soho Square. I will not be impressed by anyone else claiming credit for this, other than the stunt performers we hired to make the subversive Peperami Web TV films.

3) Finally, Audi is an APL Digital client in Asia, where we have developed and maintain the Audi Asia communications extranet. Again, for the really interested, I have personal career experience of most car clients, including Audi, but my company is not associated with the UK Audi site, nor has ever claimed to be. Audi is actually listed in our ad as a worldwide client. It is not listed in the directory entry as a UK client. Get glasses. Get a Mini. Get a life.

Alastair Duncan
APL Digital
25 Soho Square London
tel 0171 534 5000
fax 0171 534 8879
email alastair [dot] duncanatapldigital [dot] com

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