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What are the lessons of Marketing_Guy-gate?

What are the lessons of Marketing_Guy-gate?

April 19, 2012 by Rachel Miller

If you’ve been following the Donuts on Twitter this week, you’ll have witnessed a fascinating exchange between our very own Rory MccGwire (CEO of BHP, publishers of the Donuts) and a marketing consultant called Nigel Copley (aka @Marketing_Guy).

In short, since 2010, Nigel has been copying large swathes of content from Marketing Donut and passing it off as his own on his blog site. It’s a word-for-word cut and paste job, complete with our images, but minus any credits of course.

This content includes articles written by our in-house editorial team, by freelance journalists and also material provided by our band of experts — experts who have earned their reputation thanks to their skills, knowledge and integrity. I’m just saying…

By naming and shaming Nigel on Twitter, Rory galvanised lots of support and finally managed to persuade him to delete the content. Rory’s blog on Law Donut tells the whole vivid story.

But what does this very modern marketing saga teach us?

  1. The value of online content. It proves that Google loves fresh, high quality and relevant content — which makes other people’s content irresistible to some people.
  2. The importance of sharing content. Lots of websites, including the Donuts, publish valuable content provided by guest bloggers. Sharing your expertise is good for everyone. Copying content and passing it off as your own is not sharing, it’s plagiarism.
  3. Social media shines a very bright light. It’s hard to hide on social media. If you want to expand your sphere of influence via your blog and social media, you’ve got to be prepared to face criticism in this very same realm.
  4. Social media builds reputations and can destroy them. If you make any mistakes in business, there’s a good chance that word will quickly spread on social media sites. This episode highlights the power of the crowd on social media networks.

It’s good to report a happy ending to the saga. And we hope you keep reading and enjoying our content — on our websites!

Rachel Miller is the editor of Marketing Donut.


heatherjtownsend's picture

As someone who produces a large amount of content, I hate to see someone passing my work off as their own. I'm please that Nigel was named and shamed and I hope it serves as a lesson to anyone else who wants to pass off other's content as their own.'s picture

We all share content but 'nicking' it is out of order. I have yet to find anyone say no if you ask to link to their content with appropriate credit.


Twitter and social media is a great place to build up long lasting business relationships through mutual trust and respect – whilst that takes a long time to achieve, to destroy is almost instantaneous.

frances_johnson's picture

This is a great summary, Rachel. What Nigel did was unfair not just to the hardworking team behind the Donuts but all of the fantastic contributors that he plagiarised too. Had he asked our permission to share the content or acknowledged that it came from our sites, it would be a different story. We're happy to share our resources, but as you rightly point out, this was a very blatant case of plagiarism.

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