Dr Mumbo

From the crazy photographic memory of Rose Herceg…

Some of Dr Mumbo’s favourite people are strategists – they usually have an entertaining and original point of view.

So Dr Mumbo was delighted to see a column on the home page of AdNews from WPP’s chief strategy officer Rose Herceg.

In the short article, Herceg makes something of a leap, linking a US Supreme Court Justice’s observations about pornography with the difficulties in defining trust:

Herceg in AdNews

By an amazing coincidence, the same observation has been made before, in a book about… wait for it… trust. According to David A Shore, in The Trust Prescription for Healthcare:

David Shore’s book on trust

Which is, no doubt, all a coincidence.

And here’s another coincidence.  Rosemary Herceg made what was presumably an unwelcome appearance on The ABC’s Media Watch program back in 2002.

In those days a trend forecaster with her own agency Pophouse, Herceg had a column in BRW magazine.

But the ABC TV show noticed an interesting trend. On a number of occasions, the observations she used in her column were remarkably close to those that had previously appeared in the US magazine Fast Company.

There was this example:

‘Today if you want to catch the wave of the future, you have to start surfing a lot closer to the Fringe.’ – Fast Company Magazine

‘If you want to catch the wave of the future, you have to start surfing a lot closer to the fringe.’ – Rosemary Herceg, BRW

And this one…

‘…they created the Scion brand from the ground up, starting with the actual silver-coated badge that appears on every car and ending with a cutting edge Web site that screams youth and exuberance.’ – Fast Company Magazine

‘… they created the Scion brand from the ground up, starting with the silver-coated badge that appears on every car and ending with a cutting edge Web site (www.scion.com) that screams youth and exuberance.’ – Rosemary Herceg, BRW

Media Watch used lots of unpleasantly judgmental phrases like “theft” and “pinched”. Even, unpleasantly, “plagiarism” and “rip offs”

After the ABC revealed a copy of a BRW column where almost all of the text had first appeared in Fast Company, Rosemary’s writing career with BRW came to a rapid halt. Then editor (and now Ten’s chief spinner) Neil Shoebridge told Media Watch: “‘Rosemary was dismissed as a columnist for BRW as soon as I could get her on the phone.”

Luckily, at the time, she was able to give Media Watch a completely reasonable explanation: “I have to tell you I have a crazy photographic memory.”

Fifteen years on, Dr Mumbo wonders if we’re any closer to a cure for a crazy photographic memory.

ADVERTISEMENT

SUBSCRIBE

Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing