I received many private messages about a post placed on Facebook last week. The post was about the way some individuals like to take our work (ideas and written phrases) and paraphrase them to their advantage. Many people wish I’d name and shame the offenders and the articles and promotions. I chose not to do so; I am not a vindictive man. But truth to tell, I do not have to write a wall of shame, as my email inbox is laden with comparisons and examples sent in by the who read the relevant information.
The post was written because I see the growing success of the Show is due to The Community who invest time and money in the future of ‘The Well Being Shows’. Their undoubted contribution must never be squandered. Whatever headways are made we will keep them; The Community has a right to their endeavors to be respected.
It is all very well to align oneself with the fortunes of others; if one is prepared for the results of doing so, and the outcome of plagiarism is not always beneficial. Excellent business practice see’s plagiarism is a bullet hole in the foot of the offender. And I am not only commenting on the situation mentioned in the post. I researched this issue with care. The discovery is ‘piggybacking’ on the success and ideas of others is a dangerous game. We all learn from history, and there is one example of ‘piggybacking’ taught in business schools around the World.
In the 1971 – 2 Pepsi went head to head with Coke
Pepsi’s advertising executives decided to align themselves with their rival and threw down the gauntlet known as ‘The Pepsi Challenge’. The assault was aimed at Pepsi becoming the premier cola rested on a massive campaign of comparison. Hundreds of blind taste tests were filmed. People were asked in the test to give their opinion of which unknown cola tasted better. The regime used confirmation bias to evidence the preference was for Pepsi. Pepsi went further and aligned the perception of their cola with Coke’s. New adverts were based on the dynamic of ‘Young people living a bright life with Pepsi as part of the experience’ as Coke had done for decades.
Coke show zero interest in fighting the challenge. Although, the company did not shy from acknowledging Pepsi’s campaign. This is the critical aspect recognised by advertising experts; who acknowledge Coke’s method of dealing with the issue excelled. The message from Coke was ‘There is a challenge, we do not ignore it, we will not challenge the challenge’.
They guided their customers to the evidence which allow them to make up their minds. They did not say ‘we have a better product’ they said: ‘Here are the facts; the choice is your own’. What information did they divulge and how was the data released? They used the news channels to demonstrate their strength and the ethos of their business. This was not achieved by an advertising campaign: they orchestrated articles in financial journals and broadsheet newspapers, offering support and opinion for Coke.
The newspaper articles revealed Coke possessed 55% of the market share. And both companies earned millions of dollars in revenue. More than enough to satisfy the two groups of shareholders. Readers discovered that for decades Coke accepted the division of tastes and loyalties and continued to look after their specific customer base. The difficulty for Pepsi was, the campaign had taken their old identity away from the product. The architecture of the campaign worked against them; their market share began to diminish.
The share diminished because Pepsi customers enjoyed the identity of their cola. And now, the company was attempting to align their cola with another product. It fast became evident Pepsi customers were trying the challenge for themselves. The irony was they tasted Coke and preferred it! The evidence this happened was in the shift of market share and the subsequent domination of the market.
Coke fired only one salvo with a campaign we all know ‘It’s the real thing’. The rest is history. Today the market share of Coke is taken by the 14 – 55 year age group. Pepsi is an older age bracket product it dominates in the 60+ age group. People stay with Coke and eventually will overwhelm the market share completely. Pepsi’s customer base is diminishing. In fact, Pepsi’s older customer base is dying.
If Pepsi had nurtured and cared for their customer base and listened to their requirements, would the balance still be about equal? There is every probability the brand would still be a dominant market share product. Now, we should also reflect on Virgin Cola’s attempted to take on the giant. Virgin failed as well: This cola disaster is mentioned because it guides us to another lesson. The fact is this; the first will always be the leader. Anyone can chase the number one spot, but if the leader continues to reinforce their position, the climb for the competition to the summit can be difficult, costly and fail.
Why Write About the Cola War?
It is a poignant story for the who ride piggyback on The Community’s work. We do not mind how much is it is copied. People know how we work and know the way Visitors see us. At this marker, it is essential to reveal the blueprint. Over the next two years, we are taking the Well Being Shows to a nationally recognised level. And this is why the identity and brand must be clear in everyone’s mind.
