Cease and desist

What’s the shortest lifespan of a spoof Twitter account, ever?
If you’re impersonating the policeĀ [‘s logo], apparently the answer is 47 minutes. Well, at least until you have to change your logo.

The @gmp24_7 account (parodying the official Manchester Police accounts @gmp24_1 -through- @gmp24_6) was created at 9:55 this morning and less than 40 tweets later at 10:42 was ordered (by the police, via Twitter) to stop using their copyright

What amuses me about this the most is that copyright infringement is what they got called on. (Apparently falsely according to lawyer @davidallengreen – unless he’s a spoof too). Personally, if I was told I may be impersonating a police officer I’d be a little more petrified.

For the record, this spoof account made no attempt to indicate it was a parody. That was a bit of an error, but they’re still tweeting apparently. I’m curious to see whether Manchester Police take any further action to shut this account up. Most famously @BPGlobalPR remained operational throughout BP’s recent PR crisis.

I look forward to the social media/PR pundits tearing this campaign to pieces. It seems rather brave to enter the public domain with something like this and not expect a backlash.

In my view, this campaign basically says “See, we’re working hard. Don’t cut our budgets“. Does anyone doubt that the police work hard? I don’t. The campaign in no way highlights the actual impact of budget cuts – other than more PR will be done on Twitter, because it’s cheap.