Dr Mumbo

The curious case of Droga5’s disappearing Sydney office

Ad agencies over the years have come in for criticism for air-brushing their clients’ flaws, but it seems Droga5 has been indulging in a little air-brushing of its own, removing all traces of its defunct Sydney office from its Wikipedia page.

Similarly agency founder David Droga’s page has been carefully altered to avoid all mention of the office set up in his home town, which ran for seven years and employed dozens of Australia’s finest creatives and handled some of the biggest ad accounts in the country.

Fortunately, for Dr Mumbo the online encyclopedia does allow users to track who made the changes to pages, which makes for interesting reading.

The first to be ‘managed’ was that of Droga on October 14, just a month after the closure of the Sydney shop was announced. The entry was updated from: “After two years of operating from a single global office, Droga5 opened a Sydney location in 2008, led by Chief Executive Sudeep Gohil and Creative Chairman David Nobay. A London location was started in 2013”, to “In 2013, Droga5 opened a London office, whose partners now include Chief Executive Officer Bill Scott and Chief Creative Officer David Kolbusz.” 

All mentions of Nobby and Gohil were removed by someone with an IP address from inside the Droga5 head office in New York.

droga5 IP address wiki entryHowever, that was undone the same night by someone based in New Jersey.

On December 18 – around the time the Aussie arm was finally closed down – someone in Sydney decided to go one step further and added a link – a quote from Mumbrella, no less: “On September 8, 2015 Droga5 announced it would be shutting its Sydney office in what David Droga described as a ‘bitter pill to swallow’, in closing his its underperforming Sydney office, just two months after the shock departure of executive creative director Steve Coll.”

Droga5 wikipedia page

That managed to survive for two months before a character called WaverlyW, an active moderator on the page, sprung into action and deleted all mention of Sydney for ever more.

This is the same WaverlyW who was responsible for deleting the mention of the Sydney office on November 5 from the Droga5 agency page.

Interestingly when you go to WaverlyW’s correspondence with the Wikipedia staff it would appear they see something of a “conflict of interest” in the changes they made.

A note from Wiki’s editors read: “I noticed that one of the first articles you edited was Droga5, which appears to be dealing with a topic with which you may have a conflict of interest. In other words, you may find it difficult to write about that topic in a neutral and objective way, because you are, work for, or represent, the subject of that article. Your recent contributions may have already been undone for this very reason. ”

WaverlyW should definitely offer their reputation management skills out to the wider community, Dr Mumbo thinks it could be quite lucrative for them.


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