GPY&R staff become the story after newspaper links online comments to Skype sex scandal

Tiphereth Gloria


Zac Martin

Ad agency GPY&R is today facing a PR crisis after News Ltd papers scrutinised the online behaviour of members of its social media team and linked it to the company’s review of the Defence Force Skype scandal.

GPY&R – one of the agencies on the Defence Force roster – was selected to carry out a review of the organisation’s social media policy following the scandal of a recruit secretly filming himself having sex with a fellow trainee and airing it to colleagues via Skype.

But this morning the Adelaide Advertiser has linked the scandal to staffers Tiphereth Gloria and Zac Martin via comments they have made on the past on Twitter and on their own blogs.

At the time of writing, the news story – described as a “sex controversy” was also the lead item on

The story is the most powerful Australian examples yet of agency staff’s personal online behaviour being linked to their professional lives. The article also focuses on GPY&R’s own Facebook page.

The News Ltd story reports:

“George Patterson Y&R’s Facebook page features images from a drunken staff party and provides links to the Facebook and Twitter accounts of staff, including social media manager Tiphereth Gloria who is part of the Defence review team.

Ms Gloria’s Tumblr account features images of women in compromising situations, pornographic photos and other material such as:

“A GUIDE to acceptable stalking.

“A GUIDE to making one’s own sex toys.

“SLOGANS such as “put a condom on your ear and f..k what you heard” and “drunk texting is the new foreplay”.

“A LEWD picture of two elephants.

“DYES for pubic hair “assuming you have any”.

“Another digital strategist at the agency, Zac Martin’s Twitter account includes such gems as “I called them a bunch of c…s last week but decided to delete the tweet”, “Where can I buy a Kate Middleton blow-up doll?”

The article then links GPY&R boss Russel Howcroft – CEO of Y&R Brands – to the saga, by reporting that he is a member of the Facebook group “Pippa Middleton ass appreciation society”. The group has more than 200,000 members and went viral immediately after the Royal Wedding.

Both Gloria and Martin are well known in the Twittersphere.

Gloria is a founding member of Social media Club Sydney. She was appointed to lead GPY&R’s social media efforts just over a year ago.

Zac Martin is a more junior member of the digital strategy and insights team at GPY&R. He writes the Pigs Don’t Fly blog.

Update: A statement from GPY&R said: “As far as we have been able to ascertain none of the content of twitter messages or blog entries made by staff in their own time and in their capacities as private citizens breaches any law.

“We do not believe that this material is in any way relevant to an assessment of the nature or quality of the professional services that GPY&R provides. We have a social and digital media policy which staff are expected to observe. The company has the utmost confidence in the professional competence of its staff at work. The lawful expression of personal views by staff outside of work is not a matter of legitimate interest to the company or, indeed, the broader community.”


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella newsletter now.



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