It is now time to reinforce the manifesto objective and reference the work, identity and brand which has grown over the last five years. There are of course wellbeing shows and events. This (wellbeing) word has a totally different meaning to WELL BEING. We established the objective of our shows / events is for Visitors to discover ways to become a WELL BEING at the events. This is our objective, identity and brand.
LizianEvents Well Being Shows are extending the depth and breadth of interest for Visitors. We have opened the horizons of possibilities to a new and expanding Community. Visitors will see LEN, the dedication to three venues and constant promotion as a sign of what they will expect when visiting The Community’s shows. There is no way we will relinquish our position and the way our shows are promoted and organised.
What makes our Brand or Identity?
→ The concept of an integrated Community
→ The name established on 27th July 2013 – Well Being (two words)
→ Objective: Visitors learning aspects of becoming a Well Being (two words)
→ LizianEvents News
→ Video Platform
→ Audio MP3 Platform
→ Well Being – Spirit & Well Being Body – Shows
When we asked other organisers to refrain from attending The Well Being Shows: one of the reasons was to establish our independence and signify we would find our place and level. It would be simple to cherry pick the attributes of others. The moment this choice is made we fall into the Pepsi trap. Remember there are fifteen years of ‘exhibiting’ experience in our memories. My extensive journals record every event attended, the recollections are defined. We follow the seven identities above, not the concepts of the past. We follow our objectives and they are the binding principals of the organisation.
LizianEvents Well Being Shows are far from perfect. We continually address failings and continue to appraise our progress. No doubt there will be hurdles to cross, chances to take and failures to accept. There is one certainty, we will be transparent with the messages and will never be afraid to strengthen our identity. And this is why we expose our feelings and have no fear of standing our corner. The Community expects, strength and direction. Whatever we do now, in these early stages of our evolution, must forge our brand in the minds of Community and Visitors. It must be evident Liz, and I have a long-term objective for The Well Being Shows. The opportunities available are boundless, as The Community grows and prospers our Visitors numbers will increase.
The post received many comments:
Here is a rough copy and pasted representation of the opinions. One observation cannot be dismissed: the overwhelming consensus is: plagiarism is NOT flattery or liked by ninety percent of the people who read the post.
Ian Timothy: We always have to protect our Community Alf, and there’s little doubt I can work in the best interest of those who trust our ethos. Thanks for your support.
Althea: Ian Timothy no need to thank me your both doing a grand job Maybe more people should pay attention to how you do things they may learn a few ethics Eh
Marie: I feel your pain, Ian Timothy. I’ve let it go, but I’ve learned a big lesson. And karma will deal with her anyway. I don’t have the energy to waste. What’s interesting is the people that know me well pointed it out to me and so I I investigated. So I take comfort in the knowledge that others know it’s my work as soon as they read it x
Ian: There is no pain or upset Marie, you have grasped the fact people always see the reality.
Kevin: Have I missed something. Sorry to hear that someone’s poaching your work. Not on.
Ian: No not a problem my friend. Just making everyone aware that I will not have our identity stolen. I’ll tap a few words next week. Thank you for your concern. Ian
Trudy; Happening in many circles, keep strong and true Ian. You have a true passion and hard work, something those plagiarising don’t have, they are lazy, and opportunistic..you will come out on top in the end.
Ian: No problem I follow the path. However, I will never ignore anything which jeopardises our identity. Many thanks for your kindness. XXXX
Trudy: We too have gone through what you are, and I agree, you have to set boundaries. Every-time, we dealt with a situation we thought not favorable, it turned out doing us good in the end x
Dale: My bit of wisdom there is no need to waste time and energy on making these posts, do what you do, be true to it (which I know you are) ….end of
Shirley: Must have missed something a big something by the sounds of things nothing you can’t deal with of that I am sure x
Ian: No nothing big Shirley. Just someone who decides to use our wording. We will deal with the problem.
Heather: More confirmation that your work is good eh… if people are nicking it? Lol. They won’t have the knowledge or integrity to back up what they’re doing. However, we know that because they are tea leaves! The world is full of plagiarists… our arena is no different.
Ros: Good for you! I am the same when people have ripped off my words or claimed my pictures on the net as their own.
Alison: I’ve had the same, but it made me laugh. Mimicry is indeed the sincerest form of flattery.
Ian: Key is Alison we have used the separated nomenclature Well Being Shows since 2012. And we have always written about becoming a Well Being by interacting with The Community. The terms of our organisation are demonstrated on our Website.
