Hitwise: Witchery doubled traffic with hoax video

Web monitoring firm Hitwise says that Witchery, the brand at the centre of the girl-in-the-jacket controversy, more than doubled traffic to its site in the week that the row took place.  

A new posting on the Hitwise blog says: “The Witchery website increased its market share within the Shopping and Classifieds – Apparel and Accessories industry – by 120% for the week ending 17/01/2009, the same week that the clip was released on You Tube. The website was also ranked the second most popular downstream website within the Shopping and Classifieds – Apparel and Accessories industry, to receive traffic from You Tube that week.”


  1. Stan Lee
    11 Feb 09
    2:33 pm

  2. Controversy?

    I’d say it was more of a storm in a teacup.

    Let’s get some perspective. Please.

  3. Mr Corbett
    11 Feb 09
    2:43 pm

  4. What was the volume of traffic to the site?. If 120% increase only actually equates to 1000 visitors or so then…oh you get the idea…i won’t continue. Next topic please.

  5. Paull Young
    11 Feb 09
    3:16 pm

  6. I agree with Mr Corbett that this is pretty meaningless without knowing the real numbers.

    Also – how much of that traffic came from YouTube?

    I’ve run a lot of web video campaigns and it’s really hard to get a viral video to drive traffic as most people just view the video and move on. Likewise, Mainstream Media exposure doesn’t often equate to a big traffic bump – too much happens between the MSM site/hard copy and the visit to the site.

    I think you’d be more likely to see online advertising in the market, possible email blasts and other traffic driving strategies.

    On top of all that, raw traffic means little if it’s not converting.

  7. Ben
    11 Feb 09
    3:22 pm

  8. tim you’ve gotta stop using hitwise data … it doesn’t mean anything!

  9. mumbrella
    11 Feb 09
    3:31 pm

  10. I’ll let you into a secret, Stan/ Mr C/ Paull… there are some giveaway signs about how excited we are by a story.

    1. Have we Tweeted it? Not in this case? 2. Have we done a long piece, with lots of reaction? Again, I’m afraid not. 3. Is it top item on the site? Nope.

    But it’s a small, additional piece of data that may be useful in the debate – certainly worth two paragraphs and a link.

    Stan, I don’t agree that the orginal issue was not controversial. In our small corner of the marketing world it certainly was. Of course, whether it should have been is another question altogether.

    And you may not have noticed as it happened last night, but the boss of the agency involved is no longer in his job. While there is no evidence it was linked to this, the timing at least invites speculation.

    And Mr C, your wish is my command. You’ll find the next topic is already there for you to get your teeth into… what’ve you got to say about the Taronga platypus then?


    Tim – Mumbrella

  11. mumbrella
    11 Feb 09
    3:34 pm

  12. Oh, and Ben, I fully accept that Hitwise has limitations, as does Nielsen, the Roy Morgan black box or any other metric/ currency.

    I see it a bit like an ocean map from the 18th century. It wasn’t entirely accurate, but if I’d been sailing a ship, I’d have rather had it than not…


    Tim – Mumbrella

  13. Ben
    11 Feb 09
    3:40 pm

  14. good analogy – will let it slide 😉

  15. jas
    11 Feb 09
    4:06 pm

  16. twice as many deceived people as before

  17. Mr Corbett
    11 Feb 09
    4:45 pm

  18. I like that analogy too.
    And I like the platypus. I saw one a couple of weeks ago in Kangaroo Valley and they look cute…but they’re odd looking and a little unsettling…Just like that girl in the Witchery video…boom boom!
    No more I promise.

  19. Anonymous
    11 Feb 09
    11:22 pm

  20. HELP ME.