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Is Clare the bogan a PR stunt?

Questions have been raised about whether newly minted online sensation Clare Werbeloff is a “fabricated bogan”.

Justin Polites, a digital planner at media agency Starcom MediaVest, has raised several questions on the company’s blog after looking into the story.

Werbeloff became an online celebrity after her colourful recounting of a shooting involving a “fat wog” and a “skinny wog” went viral.

But Polites asks whether Werbeloff may in fact be working with specialist agency The Projects, which specialises in marketing to young adults. The Projects appears to be linked to the PR company now representing Werbeloff, and Polites has also dug out a staff photograph on The Projects website that includes somebody who looks like Werbeloff.

 And he questions the prominence of the Toohey Extra Dry’s 6Beers of Separation advertising in so many of the shots. The 6Beers project features  young Australians having adventures as they seek out their idols.

He offers “five reasons why Clare might not be a bogan”:

  1. She has employed UNO PR -Adam Abrams Link
  2. UNO PR falls under the umbrella and at the same address as The Projects
  3. The Projects is a specialist agency targeting young adults Link
  4. The Projects is located 6min from the shooting in Paddington (same as PR firm)
  5. Is that Clare below on the Project site?Link

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At the time of posting, Toohey’s Extra Dry brewer Lion Nathan’s press office was on voicemail. When Mumbrella rang The Projects this morning they said that nobody by the name of Clare worked there.

Meanwhile, dozens of news stories have been dedicated to Werbeloff, along with several Facebook fan pages.

In the Daily Telegraph, Joe Hildebrand argues:

“Any remaining doubt that Clare Werbeloff is the greatest thing to happen to Sydney since John Bradfield must surely be eliminated by the fact she now has a celebrity agent.”

However, for Polites to be correct and the video to be a stunt, the question would have to be answered of how Werbeloff managed to be at the scene of the crime to give the interview in the first place.

Updates: Lion Nathan categorically denies any invovlement. The company did promise to send a statement, which is yet to arrive.

And NineMSN has published its own comments, after speaking to the cameraman who shot the original video. It says:

The source of the video was contract cameraman Greg Dulson, who was working the regular night shift for Nine News on Sunday morning.

Greg told us he didn’t think there was anything rehearsed about Clare’s performance. “I think she came up to me and then I said ‘Do you know what happened?’ and she said ‘Yes’ and she just spontaneously came up with what you saw on the vision there,” Greg said.

“I think she was a young girl that had had a few drinks… it wasn’t a beat up. She didn’t stand there [in front of the beer ad] specifically … I framed it so that the police car was in the back [of the shot].

“You’ve got to understand that you’re at a shooting, you’re there to get the action at the time and usually get a grab afterwards.”

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