Liz: Alison it’s theft – not flattery – when intellectual concepts, words are taken. If you paraphrase a.n.other’s words its still intellectual theft – its the essence which is intellectual property. There must be half a million words up on LizianEvents News. Many articles are evidence of the ethos and purpose of every show.
Campbell: I’m with you.
Norma: I agree same here if you ask I would say yes take it, however, to just take unprofessional and it’s not flattery. It stinks
The whole of Heather’s opinion is reviewed:
→“If somebody came into your garage and took your car or came into your house and took your tv would you be flattered because you had a car or tv that they wanted and so you’d just let them take it? Would you just let it go and let karma deal with it or give it up to god? Or would you want something done about it through the correct channels?
When you spend your life hours working to save for a said car or tv it’s bothersome when somebody steals it, believing that they have an entitlement or a right.
If you are an artist or creator you spend your life hours creating… and the work that you produce has a value to the artist. If somebody takes your work and passes it off as their own, then that is theft.
Copyright infringement is a tricky issue. It is possible for two people at the other ends of the earth to come up with precisely the same idea. Especially if it’s a good idea. That is not copying: it is luck. And that is why you cannot copyright an idea.
You can copyright a picture or piece of art, text, or a piece of music. And if somebody copies it and uses it passing it off as their creation, that is theft. Changing a few words around or switching a font hoping nobody will notice: is still theft.
And to the creator of said work, it feels like you’ve had your car nicked and somebody is driving around in it saying: do you like my car! I’ve changed the bumper sticker but it’s all mine.
If you’ve had text published, if it is in print and there is a date, then your work is copyrighted. The author is at liberty to write a persuasive or legal letter telling them to withdraw or cease, or further action will be taken.
To all artists and creators out there, we owe it to each other to defend our work and stick together. It’s precious. It’s taken time and spirit to produce. And we own it: until we choose to sell it.
Proving copyright infringement is challenging but very possible. I doubt very much that Ian will let this rest… because he understands his duty to himself and the rest of the community both he and Liz have inspired with his heartfelt and integral words”←
Ros: Too true, Heather. I’ve had two serious ding-dongs with ‘spiritual’ people who have blatantly ripped off my exact words and one printed off one of my pics and sold it as theirs. They backed down each time. If it’s provable, the best course is the way of the warrior I feel. Grrrrr.
Ian: The apparent feelings about this issue overwhelm any ideas of flattery or ‘that’s life’: Yes I will deal with this issue. I feel the replies are sending out an unmistakable message to anyone who thinks we will ignore the situation.
Ros: If there’s any karma to be dished out in this respect my choice is it will be me doing the karma dishing.
Thank You to all of the thirty-eight contributors to Facebook (Ian Timothy and LizianEvents Pages) and fifteen supportive emails.
I have read this article three times.
There can be no doubting your identity or objective. I can say without question, no organiser has embellished the idea of Community before. LizianEvents have to be acknowledged as first passed the post. If The community and those joining The Community realise what is happening here, they will see unsurpassed growth in The Well Being Show.
Yes, there are bigger shows and they are brilliant events. There is not one which offers the facilities you provide. It does not matter who attempts to follow your lead (big or small) they will only be seen as cherry-picking your ideas. National acknowledgement? Little doubt The Community will do this.
I read this essay as a good of explaination of your intentions and identity. There is an immence amont of top management business training and background discovered in this essay. Stunning in its composition, powerful in its message. Brilliant.
Accurate assessment Janine. Humbled by your comment – Ian
Your passion leaps off the page and out of the words posted, it is brilliant to have you and liz in our (the communities) corner. pretenders to the throne will always come and challenge what is laid down as a leader. Anybody who joins the community can be sure of the LIzian ethos and what is expected of you, it is also clearly stated what Liz and Ian expect themselves to deliver. To end my two penneth worth I will say this to me there is a very fine line of imitation being flattery and just taking the proverbial. Know there are clear lines accurately defined pretenders do not encroach as Liz and Ian are on the case.
I received an email in which the comment was ‘You seem to moan too much Ian’ – I replied ‘Best put your opinion up on FaceBook and on LizianEvents News. I’d be happy to publish it’ – I am still waiting 🙂
You have got to love a keyboard warrior haven’t you 🙂
Yes, Rick – They could easily have put their name to a comment on the page! – That’s the point with comments and critique – There is NO value unless the words have an author. 😉